Process type: Citizens’ Jury

MosaicLab’s role: Design and facilitation of wider engagement and deliberative phases

Client: Local Government Victoria (Victorian Government)

Jury Selection and management: newDemocracy Foundation

Participants: 1200 (wider engagement), 100 (jury)

Time: 2 months of wider engagement, 4 days of deliberation

Output: 2 practical recommendations (both implemented) 11 aspirational recommendations (all supported)

Awards:  IAP2 Australasia 2017 Core Values Award for Community Development and Highly Commended Project of the Year.

Video: The Geelong Citizens' Jury - Day 3 deliberations.


The Democracy in Geelong (Geelong Citizens’ Jury) project was a ground-breaking engagement process – no other community had ever had the chance to influence its council’s structure to this extent

Following the dismissal of the City of Greater Geelong Council in April 2016, the Victorian Government committed to consult the community about the structure of its future elected council.  

The 100-person jury, which met over 4 days and considered a wide range of inputs and information, was independently selected by the newDemocracy Foundation.


‘Our council was dismissed. How do we want to be democratically represented by a future council?’. 

The whole process - the way it’s independent, the way the jurors are selected, and particularly the open-ended question … that was part of the excitement and strength of this project.
— Louisa Curry, Project Manager, Geelong Citizens' Jury (former Senior Governance Analyst, DELWP)

Risks and challenges

  • Complex, politically charged topic
  • Perceptions of lack of independence
  • Vocal former politicians and unbalanced media
  • Polarising question
  • Low community confidence in local government
  • Varied communities of interest across diverse municipality

Responses and key success factors 

  • Real influence: jury empowered to change the system
  • Vocal objectors and media invited to observe process
  • Independent jury management and selection
  • Jurors tested opinion by using critical thinking
  • Jury access to diverse inputs, evidence and speakers
  • Comprehensive wider engagement process including conversations with diverse groups
Wadawurrung - Welcome to Country - Geelong Citizens' Jury deliberations

I’m a big believer in people together achieving more than people apart, and I think this has been a really awesome example of democracy in action.
— Juror

DIG Geelong Citizens Jury (16).jpg

Key outcomes


  • A diverse range of voices included in wider engagement phase.
  • 1200 Geelong people provided input into jury’s deliberations.
  • Minister for Local Government tabled the jury's report in Parliament and made a formal response to the jury (watch the Minister's speech).
  • Victorian Government implemented both practical recommendations.
  • Victorian Government supported, in-principle, all aspirational recommendations.

More information

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Geelong Citizens' Jury - Democracy in Geelong

IAP2 Australiasian Project of the Year - Highly Commended - Geelong Citizens' Jury
IAP2 2017 community_Development_winner.png

Photos and video credit: Local Government Victoria