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Kitchen Table Conversations

The 2024 Listening campaign consisted of Kitchen Table conversations (KTCs) and a Community Survey. Twenty-two KTCs with 122 participants from across Cowper were held.  The Community Survey heard from an additional 671 people. 

In 2019-21 an additional forty-nine Kitchen Table Conversations with 260 participants were held. 

What is a Kitchen Table Conversation?

People seated at a table in discussion

A Kitchen Table Conversation is a simple, relaxed, small group discussion, led by a volunteer facilitator. The conversations ususally take place in people’s homes, but can also be conducted in cafes, parks, pubs, online, or anywhere that is comfortable to gather.

There are a few ground rules, including that everyone is entitled to have a say and have their contributions respected.

The aim is to provide the space and time for participants to express their thoughts, listen to others and to find areas of common ground relating to the experience of living in Cowper.

When they’ve been used in the past, Kitchen Table Conversations have been described as enjoyable, satisfying and empowering.


Creating the means for people to give voice, in ways that are constructive, respectful and genuinely inclusive.

- Mary Crooks AO, 11 August 2001


Originally developed by the Victoria Women’s Trust, the process is designed to lead to real outcomes in the electorate by influencing the representative to take the views of the community into account.

Voices 4 Cowper are using the Kitchen Table Conversation model to encourage people to have conversations about issues they consider important in the Cowper electorate. 

Group of people seated in discussion

What happens after the KTCs?

The themes from all of the conversations, together with the results of the Voices4Cowper survey, are being collated into a public report. This report will describe what the people of Cowper love about their community and what they want from their political representative. We will have a chance to reflect on any areas that have changed since the first report in 2021.

It will be presented for community discussion and provided to current and aspiring political representatives, to guide them in their decision-making for the community. 

Thank you to everyone who participated.

We have now finalised our Listening report and it can be found here.

Join us to keep up to date with this and all of our events.


What were the KTC questions?

The KTC questions used in the 2024 Listening Campaign were:

  1. What do you like (or love) most about living in this area?
  2. What are the main issues in our community you would like to see the government address? (Consider all levels of government
  3. What changes have you noticed or heard about since the 2022 Federal election? 
  4. Imagine a situation where your elected representative had a strong relationship with you and your community - what would that look like?

a) What characteristics do you think would make a good representative for our area?

b) Do you think an Independent Candidate would be better able to address the issues raised today, than the members of the major parties?


Democracy is the conversation amongst equals to determine what constitutes good life and the good society’ 

J. Rutherford and H. Shah, The Good Society 2006