Raising the Citizens Voice

For Australian & New Zealand public servants, this program is now run by us in collaboration with the Australian and New Zealand School of Government. Contact us for information.

Why you need to attend this training...

Worldwide we are seeing an increasing trend towards citizens wanting to have a voice in how they are governed. We have seen the emergence of a plethora of online tools designed to raise the voices of individuals, build communities of similar thinkers and ultimately influence the agendas of government. 

Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, online petitions or others…citizens’ want to have a say and they want governments to respond accordingly.

The challenge of course is that the views expressed through these mediums are invariably polarised and often, ill-informed. Undeniably governments and the public sectors that support them are in an invidious position.

As not acting in accordance with the weight of community view results in a disenfranchised community and undermines trust between citizens and the government; but acting in accordance can have significant risks or negative consequences.

So what does government do?

The RCV training course explores ways of building an informed community; enabling a more meaningful discussion between government and community.

The RCV training will help you navigate more successful outcomes for your policy work.

“The real life experiences used and with such honesty are really valuable and help relate to our own projects.”
Participant, RCV training ACT

What you will learn?

You will explore the current ‘policy making process’ and consider how a new approach for developing and communicating the work of government could assist you in achieving better and more sustainable policy outcomes.

You will learn the key practical elements from relevant disciplines including public relations, community engagement, communications, market research and deliberative democracy that are central to successful policy development.

The training will draw on the wealth of experience that democracyCo has built in running large scale and leading deliberative processes … exploring through detailed analysis of key case studies – what works and what doesn’t … and why.

You will learn how to use these elements flexibly depending on your issue, budget, community and stakeholders involved and the objectives of government.

On completion of this training, you will:

  1. Be able to articulate the challenges facing policy development and communications in the public service
  2. Have considered an alternative policy development process/ approach
  3. Be able to assess the circumstances when it is appropriate to raise the citizens voice
  4. Be able to explain the vital elements for creating a meaningful interaction between government and the community and better appreciate the implications of having poor /non-meaningful interactions with the community
  5. Be aware of and understand a diversity of different methodologies for involving citizens and stakeholders to address the policy issues currently facing their agency and or the government more broadly
Apart from increased knowledge and understanding, participants will also leave with:
  • The structure of a plan to Raise the Citizens’ voice.
  • A number of key elements of this plan completed or at least well advanced for a project relevant to the participant and/or their agency.
  • A range of tools to assist them in their work.
“Excellent – very insightful and engaging thank you.”
Participant, RCV training ACT


If you are an Australian or New Zealand Public Servant, you can now access this program exclusively through our collaboration with ANZSOG. 

For all other interested people (who are not government in Australia or Overseas), please feel free to make contact. 

Who should attend this training?

This training can be run for Government agencies, not-for-profit organisations and corporate teams. It is suited to senior policy and communications staff including Managers / Executives leading policy and communications/engagement teams.

The training will also provide useful strategic insights for political advisors wanting to find a new and more effective ways of hearing from the mainstream Australian community.

More about your Trainers

Emily Jenke

Emily Jenke is one of Australia’s most skilled engagement practitioners and an extremely accomplished and talented facilitator of nearly 20 years. Emily is highly regarded by her clients and peers and has previously run a thriving business in SA in this field. Emily also offers networks across Australian and internationally. She is highly regarded as a specialist in deliberative practice; a reputation supported by her performance and us run all of the Better Together (community engagement) training products for Department of Premier and Cabinet in recent years.

Emma Fletcher

Emma Fletcher is a policy and community engagement expert. Between 2010-2014 Emma headed-up the South Australian Government’s centre for community engagement– the Participation and Partnerships team in Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Under Emma’s leadership the team was recognised by the United Nations, receiving a second placing in the category “Fostering participation in policy making through innovative mechanisms”. 

Her team also received an award from IAP2 International for best practice community engagement and a commendation from the Future Gov 2.0 awards for leading use of social media.
She led the development of a policy called “Better Together” which acts as a guide for public servants in the State government on how to effectively and successfully engage the community. Emma was a political adviser to the State Government in SA between 2005 and 2007. 

She also worked for the Upper House of Parliament in NSW running parliamentary inquiries, in the United Kingdom for the National Health Service and headed up a policy team within Cabinet Office negotiating agreements with the Federal Government in the areas of education, training, housing and Aboriginal affairs.

Testimonials from our previous training

She [Emily] engages you in such a way that makes you want to use the tools she’s talking about. And watching how she does it you also learn, she’s modelling how to do the engagement when doing the teaching.

Better Together Training
I found this training incredibly positive, I loved doing the workshops. I would really like to see it embedded up and down government.
Better Together Training
I came out of this range of courses thinking I’ve had the benefit of some extraordinary knowledge, and the opportunity to witness someone like Emily who’s amazing as a facilitator.
Better Together Training
It’s definitely good training for me personally. My role is all about planning and strategy advice and getting in early in planning phase. So this was really relevant.
Better Together Training

Want to know more?

Core elements involved in the RCV training

The training will cover the following:

  • Delve deeply into the challenge facing governments in addressing issues of polarisation and accessing the mainstream ‘middle’.
  • Explore the solutions to the polarisation problem, and what this practically means for policy and communications professionals in the public service.
  • Explore the essential elements that need to be incorporated into policy development and communications plans, specifically:

The training will draw on substantial academic research about the problems government face and the implications for the policy cycle. 

democracyCo will also use case studies from their own experiences and where available, case studies and research undertaken into engagement processes run by other organisations.

This training teaches a range of engagement techniques but draws heavily on the core elements of deliberative democratic practice in a way which enables flexible utilisation to meet government objectives.

The training is practical, enabling participants to explore real world policy challenges they are experiencing in their day to day work and to leave with the ‘bones’ of a plan for working with their communities and stakeholders.

Contact us to discuss ‘Raising the Citizens’ Voice’ and other training that we offer

Get Involved.

Are you interested in how our democracy works? And want to help be part of making it work better? Register to be part of our Deliberative Army, all committed to working with government to develop public policy.

democracyCo’s work is undertaken on the lands of Australia’s First Nations People.

For millennia, you as the ancestors have been guardians of this Country and we deeply respect and acknowledge Elders past, present and emerging.

As we collaborate together, democracyCo will look to Australia’s First Nations people, the world’s oldest living culture, for guidance that will help sustain our connection to Country and inform the work that we do to bring people together.

Our work is in service to Reconciliation and to moving forward together.

We acknowledge that we have much work to do.

“The real life experiences used and with such honesty are really valuable and help relate to our own projects.”
Participant, RCV training ACT
“The real life experiences used and with such honesty are really valuable and help relate to our own projects.”
Participant, RCV training ACT
“The real life experiences used and with such honesty are really valuable and help relate to our own projects.”
Participant, RCV training ACT