Jenny Dowell, Mayor of Lismore, is an avid social media user. Like many members of local government around Australia, she has found herself increasingly engaging members of the community through social media as a replacement for more traditional means.

Fergal Coleman, a Melbourne based consultant, spent last week in Northern Rivers running a series of workshops with various segments of the local community and industry. In the video below, he talked briefly with Mayor Dowell about her use of digital technologies both personally and in the capacity of local government.

if you’re not engaging in that space you’re missing an opportunity to really connect with your community

The Mayor described the council’s role in the digital space, stating “it’s everything about what council does. We need to communicate with each other, we need to communicate with other spheres of government but most importantly we need to communicate with our residents and rate payers”.

It appears that the Mayor is not the only one utilising online tools, finding that many residents are using social media to get the answers they need. “Particularly for short, sharp questions; people are using Facebook and to a lesser extent Twitter, and if you’re not engaging in that space you’re missing an opportunity to really connect with your community”.

See the full interview below:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFq0UKe0-6M]

Jenny Dowell has retired from her role as Mayor of Lismore City Council as of the September 2016 Local Government Elections.

Header Image Credit: Northern Star