2 March 2017

Temple Executive Search joins groundbreaking engagement project

Leading corporate affairs executive search firm, Temple Executive Search, is partnering with Melbourne University to shine a spotlight on the community engagement sector as part of the groundbreaking Next Generation Engagement Project.

The Next Generation Engagement Project is a program to identify the key challenges, knowledge and skills gaps in the community engagement sector in Australia and identify a pathway for addressing those gaps so that infrastructure development can progress smoothly in partnership with local communities.

Over the next six months, the University of Melbourne’s School of Government will undertake the largest national consultation of the engagement sector to date at a time of unprecedented infrastructure investment in key Australian markets.

Social license expert, Dr Sara Bice, who is leading the project on behalf of the Melbourne University School of Government, said early and constructive engagement is critical in the lifecycle of infrastructure projects but “we need to demonstrate this with hard data”.

“A solid evidence base will underpin the business case for better engagement practices in infrastructure projects and ultimately deliver better outcomes for communities, business, governments and other stakeholders,” Dr Bice said.

“The Next Generation Engagement Project is an important step in developing that sound evidence base.”

Temple Executive Search Director and co-founder, Rebecca Tabakoff, said Temple joined the project in the interests of both its clients and candidates.

“We are deeply committed to nurturing and raising the profile of the community engagement function in the infrastructure industry and beyond. Equally, we want to support our clients in delivering their projects quickly, efficiently and with an enhanced reputation.

“Given the infrastructure boom, there is an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate that community engagement is a critical part of successful project delivery. That requires an evidence-based approach which is what sets this project apart.

“We will be hosting workshops across the country with the Next Generation Engagement Project to identify the key challenges, knowledge and skills gaps in the sector and best practice methodologies. This is an extension of the important work we started with the Communicating NSW Symposium, which will now become an annual event.

“Temple is proud to be partnering with Melbourne University School of Government on the Next Generation Engagement Project,” Ms Tabakoff said.

The Next Generation Engagement Project will involve:

  • a national survey on engagement and social license challenges for Australia’s infrastructure sector
  • workshops in each capital city with leading Australian practitioners and international infrastructure experts
  • a gap analysis that details the most critical knowledge gaps for the community engagement profession
  • testing the gap analysis with infrastructure professionals across Australia.

Leading engagement practitioner and Project Director of the Next Generation Engagement Project, Kirsty O’Connell said: “The Next Generation Engagement is exciting because it will help focus the industry and academia about the necessary tools, training and networking required to enhance and grow the reputation of this important area of the corporate affairs discipline.”

“Our aim is to get this information onto the desk of key decision makers in Australia’s infrastructure sector to inform the discussion. Our intention is that this work will seed longer-term research partnerships that will help industry to make meaningful progress on these issues,” she said.

For the latest news on the Next Generation Research Project visit www. blogs.unimelb.edu.au/nextgenengagement

About Temple Executive Search

Temple Executive Search is an executive search, training and consulting firm specialising in communications and corporate affairs.

Temple was established in 2013 to deliver executive search and counsel for both candidates and clients from the perspective of people who have actually worked in corporate affairs.

Media contact details

Next Generation Engagement Project:
Kirsty O’Connell
0411 100 734

Temple Executive Search:
Rebecca Tabakoff
0419 229 878