‘Having a voice’ builds belonging and civic participation

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Porirua City Council really ‘get’ diversity! They’re working hard at building inclusion to ensure all voices are represented in what they do in the community.

As the council is seeking feedback on their long-term plan, Vanessa Masoe, Senior Advisor Partnerships, gave Jacqs Wilton a bell to meet up on how to present their new plan to ELP’s refugee and migrant learners and their communities.

Jacqs, our Porirua manager, advised Vanessa to “Keep it visual, keep to the point so it’s easy to understand and translate.”

“On the day, our ELP team set things up so learners of similar linguistic backgrounds could sit together.”

This way the groups could have a translator or higher-level English learner on hand to help out when needed.

Porirua’s Mayor, Anita Baker, is experienced at talking to ELP’s community, and she paced her presentation well – allowing for people doing the translation mahi to talk to the different language groups. “This is not Anita’s first rodeo!” says Jacqs.

Jacqs says that Deputy Mayor Izzy Ford, several councillors, a submission writer and the ELP teaching team then discussed the plan’s focal points and asked for feedback.

“Having input on Porirua’s future is fantastic – how fortunate people in this city are to have a council working to hear from all its citizens.”

Jacqs says the council’s approach really fosters active participation for the well-being of their community.

“Better still, the engagement and contribution from ELP’s learners shows they feel valued and heard as members of the Porirua City community.”

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