Max Hardy Consultancy

Welcome to my e-newsletter

It’s been over one year since my last e-newsletter, an indication of how busy I’ve been. Too busy. I am not proud of the ‘busyness’, in fact I am doing something about it. If you want to know more check out this blog! Fracturing my ankle has also helped me to slow down somewhat ….



What happened in in 2016?

It was a year for designing and facilitating numerous deliberative community engagement processes. Once again citizens, who were carefully recruited by Nivek Thompson of Deliberately Engaging, impressively rose to the occasion. Here are links and photos of some of the projects/processes.

Making Sturt and Mair Streets in Ballarat safer, more vibrant and more connected – Community Advisory Group (VicRoads, co-facilitated with Jacinta Cubis)

 Figure 1 - Listening to evidence from local police


Figure 2 - One of the cross-sections considered by CAG (Cross section by TRACT)

Pricing Submission for Water Services – Customer Forum (North East Water – co-facilitated with Jacinta Cubis)

A series of 5 sessions over four weeks for randomly selected customers to provide advice to North East Water on the services they value and their willingness to pay for them.

Figure 3 - Opening word cloud using Poll Everywhere

Figure 4 - View from the mezzanine level - great venue at Wodonga


Identifying preferred wastewater and water supply options for the 12 Apostles – Community Panel (Wannon Water and Parks Victoria – working alongside GHD) The panel, who responded to an invitation to all households in Port Campbell, met for two days, one week apart, to review the work undertaken to that point, and make recommendations to Parks Victoria and Wannon Water.

Figure 5 - A view not far from the tourist centre for the 12 Apostles


Planning the future of Elsternwick Park – Deliberative Panel (Bayside City Council – working alongside Village Well)

The Deliberative Panel was the final stage of a broader community engagement process to inform a Masterplan for the future of Elsternwick Park. The panel was recruited through random selection, complemented by 5 participants who represented specific interests.

Figure 6 - Day 2 of the Deliberative Panel, held at Bayside City Council chambers 


Victorian Infrastructure priorities for the next 30 years, Citizens’ Jury- (Working alongside Cath Botta, for Nation Partners to facilitate process designed by newDemocracy for Infrastructure Victoria) – Check out a video on the Regional jury that Cath Botta and I co-facilitated; Bruce Turner and Danielle Annells co-facilitated the metropolitan jury.

Two citizen juries - one metropolitan and one regional - of approximately 43 people each brought together a representative, random sample of Victorians to consider the question: What should we do to meet Victoria’s infrastructure needs?

Figure 7 - Day 2 of the Regional Jury, held at Shepparton

Figure 8 - Jurors reviewing and editing the final report, on day 5.

Latrobe Valley Air Monitoring Co-design process – (EPA, Victoria)

30 residents were recruited through random selection, invitation and expressions of interest and worked solidly over three evening to determine how air quality would be monitored for the next three years.  The panel were supported by scientists and arrived at consensus. The EPA agreed to implement whatever they determined within certain parameters.

Figure 9 - The co-design process map

Figure 10 - Interacting with scientists on day 3

Figure 11 - Codesigning an option for the air monitoring system

Other processes facilitated have included

• VicRoads ‘Streamlining Hoddle St’ project,

• Innovation in the public sector, working with Peer Academy for the Department Premier and Cabinet

• Alpine Resorts Governance Reform project for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

• Community, Health and Well-being Plan, Whitehorse City Council (with Michelle Weston)

• Integrated Council Plan, City of Port Phillip (with Michelle Weston and Amanda Newbery, Articulous) and

• School Planning Appreciative Inquiry Summit, Cornish College.


Figure 12 - One of the stakeholder sessions for Streamlining Hoddle St

Figure 13 - Appreciative Inquiry Summit, Cornish College


Delivering training

With all the project work I haven’t spent as much time delivering training. I once again joined up with Micaela Drieberg, 3 Hills Consulting, to deliver a one day course on communications and community engagement, and this time we were joined by Kathy Jones, of KJA.


It was a thrill also to deliver training as an associate of Collaboration for Impact, which included Engage for Impact courses, co-delivered with Danielle Annells and Jennifer Chaplyn, and Community Engagement Masterclasses co-delivered with Liz Weaver, Tamarack Institute and Kevin Robbie, United Way.


Other engagement courses have been delivered for Latrobe City Council, Nillumbik Council, Access Health, EACH, and Blue Mountains City Council.

Figure 14 - Liz Weaver in action at the C4I Melbourne Masterclass.


IAP2 half-day seminar

Do you have an hour or two to spare? If you, you might like to check out the pre-conference half day session I presented/facilitated for IAP2 in Adelaide. The subject, Citizens’ Juries – how to do them? When to do them? When not to do them?

Figure 15 - Speaking at IAP2 session on citizens' juries


So what’s next?

I’ve working on a major planning project with Anna Kelderman, of Shape Urban, for the City of Vincent (near Perth, Western Australia). It will involve broad engagement and deliberative panels to help provide direction for long term planning of the city. Early stages – very exciting!

I’m also working with VicRoads on a co-design process for one of Melbourne’s very interesting roads. Too early to say where. Lots of varied interests, but a shared appetite for doing something very special.

In May will be heading north to deliver courses in collaboration for the Central Queensland, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network.

I will be working as an Associate of Collaboration for Impact to offer more courses, and a major event is being planning for Canberra in July. Lots of promotion to come for that over coming months!

Gilbert Rochecouste and I are plotting something interesting around transformational placemaking and community engagement, offering initially through the Municipal Association Victoria (MAV). We then plan to offer this course to cities across Australia. Very exciting and lots to learn working with this vibrant human being!


New courses

I am now offering some new courses, which can be delivered in-house, or as public courses. The Co-design and Community Engagement Course will be the first public course, being offered in June. The other ones will follow. Here is a list – all one day courses in length.

• Codesign and community engagement

• Placemaking & the Art of Authentic Engagement (with Gilbert Rochecouste)

• Deliberative processes for community engagement

• New tools/approaches to community engagement (with Amanda Newbery)

• Consumer and community engagement in health

• Engage for Impact (through C4I)

In addition to the training I will again be offering mentoring services, which can be packaged with the courses on offer. 


Look out for...


• Liz Weaver and I will soon publish a paper about our insights about collective impact in Canada and Australia.

• Nearly finished a blog about community engagement – and the trends of co-design, deliberation and collective impact.

• Also, look out for the Collective Impact Conference being planning for Canberra in July, as well as events being organised through IAP2 and Engage2Act. 




• Nivek Thompson's Real Democracy Now podcasts

• Interesting blog about a Public Debate Commission established in France

• New Book: The Professionalization of Public Participation

• Blog about how Seattle is dealing with NIMBYism

• An article about the future of Town Hall meetings

• Liz Weaver's blogs (she is writing one each week this year) regarding collective impact




... that is certainly enough for now. Except to say I am very fortunate to have assistance of a virtual assistant. If you need some extra practical, professional support then check out Sam Says (pictured below). Sam is fabulous and helped pull this together for me.

That’s it for now. If you want to find out more on any of my services, just email or phone me on 0418 217 261.

Ciao for now,



Max Hardy

0418 217 261