advisory committees


Supporting groups work through complex issues 

Advisory committees are one of the most common techniques for engagement.  They're also often the most challenging and unsatisfactory techniques for both the organisation and its community or stakeholders.

MosaicLab helps to support organisations in ensuring these groups are effective.  We facilitate long term advisory committees (sometimes known as reference groups or by other names) that enable community and stakeholder representatives to work through complex issues with decision makers.

Examples of advisory committees facilitated by MosaicLab include the Inner West VicRoads Group and the Clayton and Dingley Waste Forum

We also work with advisory committees set up for shorter term projects and conduct inception workshops for newly established committees.

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IMAGE: Community leaders, local council, waste industry and regulators meet to plan a forum at Clayton and Dingley.

Working examples of these forums can be found at: and

Free guide 

To support organisations and advisory committee participants and ensure both get the most out of these groups, we've developed a free resource - 11 Advisory Committee Challenges & How To Overcome Them. 

Grab this free guide and prepare yourself for the challenges presented by these groups over here on our blog. 

IMAGE: Primary and secondary representatives from 7 schools put their views on waste management to local community, business and regulator representatives.

A  more effective approach to advisory committees

While the format, content and participation varies widely across these groups, MosaicLab facilitators have found that the following practices increase the success of advisory committees: 

  • not selecting participants using an expression of interest process - other selection methods are random selection and appointment of people to match a stakeholder analysis for the project.
  • decision makers participate and are very clear about what matters can be influenced by the advisory committee and how its input will be used in decisions being made on the topic or project.
  • discussions are expertly facilitated and enhanced through agreed guidelines that ensure openness, listening, and airing of diverse opinions - we are seeking to build trust and respect between all participants.
  • discussion is informed through the provision of timely, open information
  • political statements or influence over the groups’ deliberations are not allowed
  • prior failures are discussed openly so as to inform future decisions and processes
  • agendas are flexible and based on community needs and interests.