Global innovators join the #NextGenerationEngagement Project

Global engineering and infrastructure advisory firm, Aurecon, is the latest organisation to indicate the critical importance of engagement to infrastructure delivery by becoming a partner in the University of Melbourne’s Next Generation Engagement Project.

Kylie Cochrane, Aurecon’s Global Lead Communication and Stakeholder Engagement, said the groundbreaking research project is perfectly suited to Aurecon’s innovative approach to infrastructure delivery.

“Just as our engineers and designers need to respond to challenges that are increasingly unpredictable and globalised, our stakeholder engagement professionals need to unlock forward-thinking solutions.”

“We’re excited to bring the skills of our engagement and innovation teams to the Next Generation Engagement Project and look forward to playing a role in developing the evidence base that industry so badly needs to inform sound decision making.”

Social license expert, Dr Sara Bice, is leading the project on behalf of the Melbourne School of Government.

“Almost $20 billion in largely taxpayer-funded projects have been delayed, cancelled or completed and then mothballed over the past decade in Australia. This research aims to identify the key engagement challenges and gaps in delivering new infrastructure and to then address them through applied research with industry.”

“Partners such as Aurecon will play a vital role in helping us to understand the problem and will bring an important interdisciplinary perspective to this research. Their experience at the coal face of major global projects will allow us to create a clear picture of the core social challenges facing Australia’s infrastructure delivery,” Dr Bice said.

Over the coming six months the University of Melbourne and its partners will conduct the largest national consultation on engagement to date. This will include:

  • a national survey on engagement and social license challenges for Australia’s infrastructure sector
  • workshops in each capital city with leading Australian practitioners and international infrastructure experts
  • a gap analysis that details the most critical knowledge gaps for the community engagement profession
  • testing the gap analysis with infrastructure professionals across Australia.

Dr Bice said, “Through this work we aim to identify the biggest roadblocks around engagement, social risk management and social license for infrastructure delivery together with an analysis of emerging trends and challenges.”

“Our aim is to get this information onto the desk of key decision makers in Australia’s infrastructure sector to really inform the discussion. Our intention is that this work will seed longer-term research partnerships that will help industry to make meaningful progress on these issues.”

For the latest news on the Next Generation Research Project visit

www.blogs.unimelb.edu.au/nextgenengagement