What do we mean by Community Engagement?
South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD)’s vision is to position our community at the centre of everything we do by forming genuine partnerships. Community Engagement means working together, connecting, having good quality conversations, listening and supporting each other to action.
By working together we learn to understand each other’s points of view, we share ideas, and we also learn about community aspirations, values, concerns, and solutions.
Why is Community Engagement Important?
The community voice is vital to our decision-making process, as the community’s priorities and values are critical in shaping services and improving health outcomes.
By exchanging ideas, information and sharing stories we are shaping relevant services together. Community engagement allows community members to actively contribute to decisions and actions by creating an inclusive environment where community feedback is embraced, considered and joint actions becomes possible.
How do we engage with the Community?
We go to the community, engaging people where they live, work and play. Our community partnerships approach ensures genuine engagement occurs.
Our staff use a range of community partnership approaches to maximise opportunities for genuine engagement, where we design services together with our diverse community. These include facilitating face to face aspirational based community conversations, which result in community led action empowering individuals to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing and to manage periods of ill health.
The community’s participation is much more than consultation. Their engagement is about problem solving, decision making and service planning. Our community engagement approach is very much about 'working with' rather than 'doing to'.