Involve me…

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. – Benjamin Franklin

The other day I watched as my son excitedly jumped into a rocky section of the Yarra River on the outskirts of Melbourne. He rolled up his pants and waded in. He had a mission, there was a rocky outcrop nearby that he wanted to get to. The river was fast flowing and deep in parts. I knew he’d make it.

I have seen my son’s amazing sense of space and his body control over his eight year life. He knew the 10 or so km journey to his grandparents house by age 4. He shows me on google maps where his school is and takes me via the streets to nearby places he’s found. The kid has some real talents that aren’t specifically taught in the classroom – but the classroom, and his real life experiences, support and encourage these talents.

So the question for me, as a parent, as a communicator and educator is – how can we support and enhance this learning to ensure every kid feels that awesome feeling of discovery and accomplishment?

It’s really about making learning accessible to everyone, no matter what their strengths.

And the research backs it up: Providing students with multiple ways to access content improves learning (Hattie, 2011).

Dr Howard Gardner, responsible for the development of the multiple intelligences theory recently told the Washington Post:

Teach important materials in several ways, not just one (e.g. through stories, works of art, diagrams, role play). In this way you can reach students who learn in different ways. Also, by presenting materials in various ways, you convey what it means to understand something well.

So that’s why the Lore Makers is here. My business partner, a teacher, and I have taken our interest in cultural heritage, which provides great context for who we are and helps us understand each other, with a plan to create learning experiences that access and support all of our intelligences.

As we start this exciting journey, we’d love to have you come along on the journey with us. You can sign up to our enews and we’ll send you some info on how you can create memories. Or first events kick off in February (so if you’re feeling inclined, you can like our facebook page to keep in the loop).

Oh, and my son did make it to the outcrop, and can back again through the river a different way he’d plotted out. With slightly wet pants and a confident smile that he’d done just as he’d planned and had a great story to tell.



fun ways to engage your messages

Envisioning a whole lot of fun

If you’ve been reading thelocalexperience for awhile, you’ll know that we advocate for play. Having fun is a great way to learn and emotionally connect with what you are doing. So it makes a useful tool for businesses to use to engage their customers in their messages.

So I was thrilled to hear a fabulous speech from Jenny Grey, CEO of Zoos Victoria the other day talk about the lessons about life and leadership that visiting a Zoo teaches us. Zoos need to be fun, engaging places to learn – and to survive financially they need people to not just visit, but take an active interest in what they are doing.

Zoos Victoria has undergone a massive transformation from a caged animal attraction to achieving its vision ‘to be the world’s leading zoo-based conservation organisation.’ Jenny says having a strong vision is critical to any business.

‘We have understood that we have key competencies that are valuable in fighting the loss of species. Our promise of “Fighting Extinction” is galvanizing our conservation work.

  • Captive breeding and care of threatened species.

  • Inspiring 1.89m visitors to take action.

  • Advocacy for wild life and wild places.’


They have set a big goal, based on where their strengths lie and realigning everything they do to achieve it. It’s a big task, but possible in all businesses. Jenny’s advice for achieving a new vision:

To make a Vision live in an organization I would advise:

  • Encourage full participation.

  • Talk about it to every-one, all the time.

  • Start implementing immediately.

  • Focus on committed implementation.

  • Start at a high level but get into the detail.

  • Rigid, flexibility.

  • Get the basics right.


What’s your business vision, or precinct vision? Is it big enough? Is it fun, engaging and something people can believe in?

If you need help, we still have a few places for our end of financial year sale. Book a 2 hour review of your marketing plan before June 30 and pay only $100 (normally $250). Email us for details.

Thanks so much to Jenny Grey for sharing her wisdom and enthusiasm for what she does. Having a dynamic vision and making it fun to associate with your business is a winning combination (note: fun doesn’t have to mean frivilous, in the Zoo’s case, it’s a serious message with fun ways to engage in the story of it).

Tell us about your vision and how you are making it fun in the comments below.

Guest post: Engagement in the city

By Alvaro Maz, Creative Suburbs

With over three hundred events, Melbourne just saw the passing of the largest Sustainable Living Festival (SLF), yet. Something that started as a small group of hippies sharing their veggie garden secrets took over not only Federation Square, but the whole of Victoria.

As I found out, there are quite a few sustainable projects going on around the city and many more people who want to get involved. Long gone are the days when sustainability festivals were excluded to the remnants of the sixties generation and left-wing environmentalists.

Conversations developed at the SLF however, are in need of mechanisms to continue the conversation and determine how we want our city to evolve.

To provide the opportunity for neighbours and organisations to be creative and share their ideas on how our cities can be enhanced and evolve, we need to provide an opportunity to build upon the existing community consultation and facilitate conversations, connect with supporters and share our creative, perhaps even crazy ideas. The point is to create spaces where everyone has a say on how our cities can be enhanced, to identify what we love about them and to communicate this to the relevant organisation(s).

The lack of inclusion requires for government, developers and even planners to relinquish control. As scary as it may sound, I would love to see what people come up with when they’re given the opportunity to design their suburb. There have been few approaches that take consultation a step further towards what I call the four keys to sustainability: that everyone benefits, everyone is involved in decision-making, outcomes improve wellbeing and the environmental, social and financial sustainability.

Events like SLF are a great platform for groups to present ideas, network and innovate. More local events and citizen organisation will support the solution to engage citizens in urbanisation. These however, need to be complemented with setting a vision for how we want our city to be and build upon the work councils, Departments of Planning and other organisations working in planning are doing.

