Recent Projects

Strategy development

In 2005, Four Pillars Consulting was commissioned by the City of Ballarat to develop a five year arts and cultural development strategy in consultation with the local community. Working closely with Council staff and stakeholders, we developed a strategy which recognises arts and cultural activity as central to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the City of Ballarat. We used a multi-faceted consultation approach, which included online consultation and community meetings, and employed a series of feedback cycles. This helped ensure that the strategy captured a wide range of community expertise and responded to the diverse objectives of Council, residents, artists and cultural institutions in the region. The strategy was adopted by Council and now provides its strategic framework for arts and cultural development until 2010.


In 2006, Four Pillars Consulting was commissioned by a large statutory authority to evaluate a program which aims to generate employment and social opportunities for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds through community-based business development. The evaluation involved extensive analysis of program data, as well as interviews with program participants, program staff, partner organisations and funders. The evaluation identified the unique strengths of the model, as well as issues which needed attention to ensure the sustainability of program outcomes. The results of the evaluation are being used by the client to refine their program over the coming two years.

Public policy research

In 2006, Jo Barraket of Four Pillars Consulting was commissioned by the Victorian Community Sector Sustainability Taskgroup (CSST) to conduct an independent analysis of major issues affecting the sustainability of the sector, with a particular focus on public policy implications. The research was presented at the community sector's call to parties for the 2006 Victorian election. The paper generated from the project is being used by the CSST to generate discussion within the sector and with political leaders and government staff about challenges facing the sector, and possible strategies for responding to these.


Recently, Four Pillars Consulting provided training services to a medium-sized community sector organisation to assist the management team develop their effectiveness in competitive tendering for service delivery. Using a constructivist learning model-which recognises that training participants are experts as well as learners- the workshop activities built on participants' existing experience and developed a team analysis of the strategic issues they needed to address to improve their performance in this area. Four Pillars Consulting is now working with the agency to consolidate the strategy that emerged from these training activities.