Planning Partnerships

About us

We believe that change is successful when the people affected by it participate in shaping its direction. There are strong links between successful change, informed community engagement and sustainable communities.

Facilitator, Trainer and Course Co-ordinator

Jen McDonnell

Jen is a skilled and experienced facilitator who has been working in the field of community and stakeholder engagement in environmental planning and management for the past eighteen years. Jen also works part-time as a Principal Stakeholder Engagement Consultant for WSP.

Jen also works part-time as a Principal Stakeholder Engagement Consultant for WSP. Her background in psychology complements her work in social research, community capacity building, communications, evaluation and community participation in environmental planning and management.

She has experience in a wide range of complex and controversial community engagement and consultation projects. These have ranged from working with communities rebuilding and recovering from disasters such as bushfires, the renewable energy sectors of wind energy, solar, hydro, hybrid off-grid power, and Smart Grids, and a very wide range of major infrastructure projects including in water, transport, and power. Jen is a skilled and experienced facilitator.

Course Creator

Margaret Dugdale

Drawing on my professional experience and with expertise in adult education, I created the Planning with Communities: Facilitation and Conflict Resolution Course and delivered the course over some 15 years. It is very exciting that this great course, developed over so many years of working with communities across Australia, will continue to provide the skills training to those who believe that engaging people effectively in all forms of planning, rural and urban, produces better plans and stronger communities.

At Planning Partnerships, I have provided services in social impact assessments, strategic planning, and quality community engagement in natural resources planning and management throughout Australia for 20 plus years.


Facilitator and Trainer

Steve Willing

Steve is a trained facilitator and certified executive coach who has facilitated leadership, personal and organisational development for over 20 years. He uses a range of accredited tools and models to develop the awareness and perspectives needed for constructive conversations about creating a future of thriving possibilities.

His background includes Agricultural Extension, Outdoor Leadership Expeditions (in USA, NZ & Australia) and Organisational Development (Tasmania Fire Service). The common theme has been a passion for understanding what drives us to act and react, and how to make conscious choices.

He has facilitated in complex environments in the primary industries, community, emergency services, government and private sectors. He sees facilitation as an essential skill and a powerful and under-used form of influence (i.e. leadership). Steve’s calm and down-to-earth approach allows supportive exploration of thinking, motives, insights, choices and accountability. He also has his own consultancy as Facilitator & Coach, Leadership & Vertical Development @ Growth in Mind.