Joanne has a private practice as a clinical social worker in Mudgee – a small rural town in Western NSW. But the focus of my interview is her community development work- particularly in the northern rivers region of NSW and her related research around the practice of democracy.
Joanne’s hope for democracy is
- that it will evolve to become more direct, rather than mediated by politicians,
- that it will be more inclusive of people from all backgrounds,
- that it will be more thoughtful and deliberative,
- and that it will never lose sight of our dreams of a better future.
She developed a process and a methodology called Polivote to collect the views of residents in her local government area and feed them back to her local Council, and she conducted some research into the efforts of like minded organisations in Australia and New Zealand.
The resulting work is available on the web, and I will post a link here shortly.
Her research details the efforts of 24 NGO’s working to improve citizen participation in government decision making.