“I am passionate about involving people affected by decisions in the decision‐making process; to have their voice, ideas and stories heard, and this has been the focus of my 25-year career. I enjoy bringing difference together, including people on the ground and also those making critical policy decisions. The more complex and challenging the dynamics, the more I am attracted to a project or ‘wicked problem”.
Carla Rogers of EVOLVE is one of the most experienced providers of stakeholder and community engagement services including participatory planning, research and evaluation, in Australia. During her career, Carla has developed long-term working relationships with her clients, Governments and local communities characterised by a deep understanding of culture, mutual rapport and respect.
Carla’s boundless energy and curious mind has seeded new approaches to community engagement and making large engagement activities work for a diverse range of people in the business, public and community sectors. She has created Meeting Marketplace™, a unique and highly acclaimed approach to bringing large groups together that enables the inclusion of all interests to produce practical strategies and solutions. Also, the EVOLVE Engaged Community Model which is an innovative and comprehensive community engagement approach.
With these approaches as a foundation, Carla has led projects that have resulted in clients, Governments and communities developing solutions that are supported and sustainable; with many of these projects being recognised for innovation and excellence (see case studies). Carla has been recognised for the quality and originality of her work through for example; a Churchill Fellowship, as well as international, national, state and ministerial Awards for Excellence. Carla’s track record demonstrates that she is a proven agent of change who works to ensure the best possible outcomes for her clients and their stakeholders and communities. Before establishing EVOLVE in 2005, Carla worked in Senior Management positions in State and Local Government. Since its establishment, EVOLVE has worked with hundreds of clients – across all tiers of Government (Federal, State and Local), with community and in all sectors – planning, environment, health, education, policing, finance.
Carla has provided significant leadership in the participatory planning and facilitation professions in Australia and internationally. She was on the board of the International Association of Facilitators for seven years and in this time developed guidelines and workbooks for facilitation and community engagement. She subsequently mentored and coached many facilitators and leaders in acquiring these skills. Carla is also a regular lecturer and presenter at international conferences of the International Association of Facilitators and the International Association of Public Participation and is on the Committee for the NSW Churchill Fellows Association. Carla is a Churchill Fellow and has qualifications in urban and regional planning, coaching, facilitation, community engagement and management.
Carla has had substantial experience in engaging stakeholders to develop sustained and supported solutions and cultural change. She has also developed models and approaches to support such and provided significant leadership, coaching and mentoring to help others in leading their own successful programs. Carla has worked with hundreds of clients – across all tiers of Government (Federal, State and Local), with community and in all sectors – planning, environment, health, education, policing, finance. She has enjoyed working in major cities, regional areas in the remotest communities in Australia. Case studies of projects led by Carla are included here.
Participatory Planning for Aboriginal Communities:
Carla has specialised in working with Aboriginal communities across Australia to assist with community identified and driven solutions. In 2011-12, Carla worked with the Australian Government Department of Social Services (formerly FaHCSIA), on behalf of a range of Queensland and Australian government agencies and the Mt Isa Regional Operations Centre (ROC), to support the remote communities of Mornington Island and Doomadgee to prepare Community Safety Action Plans. Carla lead an EVOLVE team of 12 who employed, trained and coached local Aboriginal community researchers.
In 2010, Carla worked with the Yalata community to develop the Yalata IPA Management Plan including participatory visioning and planning and processes for the community to evaluate and monitor the plan.
This approach and plan have been cited by the Department of Environment as an example of best practice.
Carla has worked for the past 10 years with the Yuin people of the Far South Coast of NSW, supporting, training and coaching the Biamanga and Gulaga Boards of Management (NSW) including the development of a Plan of Management for Gulaga and Biamanga National Parks.
Carla is an education service provider with the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre Ltd (The AILC).
The AILC is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) established in 2001.
Established by Indigenous leaders, the AILC is a not-for-profit company, owned and controlled by Indigenous Australians.
In 2009, Carla worked with the Eurobodalla Shire Council Aboriginal Advisory Committee and local community to develop and Aboriginal Profile and Action Plan to provide Eurobodalla Shire Council with an improved understanding of Aboriginal people leading to increased capacity to communicate and relate with Aboriginal communities and organisations.
