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Aurecon partners with University of Melbourne on Next Generation Engagement project

Aurecon partners with University of Melbourne for largest national consultation on engagement to date - #NextGenerationEngagement Project

Kylie Cochrane, Global Lead, Communication and Stakeholder Engagement

18 May 2017 - Stakeholder engagement is traditionally underappreciated as a powerful tool for fast-tracking projects and in cultivating community acceptance.

“The importance of using stakeholder engagement to effectively inform the delivery of a project, especially in the early design stages, cannot be understated,” says Kylie Cochrane, Global Lead, Communication and Stakeholder Engagement, from global engineering and infrastructure advisory firm Aurecon. “Projects can rise and fall on the back of engagement.”

Aurecon is partnering with the University of Melbourne on their ground-breaking ‘Next Generation Engagement Project’ which will see leading Australian and international infrastructure experts evaluate and quantify the value of community and stakeholder engagement in the delivery of critical infrastructure for key decision-makers in Australia’s infrastructure industry.

The project will also investigate the impacts of stakeholder engagement on project delivery, aiming to develop a robust framework for community and stakeholder engagement around which governments, communities and industry stakeholders can adequately plan tomorrow’s infrastructure. Key to this will be identifying emerging trends and the core social challenges that are affecting new infrastructure delivery today and into a digitally disrupted future.

The University of Melbourne will have access to Aurecon’s most experienced industry practitioners to support this research project.

“Just as our engineers and designers need to respond to challenges that are increasingly unpredictable and globalised, our stakeholder engagement professionals need to unlock forward-thinking solutions,” says Cochrane.

“We’re excited to bring the skills of our engagement and innovation teams to the Next Generation Engagement Project and look forward to playing a role in developing the evidence base that the industry so badly needs to inform sound decision making.”

Aurecon’s involvement will play a vital role in helping to understand the challenges faced by industry and will bring an important interdisciplinary perspective to the research.

“The reality is that poor engagement often results in time-consuming and costly delays to project delivery. Delays, appeals and redesigns all add time and cost, and ultimately affect the project’s viability, not only as an investment, but also as an effective piece of infrastructure for our communities,” says Cochrane.

“Early community consultation not only helps to generate acceptance for new infrastructure, but it aids in shaping and designing the project to deliver quality, fit-for-purpose, human-centred infrastructure outcomes. Understanding where, when and how stakeholder engagement is most effective in the design process can elevate the efficacy of infrastructure and project delivery to new heights.”

She concludes, “Aurecon is proud to be a part of this important industry research. If we can learn to truly harness the power of collective design to shape and inform our infrastructure decisions, we have everything to gain in delivering future-proofed infrastructure for the generations of tomorrow.”

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