Story Wise for Community Engagement

Story, in its many forms and faces is the simple yet powerful tool for building trust, community connection and culture, shared history, vision and deep communal values and humanity.

Story Wise has a range of processes that will use story to capture knowledge and simultaneously build connection within communities.

The processes fall into two main categories, Catching and Collating - where we work with communities to enable story sharing for a number of purposes, and Learning and Leading - which are skills development sessions for communication and storytelling, and participatory hosting and facilitation processes, to enable communities to be in charge of their own processes. 

All Story Wise work is bespoke, adapted and developed in collaboration with you, to fit your circumstances, your community and your purpose.  To discuss your situation, and get advice on your approach call Kate on 0402 080 445 or book a free 45 minute call.    

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Ask, Listen, Collect & Shape

This is a series of carefully designed gatherings, for a group, team or community, where powerful questions and deepening exploration generates a rich tapestry of experiences and reflections from participants. 

The simple but skilled art of holding space and listening in circle, can be implemented to provide a range of intentional outcomes. The process will also inevitably work in a multi layered way to reveal the complexity of human nature in a range of emergent outcomes.

Potential Outcomes:

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  • The experiences participants share provides an opportunity to understand and collect community intelligence. 
  • The material gathered can be collated into a documented story about the collective experiences about a particular issue or event across a group or community, and reflected back, and used to make decisions.
  • Community communication, understanding and effectiveness is developed through shared stories.  It is also one of the best ways to create a peer support group for community leadership teams.
  • Culture, purpose, vision and values can all be developed in meaningful and engaging ways, that envision at the same time as embody.
  • Difficult events can be processed and ensure participants feel heard by each other, as well as leadership, or government. 
  • Smouldering unseen but destructive issues can be surfaced, sometimes creating disruption and discomfort in the short term, but enabling forward movement in the longer term.  

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Workshop and facilitation topics

Story Wise offers workshops in a range of topics in from two main areas -

  1. Storytelling, Story Hosting & Public Speaking
  2. Facilitation  and Participatory Group Processes


Story with a capital ’S” is story that is crafted and shaped, reflected upon and told with meaning and purpose in a deliberate and conscious way.  It is a skill that can be learned and developed from our natural inclination to tell and listen to stories throughout our lives. It is a skill and a literacy that when developed becomes a finely tuned ear for story and an awareness of when story needs to be surfaced, heard and with permission, used for a range of purposes.  

Workshop topics in this area include:
  • Storytelling Skills
  • Developing a Storytelling Community
  • Public Speaking

Potential Outcomes: Storytelling performance and public speaking skills, regular community storytelling events, greater engagement in communications, group connection and community, knowledge sharing,  emotional expression. 

Hearing the volunteers get up and tell their personal stories - thanks to the coaching and confidence you gave them - was amazing.
— Julie McCallum, Director, Volunteer Services, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Participatory Group Processes

How we engage with each other in meetings, be they small groups, or large community meetings, has a huge impact on how we enable the participation, engagement and therefore commitment of communities.  Government or agency decisions and directives are useful in war and natural disasters, but for regular community life they are disempowering, unsatisfying and build resentment. While full democratic participation can be time consuming, with a bit of faith and commitment, simple but clear and powerful participatory processes can be implemented with a little training.  

Workshop topics in this area include:

  • Participatory Group Processes

Potential Outcomes:  Empowerment, engagement and participation, greater group input resulting in better decisions, better team connection,  greater collaboration.  

Wholeness in Community

Wholeness in community is a combination of story and workshop, to introduce ideas and practices that can expand our selves and the community to hold all of us.  It combines personal well being practices like mindfulness and meditation, as well as story sharing, emotional expression and the power of peer circle connection. 

  • Making  Life Meaningful
  • Emotional Expression in Community

Potential Outcomes: Greater engagement! More committed, happier, healthier, resilient and engaged communities.

Call Kate now on 0402 080 445 or

Book a Free 45 minute Call now, to Work Out Your Best Approach

Why work with Kate Lawrence?

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Kate has an exceptional ability to listen for and perceive human motivations and to sense-make. She holds her impressions lightly - guiding and being guided in equal measure.  She has many years experience facilitating, writing, and storying, for understanding, messaging, reflecting back and preserving history.

From small community legal centres, big city law firms, several local councils through to large government corporations like the CFA, Kate has a broad range of experience as an employee and leader within organisations. 

Nearly two decades in law, listening, presenting and persuading; two decades creating logic out of mess, creating flow and order where there was none, shaping stories to persuade and make sense, are all available to you when you work with Kate. 

Whether you want to introduce people to learning the art of storytelling, or to draw out of human experiences an overarching organisational story, Kate will bring a wise, intuitive and experienced hand to the process and outcome,  based on a foundation of the humanity of all involved.

Thank you for your feedback today. It was very helpful and just what I needed to hear. Your acute listening skills allow you to access just what is needed to create a “sharp” story.
— Mary O'Meara
Kate’s Story Wise webinar has been very helpful in refining my presenting skills and public speaking. As a Yoga teacher and facilitator I share stories on a daily basis.

Story telling is a beautiful art and whilst it is easy to assume that we can automatically do it, Kate ’s webinar breaks it down so that we can more effectively connect and convey our experiences to others. Kate was very supportive and gave excellent feedback which really helped me understand how to craft a story that has substance, direction and humour. Finding my voice through storytelling and being heard has been a deeply satisfying experience. Thank you Kate
— Julia Dendrinos