Creating a new Community Vision for Baw Baw Shire

BBSC_DL Community Vision-1.jpg

You're invited, Baw Baw. Every four years, each incoming Council must work with the community to develop a new Council Plan. This year, in addition to developing a new Council Plan all Victorian Shires must also deliver a Community Vision. 

The Community Vision describes the community’s aspirations for the future (20-30 years) of the Shire. Having a Community Vision is a requirement of the Local Government Act 2020. The Act also outlines that Council’s four-year Council Plan and 10-year Financial Plan must address the Community Vision. This means that the Baw Baw Shire Community Vision will guide development of the Council and Financial Plans.

The development of Baw Baw Shire's Community Vision has so far been informed by:

  1. Community Survey - Over 300 responses were received and have informed the Community Panel discussions.
  2. Focus Groups -Group discussions to explore specific perspectives with 35 participants over seven sessions held in March. The outcomes from the focus groups also informed the Community Panel discussions. 
  3. Community Panel -A 42 member panel has been recruited from over 120 applicants to reflect the age, gender, culture, location, ability and employment status of the Shire. The Panel have currently participated in three virtual sessions and one full day in person session. Additionally, comments posted to Council via social media have been collated to inform the Community Vision; and insight into the future goals of children and youth in Baw Baw shire are being collected

Click below to find out more.

Focus Groups

Registrations for the focus groups are now closed. 

Council has engaged Spark Strategy to support in the development of the Community Vision and creation of the new Council Plan. Council and Spark will be running eight targeted focus group sessions in March 2021, ensuring that the many diverse thoughts and ideas of our community have the opportunity to be heard. 

Insights from the Focus Group sessions were compiled and presented to the Community Panel with the outcomes of the Community Survey in order to develop a Community Vision for Baw Baw Shire. 

Do you have questions about the Focus Groups? Download the Focus Group FAQ fact sheet for answers.(PDF, 46KB)

Community Panel

Registrations for the Community Panel are now closed.

About the Community Panel 

Baw Baw Shire Council would like to bring together a community panel of 40 people from across the shire to contribute to a Community Vision for our future.

The panel will be independently recruited in a random-selection process to ensure there is a diverse cross-section of people involved.

Together, you will discuss the community’s goals and ideas. The panel’s recommendations will be compiled to create a draft Community Vision, which will also influence the Council Plan and 10 year Financial Plan. These documents will be made available to the community for feedback.

How the Community Panel works.

This is a ‘deliberative’ community engagement process, which means the panel will:

  • Discuss the issues, challenges and opportunities in depth
  • Hear what the broader community thinks Baw Baw Shire should be like in the future
  • Consider a wider range of information and hear from expert speakers

Expert independent facilitators from Spark Strategy will support community panel members with different viewpoints to work together respectfully and to reach a shared position on the future of Baw Baw Shire. It will not be an open public meeting format where loud voices can sometimes dominate.

Everyone on the panel will have their chance to be heard.

When will the Community Panel meet?

The panel will meet on five occasions and members are requested to attend all meetings.

  • Workshop 1: Monday 19 April, 7-9pm (online)
  • Workshop 2: Thursday, 22 April, 7-9pm (online)
  • Workshop 3: Tuesday 27 April, 7-9pm (online)
  • Workshop 4: Saturday 1 May, 10–4pm (in person)
  • Workshop 5: Thursday 17 June, 7-9pm (online, optional)

Catering will be provided at the face-to-face meeting and panel members who attend all sessions will receive an honorarium of $350 in recognition of their time and commitment to being part of this process.

Support will be provided to enable all members of the panel to participate. This could include things like Auslan interpreters, wheelchair access and online practice sessions.

Interested in joining the Community Panel? Registrations open 1 March. 

Check back soon to learn how to register your interest in joining the Community Panel.

Younger residents are an important part of this process, to ensure our younger voices are heard, Council is running targeted focus groups for youth and and children. If you are under 18 and want to be involved, please see our Focus Groups section to register.

Please note: Baw Baw Councillors, Council staff and anyone under 18 years old are not eligible to register to be part of the panel.

Selection of the people on the panel will be managed by an independent organisation, Deliberately Engaging Pty Ltd.

Your contact details will not be provided to Council unless you are selected for the panel.

If you have any questions or need assistance to register, please contact Daren McDonald, Deliberately Engaging on 0472 761 324 or email

Community Survey

The Community Survey is now closed. It was open to the entire Baw Baw community until 16 April 2021.

Outcomes of the Community Survey along with insights from the Focus Group sessions will be compiled and presented to the Community Panel in order to develop a Community Vision for Baw Baw Shire.

What happens next?

The information that has been gathered from all sources is now being shaped into a Community Vision by Spark Strategy and the Community Panel. The Draft Community Vision will be released for public exhibition in July - August, allowing the wider community to provide feedback and further refine the presented information and ideas. 

The final Community Vision, Council Plan and Finance Plan will be adopted by Council prior to 31 October 2021, in line with the Local Government Act 2020.

Contact Us

We're here to help! If you have any questions or feedback about the Community Vision please contact our team via email or by calling 1300 229 229.