Reaching out for community connection

The Australian Parliament recently hosted a community outreach workshop for Pacific Parliaments to assist with developing new strategies, media skills and sharing ideas on how to engage their communities with the work of their parliaments.

The workshop was attended by the deputy clerk of the Samoan Parliament Charlene Malele and their public engagement officer Fulisia Saleuesile, alongside the Tongan Legislative Assembly’s media manager Sione Vikilani and the Solomon Islands Parliament’s education officer Marisa Pepa. 

These parliamentary officers gained hands-on experience with video camera operation, lighting and interview techniques from the House of Representatives International and Community Relations and the Australian parliament’s Broadcasting Content Office. They also spent time honing their video editing skills to help them produce more or better content for their own parliamentary websites.

They also discussed different approaches to attracting media and community interest in the work of their parliaments and their parliamentary committees by using the internet, social media and media releases. 

All three parliaments were very interested in how the Australia runs its parliamentary education classes for visiting school children and how some ideas can be adapted to their own islands.

A key feature of the week-long visit was the three Pacific parliaments sharing their own experiences with developing their community outreach strategies and how such knowledge can help them improve on what they are already doing with the limited resources available.