Capire worked with Council to facilitate a Community Reference Group that built on the community’s sentiments around environmental sustainability.


Sustainable Hepburn



The Sustainable Hepburn project was built on community sentiments gathered during the Hepburn Together consultation process (2020-21) where environmental sustainability was the top priority.

Hepburn Shire Council set out on a mission to have a deeper conversation about sustainability with their broad community through an online survey and a series of pop-up events.  The results of those conversations were distilled and handed onto a 20-person Community Reference Group (CRG) facilitated by Capire. We built on the community’s sentiments gathered through the broad engagement and dived deeper, exploring, and recommending a set of actions that could deliver on the top priorities outlined by the community.

Capire worked with Council to:

  • analyse the broad engagement findings
  • prepare briefing packs and establish communication channels including a dedicated online communication tool
  • design, deliver and analyse the outputs of three x five-hour deliberative workshops and an initial briefing session
  • develop a report outlining the recommended actions.
  • Client
    Hepburn Shire Council
  • Year Completed
  • Location
    Hepburn Shire and online


Council had dedicated technical working groups each chaired by a Councillor. Capire played a hands-on role as technical experts to support their work. This required careful management and flexibility to respond to the different working styles of Councillors and CRG participants.

Participants were provided with tools to help focus their discussions to refine actions to ensure they were not only ambitious but also practical and achievable within the timeframe. Tools provided included:

  • activity plan templates
  • impact matrix
  • criteria and guidance around SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based).


The CRG reached a diverse audience and not just the loudest voices. The CRG made the following recommendations for consideration by HSC

  • Form an ongoing Sustainable Hepburn CRG to keep building community participation throughout the Shire.
  • Create a Sustainable Hepburn hub and make it easy for the community to connect to it.

Capire prepared a final report which captured overarching objectives and views, followed by the actions that corresponded to each statement; further definition of what the success of each action would look like, what the Council’s role would be in delivering the action, opportunities to involve project partners in the community, and a suggested timeline for when the action could take place.