Quality consultation and engagement are the building blocks to make sustainable living easy and affordable for all and making better decisions that ‘stick’.



Alvaro is passionate about liveability and culture. He takes a special interest in urban design, community engagement and sustainability. He has begun a community consultation platform called Creative Suburbs. The platform allows people and organisations to share ideas on how suburbs can be enhanced and identify the things and places we love about them. Creative Suburbs aims to offer more ways to connect with neighbours, organisations and individuals interested in making a better place to live.

Is your visitor offering up to date?

Is it time to rethink what we offer to tourists? We think so.

There’s a growing consumer trend towards experience over things. It’s what trendwatching calls ‘Transumers’:

TRANSUMERS are consumers driven by experiences instead of the ‘fixed’, by entertainment, by discovery, by fighting boredom, who increasingly live a transient lifestyle, freeing themselves from the hassles of permanent ownership and possessions. The fixed is replaced by an obsession with the here and now, an ever-shorter satisfaction span, and a lust to collect as many experiences and stories as possible.* Hey, the past is, well, over, and the future is uncertain, so all that remains is the present, living for the ‘now’.


This post from Harbinger Consulting explains it further:

The visitor experience can be comprised of, or determined by:

  • Interactions with People
  • Product (broadly understood)
  • Sense of place
  • Perceptions, sensations
  • Market Position
  • Value for Money

Like customer or user experience, the intention of understanding visitor or tourist experience is to ensure that visitor expectations are met and that this will lead to either repeat or lengthened stays or stops. Because an experience is inherently personal and can engage or involve an individual at different levels namely, rational, emotional, sensorial, physical and also spiritual (Schmitt, 1999), expectations can often be subjective and difficult to gauge. Tourism Queensland’s formulation of audience segments provides some insight into the preferences of visitor types.

The framework developed for this project recognises that visitor experience is the result of many interactions and actions.

The intention is to enhance visitor experience by building:

  • A sense of place and local identity
  • Sustainable and viable tourism and enterprise (local economy)
  • Vitality and engagement

These outcomes will be of benefit to the local community and to visitors alike. This framework, while useful for developing our study, does not replace destination management planning and development, and is intended to anchor any ongoing destination management efforts.

Read the full article here:

Need help redefining your visitor experience? We may be able to help. Contact us for a chat.

Maps are the visual guide to a place

Getting it mapped

Maps can be a great tool to visualise information about a place, and lately I’ve seen a few fab examples I have to share.

The first is an online app called Walkonomics. Walkonomics judges and ranks 600, 000 streets in the US and UK to promote the health of local economies and their residents. Read more via PSFK:

The C4 mapping projects aims to identify the cultural assets of the Claiborne, New Orleans neighbourhood.

The C4 Mapping Project will focus on the Corridor’s local cultural assets, and will identify and engage with the City’s culture-makers, including formal organizations, traditional practitioners, and other independent cultural producers. The C4 Mapping Project will bring together many types of information for the first time to help the City deploy its resources to better support and enhance the places where we live, work, and practice.

The C4 Mapping Project will identify cultural practices and organizations, performance spaces, krewes and social clubs, artist studios, farmer’s and art markets, restaurants, parade routes, live music venues, and many more cultural assets. The C4 Mapping Project will also include locations of churches and local schools, special zoning districts, neighborhood boundaries, roads and highways, green spaces, incentive zones, public transportation routes, and additional helpful information along the Corridor.

Everyone can be involved by suggested places to map. Read more about it here:

And locally, have you checked out Victoria Walks? You can create you favourite walks for everyone to enjoy on There’s walks to find the best street art, walks through parks, etc. It’s a great idea to encourage people to get out more, and it’s interesting to see how others view their neighbourhoods.

Of course, here at the local experience, we make maps too! Our maps focus on drawing users attention to the stories of the place, the best food and drink stops, places for kids etc – whatever makes your place special, we maps it. If your town would like a custom map to highlight the great spots you have to offer the visitor, please get in touch to hear about what we can do!

A lucky country is a liveable country?

New Start magazine recently asked the question – What makes Australia so liveable? With four for our cities named in the Top 10 of the recent most liveable city list (including Melbourne making it to the number 1 spot this year).

Well, Tim Horton, South Australia’s Commissioner for Integrated Design answered the question with this article. I’m loving a South Australian perspective, always great to viewpoint outside Sydney or Melbourne. Good Reading, check out this tidbit:

Among a number of initiatives, its flagship project has been the Integrated Design Strategy for Inner Adelaide – Australia’s only capital city strategic planning process conceived as a partnership between the Australian government, key state ministries and local councils. Its chief aim is to develop a new, design-led model for city shaping in Australia. It’s shown how to connect COAG’s nine criteria to state government objectives and local council targets. Not separate and competing, but interdependent and mutually reinforcing. The project is given a working title based on the central city postcode, 5000.

Now 5000+ is prototyping a new way to dynamically engage people in ideas for their communities. We call it ‘intelligent engagement by design’ where the research and ideation of the design process is merged with what is so often separated out as a specific window of ‘consultation’ on policy development. Central to this is design leadership from built environment professionals, researchers and thinkers, creatives and others operating from a published and accessible evidence base. It operates on a principle that our collective vision for a place should be the basis for a new set of rules based on new information, in preference to today’s cities where yesterday’s rules tend to limit the scope and potential for change.