Marine Estate Management Strategy (MEMS) Engagement & Communication Review


Identifying barriers to successful stakeholder and community engagement through insightful research.


Department of Primary Industries


The LKB Agency was engaged by Department of Primary Industries (DPI), as lead agency of the Marine Estate Management Strategy (the Strategy), to review the communication and stakeholder and community engagement activities related to the Strategy. This included determining levels of awareness with stakeholders, identifying the current engagement activities and key messages and understanding the barriers and challenges to success for communication and engagement of the Strategy.

The Strategy is designed to protect and enhance NSW Marine Estate through a series of nine initiatives and more than 100 projects that address threats and risks to the marine estate. It is a large and complex program with multiple external stakeholders across community, local government, industry and recreational water user groups. The Strategy is managed by four NSW Government agencies who are collectively responsible for its outcomes and for engagement with stakeholders and community to educate and build awareness of the marine estate.


Initial steps included reviewing all documentation and progress reports related to the Strategy and its implementation and reviewing existing communication and engagement plans and processes to better understand current engagement and activity and discussions with key internal stakeholders to determine requirements.

LKB designed a research approach which included a series of qualitative interviews with external and internal stakeholders to gather insights into stakeholders and engagement activity, communication frequency and methods and use of channels for external communication and engagement.

In addition to the in depth qualitative interviews, LKB designed a quantitative survey seeking specific data on channels and frequency.

LKB analysed and themed data and insights from research, interviews and surveys to inform a report that outlined the barriers to success, analysed key messages, stakeholder groups and engagement methods to provide key recommendations for improving engagement and communication activities for the remaining 6 years of the Strategy implementation.

Since completing the review, LKB has been engaged to develop the recommended communication and engagement products including a Framework, stakeholder and community engagement strategies and engagement toolkit. LKB is supporting the Strategy Education and Stakeholder Liaison team in the development and implementation of these products.


Conducted 53 interviews with internal and external stakeholders including recreational and commercial fishing industry representatives

105 completed the external quantitative survey

Identified 7 barriers to success

Provided 7 recommendations including developing an overarching communication and engagement framework, updating channels, messaging and content to reflect strategic direction

5 briefings and 3 workshops presenting the results and key recommendations of the report

Endorsement by the Strategy governance structure which includes representatives from the four agencies and marine science and research experts.

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