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Dealing with opposition and outrage

Communities have lost trust in the government, business and media. Learn how to begin restoring trust.

About this course

Working with the public can become gridlocked by opposition. This course was developed by the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) with the input of Dr Peter Sandman an international expert in Outrage Management. Learn to support your organisation to achieve successful community engagement outcomes. You will discover new ways of thinking, skills and strategies to apply during both the planning period and in-the-moment for public consultations.

Course structure 

Angry people cannot always effectively represent their interests. Ignoring anger and scepticism is not productive. Strong emotions can be challenging for public participation practitioners and decision makers and can inhibit community participation.

Going beyond just another conflict resolution training class, Strategies for Dealing with Opposition and Outrage in Public Participation helps you understand the behaviour and emotions involved in working with the public in tough circumstances. This course will help you communicate and develop relationships with people which is foundational to the practice of public participation.

The course will cover:

  • Six practical strategies for managing outrage
  • New behaviours you can immediately apply in your own practice and in your own organisation
  • A new, more productive approach to thinking about and analysing outrage
  • New ways to plan and implement public participation in situations where people are, or may become emotional or outraged


Learning outcomes

At the end of the two day course you will be able to;

  • Identify outrage and assess its causes
  • Identify and evaluate strategies to reduce outrage in public engagement
  • Select and implement strategies to reduce outrage both during planning and in the moment


COVID-19 Information

UTS is undertaking a number of social distancing initiatives, as informed by NSW Health advice, to help reduce social interactions in support of the government’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. As part of this response, some of our short courses may be postponed to a later date.

Please note however, bookings are open for all courses offered by the Institute for Public Policy and Governance (IPPG). If a course needs to be postponed, participants will have the chance to transfer to a later date, a new course or request a full refund. IPPG will also be offering a range of online or blended learning options facilitated via zoom video conferencing. If you have any questions in the interim, please do not hesitate to contact our team at

Who is this course for?

Any professional currently or likely to be dealing with the tough issues that face our community. Anyone in communities facing complex challenges –including engagement professionals, decision makers, place makers, consultants and elected officials.



03 August




2 days

Meet the Expert

Margaret Harvie

Margaret Harvie
Director, Community Engagement, PlanCom

Margaret, co-founder and Director of PlanCom Consulting, is trusted by her clients for effectively advising on approaches to engage the public in dialogue about planning and infrastructure. Her experience in projects gives her the ability to pre-empt the issues and responses from the public. From a background in the government and community sector she commenced as a consultant specialising in public engagement in the late 1990s. For 10 years she was a consultant in international consultancy firms, managing community engagement teams in Queensland and NSW. Margaret brings a world view to her work having lived and worked in the USA and Japan and led professional assignments in Singapore, Peoples Republic of China, Malaysia, Fiji and New Guinea. 


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Book a session

Mon 03 Aug 2020 -
Tue 04 Aug 2020
Expert: Margaret Harvie
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