There is a lot of information out there about government and how it works, what makes for good government, and how government can be improved. This information comes in many different forms.

What do we want to do
The Canberra Alliance wants to make as much as possible of this available and accessible to people interested in government and in government change. However we can provide only a small snapshot of what’s out there. So we are building a collection of good things to read, view and listen to.

What we are doing
We are designing both a virtual and a physical library. Our early collections are available under the Documents, Media and Links tabs just above.

This project is in its early stages and we need help!

If you would like to help design or build our library and resource collection please contact the Secretary.

Download the CAPaD Kitchen Table Conversation Kit

Why Kitchen Table Conversations?

CAPaD values the kitchen table conversation (KTC) method as a way to connect Canberrans through community-based, self-managing conversations. We believe that many people hosting and participating in KTCs will help create the pre-conditions for people to desire and be able to join in participatory democracy.

We want to use Kitchen Table Conversations as a way to bring people together to work toward all our objectives.

The primary aims of the KTC method are:

  • to connect people
  • to give them the chance to listen non-judgementally to what others think about things
  • to safely express and develop their own opinions.

CAPaD does not primarily use KTCs as a way of gathering input to Government consultation processes.
We do advocate for other community groups and the ACT government to use community dialogue such as KTCs, but we support them to do that where we feel we can add value.

The KTC Methods Action Group was formed at the start of 2018. It reviewed KTC materials developed and used by other groups (including SEE-Change in the ACT), and developed its own KTC Kit with optional discussion questions.

This was launched in November 2018 and is free for all to use. You can download the CAPaD KTC kit here.

Go ahead and develop new discussion topics and modify the process however you wish, and use it for any small-group discussion. CAPaD would love to hear about your experiences and any feedback you might have. Please contact us at ktc@canberra-alliance.org.au

What’s in the kit?

1. Summary of the KTC process
2. Why CAPaD recommends Kitchen Table Conversations
3. How the process works
4. The courage to host
5. Conversation agreements
6. Role of the Host
7. Role of the Scribe
Attachment A: Conversation guide A: Democracy in the ACT
Attachment B: Conversation guide B: What’s important to you? (ACT-region focus)
Attachment C: Conversation guide C: Choose your own topic
Attachment D: Sample invitation

We hear that citizens sometimes have trouble knowing where to find information about government services and processes, and how they might get engaged.

We believe citizens are more likely to engage in their community when that engagement is made easier and less frustrating. This page helps make this information about services and functions more accessible to residents, enabling them to become more engaged and active in their community by providing links to where this information is available.

See these links to find out how people are doing this in other places.

In the ACT:

There is the ACT Government Services webpage and the the more specific Community Services Directory.

To have input into ACT Government inquires and decisions, join in at the YourSay Community Panel.

And there is the the ACT Community Directory that helps you find services, community organisations and support groups in the Canberra region.

In other parts of the world:

Citizens UK : organises communities to act together for power, social justice and the common good.

The Citizen's Handbook : North American, but a mine of resources for community organising, creating a community project, change, participation and deliberation.

Project for Public Spaces : A North American nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities.