Charles Sturt University was approached to help implement a community survey for the Flowerpot Hill Landcare group (FHLG). This group was formed to control run-off water which damaged town property. The information gained from interviews with members of the group, residents, farmers and council members, is presented as "issues" (specific knowledge, problems or feelings expressed by individuals) and "themes" (generally agreed important areas of concern). The themes included "Whose problem is it?", "Who should fix it?" and "Who should pay?" A number of solutions were proposed, with many people expressing a "deep suspicion of quick-fix solutions which the council was often accused of implementing". Recommendations from the study are around "establishing common ground in perception/problem solving and trying to get people committed to working together to improve the situation".
This report of how participatory research methods were used to explore a common problem facing a community, would interest community workers, extension workers and researchers in 'Northern' countries.
Charles Sturt University