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About Becky Hirst Becky Hirst Consulting is led by Becky Hirst, an enthusiastic, hardworking and dynamic professional with a strong background in working with a diverse range of groups and communities. With over a decade of experience, Becky provides expertise in delivering community engagement initiatives, group facilitation and management of a range of projects that focus on social inclusion, community development and health promotion. Becky’s experience includes – • • • • • • • • Delivering innovative community engagement projects Coordinating community involvement in decision making in a wide range of locations, from areas of high urban deprivation through to rural communities Working in partnership with Cultural and Linguistically Diverse communities Working in collaboration with Aboriginal communities as part of a journey of reconciliation Study of Health Education Promotion and Public Participation Providing advocacy on behalf of non-Government organisations Developing Governance structures within organisations that incorporate community participation Providing advice on strategic planning around community engagement, including development of Community Engagement Frameworks and Action Plans

Biography Originally from Gloucester in the south-west of England, Becky migrated to South Australia in 2007 following nomination for permanent residency by the Government of South Australia for her skills as a Community Worker. Innovation and creativity are at the core of Becky’s approach to both her work and people are rarely surprised to learn that she holds a Bachelor of the Arts (Honours) in Contemporary Dance from the University Of Leeds. After specialising in community dance and 18 years of pirouetting, Becky hung up the leotard for a career in community work. Starting at grass roots level, Becky undertook a contract as a Community Involvement Worker for a Neighbourhood Project, situated in an area of high urban deprivation. This work used a vast number of methods to engage the community in making decisions that affected their local neighbourhood. Her next contract was working for a county-wide Health Promotion service. Work involved developing health improvement initiatives in rural communities and running community-led initiatives with South-East Asian communities. Whilst undertaking this role, Becky studied to gain a College Diploma in Health Education Promotion at the Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education.

Becky went on to spend two years establishing and managing an innovative project called the Living & Learning Centre. The Centre was formed through a partnership between the University of Gloucestershire, West Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust and Gloucester City Council and was based at GL1 Gloucester Leisure Centre, located in inner-city Gloucester. The aim of the project was to promote health, education and leisure opportunities to typically ‘hard-to-reach’ communities. A further two years were spent in London where Becky was employed as a Development Officer for a Council for Voluntary Services. This role involved advocating on behalf of the voluntary and community sector with the NHS in relation to a new commissioning agenda and a £27million deficit in the local health service. Becky also coordinated the Voluntary Organisations Forum for Older People and was an active member of the Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) Health Forum. Becky’s time in London also included contract and consultancy work for the Camden Primary Care Trust (NHS) and Green Light Pharmacy in establishing community-based services to provide stop smoking support to the Bangladeshi, Irish and Caribbean populations. Becky has enjoyed working in a variety of community settings within Australia. Settings range from working with young people, the Iranian population, and older residents on an art-based community consultation on neighbourhood safety in Sydney’s western suburbs, through to collaborating with residents groups to develop a community engagement framework for local Government in metropolitan Adelaide. Her work in Australia has also included running health-related consumer participation initiatives, including work with country families and the Aboriginal community in relation to reconciliation. Becky was nominated for a 2008 Service Excellence Award in Community Engagement at the Children, Youth & Women’s Health Service, South Australia and recently delivered a paper titled “Engaging Consumers on the path to improving the patient journey” at the 3rd Annual Clinical Governance Conference in Sydney. In October 2009, Becky will be delivering a breakout session at the International Association of Public Participation annual conference in Fremantle, titled “Are Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities easier to embrace or ignore?”. Becky holds a Certificate in Public Participation, gained from the International Association of Public Participation Australasia and is a member of the Australian Institute of Professional Facilitators. Ensuring Governance processes are fair and transparent is something that Becky is passionate about and she has considerable experience in supporting initiatives that promote consumer or community involvement in decision making. Her work has including incorporating consumer advisory groups into organisational Governance structures and developing the work of community forums that deliver clear outcomes through strategic planning. Becky’s passion for community involvement doesn’t end with her professional life. In 2006, Becky attended a meeting at the UK Prime Minister’s residence, 10 Downing Street, to promote a new tenancy deposit scheme after being unfairly treated by a landlord. The meeting was attended by the Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities and the Chief Executive Officer of Shelter, a national housing charity.

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