Facilitating cultural change and community engagement workshop programs:
Carla has designed, facilitated and led large and complex workshops focussed on engaging communities and stakeholders (both internal and external) for innovation and cultural change.
Clients include the Australian Taxation Office, Australian National Audit Office, Sydney University, Australian Government Department of Education, NSW Hunter Area Health Service, Qld Priority Country Area Program, Planning Institute of Australia, NSW Department of Planning, Parks Victoria, Eurobodalla Shire Council and Palerang Council.
Capacity Building in Community Engagement and supported Cultural Change:
Carla has developed innovative engagement models approaches (Meeting Marketplace and Evolve Engaged Community), and has developed and published workbooks, training programs and a resource kit to support these approaches. Carla has delivered Stakeholder and Community Engagement training and supported cultural change programs to participants from a range of organisations across Australia, with a focus on embedding a culture of community engagement. Over 100 organisations have been represented in Evolve’s community engagement learning and cultural change programs. In addition Carla has supported organisations with implementing community engagement plans. Clients include Victorian Department of Planning and Communities, GHD Australia, Australian Government Department of the Environment, Air Services Australia, Australian Government Department of Social Services, Eurobodalla Shire Council and IWES – University of Queensland .
Special Recognition Award for Public Participation Innovation within a Government Organization (2003). International Association of Public Participation. Awarded for the Community Engagement Program – Myall Lakes Project.
Award of Winston Churchill Fellowship (2002) To research best practice techniques for community engagement, United States and Canada.
“The real story of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust is the story of the Churchill Fellows – now numbering over 3,800 of Australia’s best and brightest. Their projects are totally diverse, are invariably innovative, are the result of extra endeavour and show an aspect of striving for excellence. These are the hallmarks of a Churchill Fellow. What distinguishes these Australians is that they are all invariably talented, they all have the ability to go that little bit extra and they all have a willingness to share the results of their Fellowship with the community upon their return to Australia. They are exceptional people who have made and are continuing to make an important contribution to our society. They are committed people who want to make a real difference”. http://www.churchilltrust.com.au/about/fellows/
Certificate of Merit, National Awards, Planning Achievement (1998), Royal Australian Planning Institute and Award for Planning Excellence, Royal Australian Planning Institute (NSW), 1997
“This is an excellent strategic planning exercise that utilises community involvement in the development of a comprehensive strategy for rural lands at Shellharbour. The project demonstrates that it is possible, with limited resources, to develop an innovative approach which has the support of all stakeholders”. (Citation, National Certificate of Merit for Planning Excellence)
NSW Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, Young Planner of the Year Award, 1997
“Carla’s accomplishment in completing the Rural Strategy is most noted for the innovative and involving way that she shifted the consultation and briefing phase up front in the planning process. Carla allocated considerable extra time to allow for better discussion, collection of ideas, goal setting and teamwork with residents, community representatives and other people interested in preserving the Shellharbour environment”. (Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning Award, 1997, Citation).
University of New England Prize for “Best Graduate in Diploma of Urban and Regional Planning”, 1997 – Exceptional Merit.
Thesis examining community engagement – engaging the disaffected, examining correlation between who participates and socio-economic, ethnicity and education data.
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AND CONFERENCE PAPERS
- Evolve’s Newsletters and Practice Tips (2005-2013)
- Evolve Engaged Community Workbook and Action Plan, 2009- 2013
- Evolve Meeting Marketplace Toolkit, 2006 – 2013
- Rogers, C. for the NSW NPWS (2013) Yuin Mountain Parks Draft Plan of Management
- Rogers, C. for the NSW NPWS (2011) Far South Coast Escarpment Parks Plan of Management
- Rogers, C. EVOLVE (2011) for Yalata Council. Yalata Healthy Country Plan Package, http://www.environment.gov.au/indigenous/ipa/toolkit/pubs/meri-yalata.pdf
- Rogers, C. (2010) Exploring the connection between healthy parks, people and engagement through a Meeting Marketplace (2010), Healthy Parks and Healthy People, International Congress, Melbourne, 2010
- Rogers, C. Evolve (2009), Aboriginal Profile and Action Plan, Eurobodalla Shire Council
- Evolve’s Leading Lights Program (2006-2011) A series of online workshops with up to 200 participants from around the Globe interviewing international authors and leaders in the facilitation. Community engagement and coaching professions (supported by comprehensive workbooks).
