Democracy Forum – October 28th – Castlemaine

Three events are taking place in sequence on October 28th in Castlemaine, central Victoria, that will explore opportunities for reclaiming democracy in regional and rural Australia, view a view to encourage community-led collective action and rethinking the best way to achieve truely representative democracy.

RSVP is essential for all three sessions and places are limited.

11am – Learn about the history of Voices for Indi and how they used this community driven model to create a policy platform for the seat of Indi. Where? Continuing Education Building, front entrance. Free, (BYO coffee). Book here:

1.30pm – Community and business leaders are invited to explore and discuss the Voices for Indi Kitchen Table model as an opportunity to supporting collective action in central Victoria. Where? Ray Bradfield Room. Free, afternoon tea provided. Book here:

5pm – Gabrielle Chan in conversation with Cate Kennedy. In Rusted Off, she looks to her own rural community’s main street for answers to the big questions driving voters. Why are we so fed up with politics? Why are formerly rusted-on country voters deserting major parties in greater numbers than their city cousins? Can ordinary people teach us more about the way forward for government? Where? New Northern Art Hotel, 359 Barker St. Book here


Citizen’s Jury and deliberative democracy – case studies

Thanks to everyone who joined in last night for ‘Could a ‘Standing Citizen Chamber’ restore trust and resilience?‘, it was a great conversation led by locals Cathy Wheel and Geoff Turner. The event brief prepared by Cathy Wheel can be found here for those of you who missed in and are interested in an overview of the concept.
Here are some resources for those of you wanting to explore the Citizen’s Jury and other forms of deliberative democracy further in Australia:

Continue reading

How can we do democracy better? Richard Walsh in conversation with Gen Barlow and Cam Walker

On March 21st 2018 Localising Leanganook and Democracy for Dinner hosted interstate guest Richward Walsh and local guests Gen Barlow and Cam Walker to discuss ‘How can we do democracy better?‘ with a focus on local and national reform.

Over 80 people attended the event and many stayed on for lively conversation.

We also asked the audience for their views, and here is what they had to say

What next?

Following on from this event, conversations have continued to explore two ideas raised by our guest speakers:

  • Gen Barlow has suggested we consider the Voices for Indi and Kitchen Table Conversation model to engage our community ‘beyond the usual suspects’
  • Cam Walker suggested that a whole of community vision would enable us to galvanise community efforts around a shared goals.

Nikki Marshal, Cathy Wheel, and Lexi Randall-L’Estrange are moving these ideas forward in collaboration with both groups and other members of the community. If any of these ideas resonate with you please sign up to the Democracy Working Group and also send an email to with information on how you can contribute to making them happen.

Events in other locations

If you would like to hold a similar event in your local area or in Central Victoria, and are seeking collaboration or support, please contact us via

Thank you

Thank you again to Cath and Stewart from People Pictures for all their work on the night and afterwards to bring these videos to us and Iain and the team at newDemocracy Foundation for their small grant.