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    Run a co-design process with your community

    Co-design is a method that local governments may consider using to plan and evaluate prevention initiatives with the local community. It is highly participatory and builds ownership from the start. The advantage of co-design is that it is an effective method for fostering ownership and harnessing a community’s knowledge and strengths to achieve social change.

    Co-design requires local governments to establish partnerships with key stakeholders, including services and service users, and to make decisions jointly that reflect shared values and goals. The co-design process recognises and values the knowledge and skills of  the people for whom services are designed (for example, victim survivors of family violence) and creates programs that work for them.

    Diversity and inclusion

    The co-design process should reflect the unique diversity of each community. This will ensure it develops an inclusive and representative activity. 

    In considering diversity, local governments should examine how and where discrimination and marginalisation contribute to women experiencing higher levels of violence and/or more severe violence. These groups may include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women; women with disabilities; women from migrant and refugee backgrounds; women who live in regional, rural or remote areas; and people who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer (LGBTIQA+).

    Case study

    Mackay Regional Council: Community walk  

    Mackay Regional Council wanted to work with the community to co-design an activity that would raise awareness of domestic and family violence. They arranged a series of consultative meetings with community representatives and the Mackay Integrates Services Team – a coalition of domestic and family violence services in the region, whose role is to identify key challenges and how to address them.

    This resulted in a community walk called ‘Walk a mile in her shoes’ that included a public event involving a walk over the Forgan Bridge in the middle of town during which participants would tie a red rose to the bridge with a purple ribbon. The walk finished in a park, where local domestic and family violence services had set up stalls, and the mayor, police and local women’s service representative made speeches.

    With limited funding to go towards this event, the organising team decided to use existing local government resources. They hosted the event on local government land and used the local government’s audio equipment, as well as the banners used previously for the Mackay Draws the Line campaign. This approach freed up funding to pay an Aboriginal elder to conduct a Welcome to Country and to buy the ribbons and red roses for the walk.

    Next step

    Areas of work to consider

    Supported by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.