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Key definitions for common terms used in the Public Engagement Framework 2021-2025


Accessibility is the ability to access and benefit from a process, system, service or product. If something is accessible, then anyone can directly access or use it, regardless of their ability, location, language, culture, time and resources, or any other differentiating factor that contributes to the diversity of our communities.


The process of working together to solve a problem.


Sharing or exchanging information or ideas, using a range of methods.


A group of people who live in the same geographical area or have a shared background, interest, affiliation or membership.


Seeking feedback or advice on a select topic or project.


A method of engagement process with a select group of participants. The process focuses on a defined issue. It weighs up options and provides recommendations to decision-makers.

Digital public engagement

A way to collect public feedback using digital tools. The tools and techniques used to deliver consultations varies depending on the aims.

Diverse community

The different types of people which make up a community. Diversity includes race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, disability, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.


A logical structure for grouping related outcomes, and a line of sight from an outcome to a vision.

Free, prior and informed consent

This term comes from the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It recognises their rights and makes specific mention of Free, Prior and Informed Consent as a prerequisite for any activity that affects their ancestral lands, territories and natural resources. It is linked to the human right of self-determination.


The practices that allow all people to feel valued and respected. This is irrespective of age, disability, gender, religion, sexual preference or nationality. This is evident when anyone who wishes to can fully participate. This means they can access, understand, and contribute their perspectives and talents to the engagement.

Joined-up government

The public understanding that government is one entity. This approach encourages streamlined engagement, systems and processes for the public. It creates efficiency through shared data, effort and impact for the community.


Articulate what success looks like and reflect our ambition for Victoria. They are clear, unambiguous and high-level statements. They are about the things that matter for people and communities.

Outcome indicators

Specify what needs to change to achieve a desired outcome and set the direction of change. Outcome indicators reflect the key drivers and influences on progress towards an outcome.

Outcome measures

Provide specific detail about what will change and how we know if we are making progress. Outcome measures are the specific way we know or count the size, amount or degree of change achieved.


Two or more people or organisations working in a formalised relationship with a clear sense of purpose. Accountabilities and responsibilities are shared.


Approaches defined by a geographic location. They are collaborative, long-term approaches to build communities.

Priority communities

Reference to priority communities will vary across government to suit department and agency portfolios and areas of responsibilities. It is recommended to use the Everybody Matters: Inclusion and Equity Statement as a guiding document to define priority communities at a whole of government level.


A relationship between key steps, activities, tasks, policies and / or resources.


Individuals who live, work, visit or have an interest in a defined place.

Public engagement

Public engagement is a planned process with a specific purpose. It involves working with individuals and groups to encourage active involvement in decisions that affect them or are of interest to them.


Individuals or organisations, which affect, or can be affected by project decisions. Organisations can include not-for-profit and community-based groups, business and industry, and volunteer networks. They may also include other departments or agencies across federal, state and local government.


The structure, processes and tools that support the delivery of the framework.