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People standing in front of large paper with graphic harvest (drawings) from community chat about inclusive communities

Stage 1 Findings 

In stage 1 of the project we asked community members what makes their communities inclusive, what doesn't and ideas and solutions.

Due to the impacts of Covid and the community focused work, this stage occurred over 2020-2021.

The information below is what we have learnt so far.

Stage 1 Approach and People


Clarence and Greater Hobart, Tasmania

Local Coordinating group:

Clarence City Council, Disability Voices Tasmania, Mission Australian PITC, THS-Health Promotion and Young Leaders of Tasmania.


Gympie Region, Queesnland

Local advisory group:

Gympie Regional Council and Members of Gympie Community. Support by QDN.


  • Surveys

  • 1:1 Chats

  • Creative Community Chats

Who got involved

103 People from 12 years and up shared their ideas, thoughts and experiences.

Diversity of ages, backgrounds, roles and professions.

  • Many identified as a person with disability, mental health needs, or chronic illness. 

  • Some had an experience as career or parents.

Photograph of equipment and resources used during community chats – visual cards, voice recorder, pens.

Stage 1 Learnings

Click on the icons below to learn what we have found in Stage 1 of the project.

Cartoon image of papers.

Download the report

Use the button below to download the Stage 1 Findings report.

Stage 1 Findings Report
What makes a community inclusive

What makes communities inclusive?

Hand drawn picture of three diverse stick figures standing together.

I feel like it's all about everyone being able to equally engage in the environment in the community.  For people with disabilities there is a lot of restraint and they can't engage as much as other people.  It's also like equality is not enough, it should be equity so everyone has what they need to be able to engage in that community.  Because I feel like a community is about people and engagement, but also being able to access and work around a community. 

Young person participant

Hand written list of thing that make a community inclusive, including 'accessible, nature, events, joy', etc.
Participant drawing from community chat with various people smiling and text, 'When all people accepted'.

Preliminary Reflections

Connected Elements that make communities inclusive

  • Valuing and embracing our diversity and difference

  • Strong connections to people, place, nature 

  • Offer real choices and opportunities for all, with meaning and purpose

  • All voices matter

  • People are at the centre of urban-community planning and included from the start

  • Our neighbourhoods are all-encompassing -accessible, sustainable, supportive 

  • Foster Understanding and Respect

  • Engender places to have fun, relax, play, be creative

  • Reliable, available, affordable, accessible Transport and Housing

  • Local spaces for recreation, leisure and making connections – beaches, parklands, nature trails, walking areas, hubs for arts. 

  • Access to health and social services & activities

What stops a communitiesbeing inclusve

What stops communities being inclusive?

Hand drawn image of two people standing together.
Hand drawn pictures  of 'barriers' to an inclusive community, including, mental health challenges, knowing how to get support, access.
Hand drawn pictures  of 'barriers' to an inclusive community, including, transport, limited frame of reference for policy and decisions, inclusion morphs into accessibility, etc.
Hand drawn pictures  of 'barriers' to an inclusive community, including, access, not included in consultation, accessibility in planning, etc.


Lonely was one that I picked because even in busy communities like X, there’s still a lot of lonely people...

Prejudice and Slurs

Changing that culture from a young age I feel like really can help with the way it will remove this prominent element of prejudice that we see a lot from the boys at school.  I don’t really see many girls using slurs or anything like that...

Lack of Affordable Housing

Yeah, and I think that we need to do more of that.  We need to stop just building big broad acre environments and stop banging on about, you know, affordable housing, it really shits me.  Oh, we’re going to build affordable housing.  I don’t see that.  I don’t feel it.  I don’t feel that integration.

Ideas and solutions

Ideas and Solutions

Hand drawn picture of people talking with text above reading 'Community Chat'.
Graphic harvest from community chat showing barriers and suggestions for inclusive communities.
Graphic harvest from community chat showing barriers and suggestions for inclusive communities.
  • People Centred – All People

  • Purposeful planning of communities

  • Design goes beyond minimal

  • Policy and strategies that work and enacted

  • Challenge the (-ve) perceptions – education

  • Engage and communicate multiple ways – from the start

  • Change is possible – willingness, build capacity, cases

  • Leadership – flexible, diverse, need actions

Education - Start Early

I also feel like within communities there needs to be a broader and a greater understanding for what people are going through.  So I feel like education is really important.  Being able to educate people to create that understanding for not just people living with a disability, but people living, like you said, with mental illness and other chronic diseases.  I feel like understanding and education is really important.  You can't grow any sort of respect or understanding without being educated and informed.

Young person participant

Graphic resource used at community chat, text reads ‘ able to make decisions’ and ‘ able to change’.

Education - Start Early

Participant drawing from community chat showing an inclusive community with leadership, events and politicians setting an example.
The Plan Forward

The Plan Forward

Hand drawn picture of two peices of paper with planning on them.

With advocacy & awareness raising throughout...


Now:  We are gathering experiences of planning for access and inclusion with Planners and Built Environment practitioners across Australia – to identify the tensions that exist, as well as examples of good practice.

Next Year

More deliberative sessions on specific ideas and strategies– to develop details strategies  - inc.  processes and points of intervention – for policy/practice/education.

Goal at the End

Grassroots applied framework of practice for planning more inclusively

Photos from Stage 1

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