Join Voices 4 Cowper kitchen table conversations and make your views count | Port Macquarie News

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Kitchen table-style conversations are gathering community ideas and priorities across the Cowper electorate. It is all under the banner of Voices 4 Cowper, formed by a group of residents about 18 months ago. The kitchen table conversations, or small group conversations, are a means of promoting better communication between the community and political representatives. Voices 4 Cowper Port Macquarie-Macleay coordinator Dr Marie van Gend said the kitchen table conversations were about listening and sharing views – not debating or criticising. “You have a chance to speak about what’s important to you and your community, and also get to hear other people’s thoughts and ideas,” she said. “What comes from that is a better understanding of your broader community but also a different way of thinking as well as finding common ground.” The Victoria Women’s Trust developed the kitchen table conversation model. Residents are also encouraged to run their own kitchen table conversations. The group will provide a resource kit. A scribe records the conversations and the ideas are collated as a step towards illustrating the priorities in different parts of the electorate and across Cowper more broadly. The information will be publicly available and also shared with political representatives. “It will illustrate in really visual details what the priorities are and we will encourage anyone who is running for Cowper to respond to that,” Dr van Gend said. She said Voices 4 Cowper was not politically affiliated in any way. The group’s formation was inspired by Victorian Women’s Trust executive director Mary Crook’s work and the efforts of Voices4Indi and Voices of Warringah. The group has been in contact with Cowper MP Pat Conaghan and plans to meet with him in January. Voices 4 Cowper is seeking people to take part in kitchen table conversations as well as host, facilitate and scribe for the conversations. The next conversation is on Wednesday (November 18) at 9am via Zoom. People can contact the group through its website or email [email protected] Voices 4 Cowper has representatives from Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour and Dorrigo. What else is making news, sport? Thank you for valuing local journalism with your subscription. While you’re with us, you can also receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you’re up to date with all the news, sign up here.

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