Hopevale Workshop Design

Our purpose in Hopevale

From our previsit prganisation, we knew we wanted to investigate how the Men's group and the well-being group  had been involved in environmental projects recently. We knew these groups were undertaking some important environmental projects and at the same time positively influencing the lives of many people in Hopevale. We knew that the strong leaders of these groups  had much to share with us. In particular, we knew that they had invested time and other resources into supporting the development of young people, particularly those at risk.

We wanted to know how the programs of the Hopevale community groups were influencing the cultural, social and spiritual development of young people while also improving their health and well being.


Visit with council

We had beeninvited to meet council members on thir land north east of Hopevale. We had very wet weather and could not go out with the council to share ideas and aspirations. We did however meet in the community instead, to uncover the key ideas driving local development. We found that "entrepreneurial spirit and development of business potential within an environmental framework" needs to influence future initiatives, according to Mayor, Greg Maclean.This notion combined with a determination to develop leadership in young people, shaped our meetings with the community. Thanks to Mayor Mclean for giving us free access to the community to talk with people.


Community WorkshopRock Art Melsonby Station

We hosted a workshop to uncover what people had been doing on country and how they wanted families and young people to be involved in sea country activities in the future.

We used the following four activities to generate information:

Introduction to Ernie Grant's Framework for Indigenous learning.

Introduction circle to unpack connections between people, their families and their country.

Round Robin Brainstorming to enable everyone to respond to questions about what their learning was like when they were ten and what they wanted their children to experience.

Another round robin to question what participants wanted young people to know and do on country. This also brought the main issues about managing Sea Country in Hopevale, to the surface.

Lilly pad activity asking people to choose between the most important issues from the GBRMPA Priority for Action list:Melsonby Art

Connection to Sea Country

Threatened Species Management

Climate Change

Waste Management

Catchments and Water Quality.


Description of the Lilly Pad Strategy

Five paper lilly pads with issues printed on them are put on the floor. There is also an "undecided" lilly pad placed on the floor.

After a brief 1-2 sentence explanation of each issue, participants are asked to stand on/near a lilly pad.

People can be undecided if they wish.

If a few people arrive at a lilly pad together, they need to discuss what the key reasons for their choices are and decide on arguments which might persuade other participants to move to group's lilly pad. Individuals think of their arguments too.

People are asked to give arguments about why others should change lilly pads. People move if they wish, especially undecided people.

The discussion which results is often very deep and certainly brings out priorities.


Project ideas5W and a H

People with project ideas were invited to lead the workshop to share their idea and create support. In a fishbowl where the leader facilitated a conversation and everyone else listened and learned, they were then interviewed using a 5W and a H activity, recording ideas on butchers papers to plan out their activity or event. Often using questions under the following order helps unpack the activity and reinforce why the activity is important for them: who, what, when, where, how and why.

Groups were followed through the next day to clarify ideas and develop further conversations about the projects, their organisation, partnerships, resourcing and benefits.