Creating a new Community Vision for Baw Baw Shire

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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.

Council invites you to contribute to developing the Community Vision via the following opportunities:

  1. Community Survey - Online survey available to the entire Baw Baw community
  2. Focus Groups - Smaller group discussions to explore specific perspectives
  3. Community Panel - A 40 member panel of community members who will consider insights collected from the focus groups and Community Survey in order to develop a Community Vision for Baw Baw Shire.

Please get involved if you want to contribute on topics such as: 

  • What are your long-term goals and priorities for Baw Baw Shire?
  • What would you like to stay the same and what would you like to change?
  • What does Baw Baw Shire need to prioritise to achieve this vision?

Click below to find out more.

Focus Groups

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. 

The eight focus groups will be made up of community members that represent:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community representatives
  • Baw Baw Shire Councillors
  • Community organisations and agency representatives
  • Local business owners and industry representatives
  • Local environmental groups and organisations
  • New Baw Baw Shire residents, (people who have moved here in the past five years)
  • Rural and remote Baw Baw community members
  • Young people


Register to have your say and be a part of the Focus Groups here. Registrations are open from 17 February until 2 March 2021


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

Focus Group meeting schedule

Focus Group places are limited to 10 participants. If following registration you are selected to participate in one of the online Focus Groups, in early March you will be provided with an invitation to the online meeting.

 Focus Group Meeting Date  Meeting Time
Local business owners and industry representatives  Monday 22 March 6:30-7:30pm 
Baw Baw Shire Councillors  Wednesday 24 March  3:00-4:00pm 

Local environment groups and organisations

Wednesday 24 March  6:30-7:30pm 
Community groups and agency representatives Thursday 25 March  6:30-7:30pm 
New Baw Baw Shire residents (people who have moved here in the past five years) Monday 29 March  6:30-7:30pm 
Young people Tuesday 30 March  5:30-6:30pm  

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community 

Date to be finalised  Time to be finalised 
Rural and remote Baw Baw community members Wednesday 31 March 6:30-7:30pm


Insights from the Focus Group sessions will be 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.

Join our Community Panel

Expression of interest registrations for the community panel will be open from 1 - 24 March 2021.


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

Take the Community Survey

The online survey will be available between 1 March and 2 April.

The Community Survey is open to the entire Baw Baw community, if you miss out on the opportunity of participating in the Focus Groups and Community Panel, this is your opportunity to contribute to the Baw Baw Shire Community Vision.

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?

Successful candidates will be contacted regarding the next steps of being involved with the Focus Groups and Community Panel. 

If you are not contacted and would still like to contribute to the Baw Baw Shire Community Vision, please complete the online Community Survey, which will be conducted in March.

The Community Panel will consider information provided from the Focus Groups and Community Survey to develop a draft Baw Baw Shire Community Vision from April to June.

Following this stage of consultation, a Draft Community Vision released for public exhibition in July.

The Community Vision will be used to develop the Draft Council Plan and Draft Finance Plan, in July and August. These documents will be put on public exhibition in September.

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.