Council taps technology to listen to the kids

Published: 18 October 2018

Council taps technology to listen to the kids

The City of Logan has a great tradition of making the city's children and young people feel involved through programs such as Krank and the recent ImagiNation Children's Festival.

But how do we engage with children about decisions of Council that may affect them? Technology plays an important role in this process.

Revealed on Wednesday as part of Council's Listen 2 Connect initiative was COLBIE (City of Logan Bot Innovative Engagement) the robot.

The robot will be used across Council to enhance engagement with its interactive programming capabilities.

"Using new technologies like COLBIE will spark the attention of the community and support Council's push for meaningful engagement and innovation, particularly with children and youth," City Lifestyle and Community Committee Chairperson Councillor Steve Swenson said.

Listen 2 Connect aims to provide decision makers with the tools and knowledge necessary for meaningful community engagement with children, youth and young adults in the City of Logan.

"Children and young people can offer great insights into decision making processes," Cr Swenson said.

"When meaningful engagement is carried out it gives the people a sense of ownership over a process or outcome.

"Council takes its engagement with adults seriously but connecting with children and young adults has proved more challenging.

"Things that affect adults, such as a road upgrade or a new housing development, affect children's quality of life too and that's why we need to seek out and consider the perspectives of even the youngest in our community."

Listen2Connect was reviewed by Griffith University School of Human Services and Social Work.

Doctor Marilyn Casley said the guideline would help to shape the way children have a say in the future of Logan.

"I am proud to have been asked to review this document. We can proudly say it was produced here in Logan. Congratulations to Council for taking on this important task to begin the journey to genuinely listen to our youngest citizens," said Dr Casley.

Children, youth and young adults represent 37 per cent of the City of Logan community.

The guideline is based on a multifaceted engagement strategy of nearly 300 community members, parents, carers, youth service providers, children, youth and young adults.

Partners include Griffith University, the Salvation Army and Logan Together.