- The MeetingMarketplace: A Village of Meetings (2007 – 2012) An interactive workshop presented to the Australasia Facilitators Network and International Association of Public Particiation, Adelaide, Perth, Fremantle, Sydney, Bathurst, Hobart.
- Innovative and Imaginative ways to facilitate Large Meetings (2007) An interactive workshop presented to the International Association of Facilitators, Malaysia, 2006.
- Rogers, C. and Hendricks, A. 2005. Dealing with Mountains of Input: Some Answers. For presentation to the United Nations Conference on Engaging Communities, Brisbane, 2005.
- Rogers, C. 2005 The Values of Engagement. For presentation to the United Nations Conference on Engaging Communities, Brisbane, 2005.
- Rogers, C. The Marketplace: A New Approach to Engaging Communities. For presentation to the International Association of Public Participation Conference, Sydney, 2005.
- Rogers, C. and Hart, P. 2004 Community Engagement – Making Sense of Mountains of Input. A workshop conducted for the IAP2, Australia.
- Rogers, C. 2004 Facilitating Community Engagement. A workshop presented at the International Association of Facilitators Conference. Phoenix, Arizona.
- Rogers, C. 2004. Community Engagement: Achieving the Core Values of IAP2. Interact, Quarterly Publication of the International Association of Public Participation.
- Rogers, C. 2003 Successful approaches by government land management agencies to involve the community in protected area planning and management. A Winston Churchill Fellowship report on a study trip undertaken to the United States and Canada in 2002.
- Rogers, C. 2003 A Journey into Parks, Plans and People. An article for the National Parks Journal, NSW.
- Rogers, C., 2002. Public Participation – Sharing Cups of Tea For presentation to IAP2 Australasian Conference, Sydney, 24 October 2002.
- Rogers, C., 2002. A Journey into Participation, Are There Better Ways? For presentation to IAP2 Australasian Conference, Sydney, 23 October 2002.
- Rogers, C., 2002. Community Participation, True Tales from Down Under Presentation to IAP2 International Conference, Salt Lake City, 5 – 8 May 2002.
- Rogers, C. 2002. Myall Lakes National Park, draft Plan of Management. Prepared for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service).
- Rogers, C., McIntosh, A. & Cooper, C. 2001. Effective Community Consultation – Can it be achieved? Presentation to RAPI – National Planning Congress, 28 – 31 October 2001
- Rogers, C. & McIntosh ,A., 1998, Wingham Development Strategy: A Strategy for a Changing Environment, Greater Taree City Council.
- Rogers, C., & Cuming, P., 1997, Shellharbour Rural Lands Strategy, Shellharbour City Council
- Rogers, C., 1997, The Changing Agenda for Rural Planning. A paper presented at the Royal Australian Planing Institute Conference, Armidale, 1997
- Rogers, C., 1996, ‘Community Consultation and Planning Approvals’. A Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment for the Postgraduate Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning.
- Diploma in Management (University of Western Sydney), 2000., Public Sector Management Course
- Diploma Urban and Regional Planning, 1997, Pass with Exceptional Merit, University of New England Armidale.
- Bachelor of Arts – Extended Geography Major, 1991, Distinction Average, University of New England, Armidale.
- International Association for Public Participation Australasia (IAP2) 2001 – the preeminent international organisation advancing the practice of public participation.
- International Association of Facilitators, Lifemember since 2002 A formal association was formed in January, 1994. Since then the IAF has grown to. over 1200 members in more than 63 countries.
- Australian Institute of Learning Professionals, 2009- , The Institute for Learning Professionals is a leading professional body for learning and development professionals in Australia.
- Churchill Fellows Association – “Churchill Fellows – now numbering over 3,800 of Australia’s best and brightest. Their projects are totally diverse, are invariably innovative, are the result of extra endeavour and show an aspect of striving for excellence. These are the hallmarks of a Churchill Fellow”. http://www.churchilltrust.com.au/about/fellows