Tag Archives: survey

No Jargon, Plain English! – An inexpensive solution for Monash Council

Council information jargon
Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Have you seen this article?

Monash Council needs gun communications expert to decipher planning jargon into ‘plain English’. Monash Leader Mayor Paul Klisaris says Monash Council might have “lost some people’s interest” with jargon in the first mail-out.  – Source: Monash Council needs gun communications expert to decipher planning jargon into ‘plain English’ 

Perhaps Monash council should have joined the ‘Drop the Jargon’ day and pledged to use plain language! This day was for professionals, health services and local governments to challenge themselves to use plain language.  www.dropthejargon.org.au  

Monash council needs to understand what community consultation and engagement is, as if they did they would have asked the community if a communications expert is needed or the best option to help the community understand information or plans provided to them.

This is what I propose!

Why waste funds on hiring a communications expert when there is a simple way to communicate information to the community?

The best way to provide information to the community is to implement or commence a Community Information Reference Group. Community members can join to review information, including budget and proposed planning documents to ensure that fact sheets are written in plain English and cater to all consumers or community members. This way the community will understand the information provided to them and can have a say. The council can follow examples from health/community services which already provide information, that is accessible and easy to understand and reviewed by community members as part of the Standard 2: Partnering with Consumers. 

A great example is what Link Health and Community has introduced. Their publications or information are reviewed and approved by consumer members. They also have a vital role in producing their quarterly magazine to ensure that it is in a format that is suitable for community members.  

Other Councils such as Mitchell Shire Council have prepared plans in consultation with the community and developed in a format to communicate to community in a clear way. Link: Wallan Structure Plan, Mitchell Shire Council

Review Council Information
Image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This option would be more cost effective as well as Council consulting and engaging with the community. Hiring a communications expert would only assist short time and will not cater to the changing diversity and demographics of the community. Community members are the experts! They are the ones that will read the information provided to them!

Council could commence a long term transparent Information Reference or Working Group and consider these points:

  • Diverse community members should have input in reviewing information or plans to ensure all are catered for
  • Run informal meetings monthly or what members prefer to review items and ensure there are no barriers for members of the group to attend and participate
  • Members to have input on the planning and delivery of information to the public
  • A community engagement officer to facilitate the meetings and take notes or record of discussions, but members should have authority over the decision making
  • Councillors should be invited to the group to listen and seek advice, not as members of the group, as this will ensure community members will have unbiased feedback and authority over discussions and decisions
  • Members to decide on guidelines that are suitable for the committee and reviewing information

Info standing man EM&U Stuart MilesLinks to more info:

Example of a plain English guide

Victorian Government Accessible Communication Guidelines

Communicating data with Colour: a guide to producing accessible maps and visual data

Communicate Clearly – A Guide to Plain English

The challenges of communicating the law to the public

Accessible Communication Guides – Whitehorse Council

Darebin’s Inclusive Communications Charter

Wyndham Cruiser – Wyndham Council


Upcoming Events

Have you ever noticed the ‘UPCOMING EVENTS’ Section in the right hand column of the screen?  You may need scroll down if you need to to find it.

We try to keep this calendar up to date with meetings of interest to EM&U followers.  If your group is having a meeting about an issue needing community support we may add it to our calendar.  Send details to EMonashU@gmail.com.

Community members at Council meetings adds to the drive for more accountability.  Grab your coat and be part of the push for better local governance.


  • WEADD Awareness Day – STOP Elder Abuse – wear purple to show support
  • Monash Council Committee Meeting to hear submission regarding the Budget, Tuesday 16 June 7.30 pm Monash City Council 293 Springvale Road Glen Waverley
  • Monash Proposed Sustainability Strategy forum Thursday 18 June 7.30 pm Alvie Hall, Mount Waverley (cnr High Street Road and Alvie Road)
More high rise buildings are expected to appear on the Monash skyline. View from Norton's Park 2015
More high rise buildings are expected to appear on the Monash skyline. View from Norton’s Park 2015

We want your suggestions! EM&U Blog/Site Feedback Survey

We want your suggestions! EM&U Blog/Site Feedback Survey

EM&U survey image

EM&U would like to update the blog/site. What information or topics would you like to see on this site? If you have any suggestions we would love to hear from or you can complete the short feedback survey by clicking on survey image provided.

Please click to complete the survey
Please click to complete the survey

MONASH COUNCIL – Listening posts or Sticky posts?

‘Sign in the Garden’ post image courtesy of artur84/FreeDigitalPhotos.net ‘Very busy man’ sticky notes image courtesy of jesadaphorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey 2014 revealed that Monash Council needed to improve in community Consultation & Engagement and Communication. Due to this, the council has decided to hold ‘listening posts’ in different areas for the community to have an opportunity to raise issues or provide feedback. For those of you who do not know what ‘listening posts’ are, it means Council staff members will attend different areas where the community will be able to approach them and raise any concerns they have.

