WAPHA and the WA PHNs are committed to developing open, accountable and respectful relationships with the diversity of stakeholders in primary health. WAPHA has a range of formal and informal networks to facilitate stakeholder relationships. These include PHN committee structures as well as forums and focus groups to inform specific aspects of our work.

WAPHA and the WA PHNs welcome the opportunity to make new connections with the stakeholders in primary health and encourages ongoing online conversation through Primary Health Exchange.

Engagement example – Stakeholder Workshop

Stakeholders starting conversations with a Welcome to Country

If you want to do something different . . . .

Stakeholder workshop to inform the commissioning of integrated Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Services (February 2017)

Service providers, peak bodies and consumer advocacy voices came together in February to share their understanding of the concepts of place-based, integrated and co-designed – all to inform PHN and service provider understanding of other points of view and identify shared interests and opportunities.

The workshop was supported by online resources through Primary Health Exchange and conversations captured during the day were shared openly through the Joining up the Pieces page immediately following the workshop.

Participants greatly valued the opportunity to talk openly with each other and several participants asked for similar events to be hosted outside of any procurement process.

93% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with each of the following:

  • A wide range of thoughts were shared today
  • I was able to express my thoughts freely
  • This workshop has been a good networking opportunity

One consistent theme in the table discussions was around building strong trusting relationships between services providers in other sectors. This feedback, and the positive feedback from the day, will inform the planning of future events and suggests there is an appetite from service providers for WAPHA to lead this facilitation and broader system change.


Stakeholder Framework

To guide engagement with stakeholders WAPHA and the WA PHNs have adopted the Australian Department of Health’s Stakeholder Engagement Principles (DoH Stakeholder Engagement Framework 2005).

These, together with the International Association of Public Participation Core Values, underpin WAPHA and the WA PHNs Engagement Framework.

Stakeholder Engagement Principles:


We begin every engagement with a clear understanding of what we want to achieve.

  • While our engagement will be driven by our strategic priorities, we must be aware of our stakeholders’ objectives, environment, expertise and level of influence.
  • When we know why we need to engage and we agree on what success looks like, it is easier to conduct focused and meaningful engagement.
  • By planning our communication and managing expectations, we aim to build lasting goodwill with stakeholders participating in the process and develop an understanding about their capacity to engage.


We identify relevant stakeholders and make it easier for them to engage.

  • We identify and enable the participation of those people and organisations who contribute to, influence, or are affected by our work.  This includes those that may be harder to reach for reasons such as language, culture or mobility.
  • We provide our stakeholders with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way.


We involve stakeholders from the start and agree on when and how to engage.

  • We will clearly identify and explain the engagement process, and negotiate with stakeholders, where possible, as to timelines.
  • This includes meeting schedules, and response times for information requests or feedback.


We are open and honest in our engagement and set clear expectations.

  • We will provide information so stakeholders can participate in a meaningful way and will foster a culture of sharing ideas.
  • We will clearly identify and explain the engagement process, the role of stakeholders in the engagement process, and communicate how their input will inform the project.


We acknowledge and respect the expertise, perspective, and needs of stakeholders.

  • We understand that engagement is a two-way process.  We take care to be open to alternative views and to listen as well as speak.
  • We respect our stakeholders’ expertise and appreciate the benefits of mutual learning.
  • We recognise the different communication needs and preferences of stakeholders and endeavour to meet these.