Community Consultation Watson High School

Client:Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate

The Canberra Technology Park (CTP) is a public asset that was previously a high school from 1965 to 1988 as well as a campus of the Canberra Institute of Technology. More recently it has been home to a long-term tenant, the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE). The AIE presented an unsolicited proposal to the ACT Government to turn the site ‘into a modern, technologically innovative learning environment’. This prompted the ACT Government to seek early feedback from the Canberra community on the future use of the site. Elton Consulting was engaged to undertake community consultation on possible upgrades to the CTP.

The two defined project goals were:

  1. To seek views from the Canberra community on whether to proceed to redevelop Block 1 Section 13 Watson.
  2. To determine how to best deliver the public green space the community wants for the future on this site.

Elton Consulting facilitated a range of engagement activities targeting nearby residents in Watson, Dickson, Downer and Hackett, current and previous tenants and students of the site and Canberrans more broadly. Consultation was designed to gather and analyse residents’ views on how they currently use the site, and would like to use the site in the future. Engagement activities included:

  • Pop-ups at Dickson, Hackett and Watson Shops
  • A community picnic and site-visit
  • Presentations to community council meetings and key stakeholder groups
  • An online survey and presence on the ACT Your Say consultation website, and
  • Preparation of a consultation outcomes and insights report.