Andrea Cook

Andrea Cook

What exactly is a SpeakOut?

The SpeakOut is an interactive staffed exhibition that aims to provide an informal and interactive `public meeting’ environment where a wide range of people have a chance to participate. It is designed to facilitate structured `drop-in’ participation

Participants come to the venue, find the issues on which they wish to `speak out’ and have their say.

Meanwhile, their comments are clearly recorded by a Recorder and a Listener pays close attention and asks pertinent questions.

It is primarily a `listening session’, where the community’s views are clearly expressed. The staffing and facilitation components are what make it so distinctive, special and effective.

Why we need a model of this type

The SpeakOut model was originally developed in a context where (for time and logistical constraints) it was not possible to organize a public meeting or workshop. We were required to organize a pubic event immediately before Christmas in a town centre, the subject of the study. Constraints often experienced in the Australian context mirror those in other contexts internationally.

We are aware of the well known problems with meetings and workshops, as well as weaknesses with exhibitions and the open house