There will be a ‘listening post’ on Sunday 20 July 8am – 1pm at Mulgrave Farmers Market. This is your chance to inform the Councillors or council staff members of any concerns you have. Don’t forget to bring your ‘sticky notes’!

Other Listening Posts will be held:

Thursday 31 July, 3.30 – 6.30 pm
The Glen level 2

Saturday 2 August, 10.30 – 12.30 am
Holmesglen Reserve Ashwood

Saturday 23 August, 10.30am  – 12.30pm
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

Wear your EM&U name badge to the Listening Posts to help spread the news about our group.  If you do not have one email EMonashU@gmail.com.

If you really want them to listen you can try this!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigtialPhotos.net
               Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigtialPhotos.net

Do you think it will be ‘listening posts’ or ‘sticky posts’?  Come along and see for yourself!


How do you see Glen Waverley in the future?

Monash Council has released a draft Structure Plan and draft Transport Plan for Glen Waverley.  The community is now being asked for feedback on the plan.  The closing date for feedback is 10 June 2014.

Don’t let this opportunity to have a say be lost.   There are two Information Sessions at the Monash Civic Centre (293 Springvale Road) you may attend to find out more:

  • Wednesday 28 May, between 5pm and 8pm*
  • Thursday 29 May, between 5pm-8pm
What do you think should happen to Central Car Park?
What do you think should happen to Central Car Park? Should it be bordered by 6 storey buildings?
Do you want buildings 8 stories high where the Mountain View now stands. Golden Arches now sits on the Holland's gold mine site - do you want 6 story buildings there in the future?
Do you want buildings 8 storeys high where the Mountain View now stands (left of picture)?
Golden Arches now sits on the former Holland’s gold mine site – do you want 6 storey buildings there in the future?
Are you worried about the effect of development on our indigenous flora and fauna?
Are you worried about the effect of development on our indigenous flora and fauna?

 Read the Future of Glen Waverley Plan carefully.

Express your views!

For more information and online access to the Future of Glen Waverley Survey go to:  http://www.monash.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay/glen-waverley-plans/index.htm

*Don’t forget the EM&U meeting starts at 7.30 pm allow time to get to the Information Session before the meeting!

Redo your nature strip before selling your house? Give your feedback.

Monash Council has put forward draft guidelines on the planting of nature strips – perhaps YOU should influence the guidelines by completing the Council’s online survey and / or attending an information session on 30 April or 5 May.

2014-04-23 14.18.48

The proposed Guidelines include:

  • responsibilities for care of nature strips
  • requiring a  permit to plant on your nature strip
  • requiring removal of plantings if a buyer prefers grass
  • permissions and restrictions on plants
  • consequences of non compliance

2014-04-23 14.57.43

Copies of the draft Guidelines, details of information sessions and access to the survey are available at:  http://www.monash.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay/naturestrip-planting-guidelines.htm

Feedback to Council is required by Friday 16 May

2014-04-23 14.27.17

Related post:  https://monashandyou.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/be-involved-its-only-survey-fatigue/


Attention! Waverley Leader article – older citizens worried about internet use?

Do older Australians use the internet? 

waverley leader

There was an article in the Waverley Leader Newspaper stating that citizens are worried about access to computers and knowledge of the internet.  http://leader.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx

Monash Council is asking older residents in the community to complete an on-line survey on how Monash could become more
‘age-friendly’.  However as stated in the article older Australians may not have have the skills to use the internet. “Some of them are fairly old and I would say that the older generations are not very good with computers or the internet,” Mr Lee said. – Glen Waverley Senior Citizens Centre president Albert Lee. 

Do older Australians use the internet and are there barriers to internet use?

A 2011 report from the Productive Ageing Centre revealed that older Australians were less likely to access and use the internet and there were barriers.

http://www.productiveageing.com.au/userfiles/file/Older%20Australians%20and%20the%20Internet%20-%20Low%20res.pdf                                                                                                                                                                                    The project found three key barriers:

1. Lacking knowledge or skills on internet use

2. Confused by the technology

3. Concerned about security and viruses

Some of the other barriers that was identified were ineffective classes, cost and physical difficulties.

If older Australians are less likely to use the internet how can they have a say on community issues? What can be done to change this? What are the community’s view on this issue?

The Monash Aged friendly Survey closes on the 5 May 2014. http://www.monash.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay/age-friendly-monash.htm                                                                                                                                If you prefer a hard copy  posted to you contact Sallenna Moutis  Positive  Ageing  Community Development Officer  on 9518 3585 or
at sallennam@monash.vic.gov.au