YES Voices KTC Primer

Kitchen Table Conversations (KTCs) connect people and build community. They are a proven way to build respectful relationships between citizens willing to speak with and listen to each other about the issues and ideas relevant to them. 

Meaningful participation and engagement is at the heart of vibrant communities, democracies and societies.  In a healthy, functional democracy citizens engage with each other and their public institutions and the institutions, in turn, proactively respond to and engage with citizens.  

KTCs are participatory democracy at its best, where participants model respectful, cooperative behaviour while identifying what matters to them and others in their community. KTCs engage the issues to bring people together in contrast to the too common model of manipulating the issues to divide people and communities.  

In practical terms KTCs are more about listening than speaking. By listening we are well on the way to finding solutions; it is through listening that we achieve the power inherent to building community and democracy.  In a well-run KTC  diverse participants might well find they have much in common, and discover real joy in each other’s differences. 

Everyone is welcome to join the conversation and be part of a KTC. If you are interested in joining a scheduled KTC please see our calendar. Not all KTCs are on the public calendar. Please contactYES Voices for further KTCs that are not posted on the calendar.

If you are interested in facilitating your own KTC, or would like to learn how to facilitate or record (scribe) a KTC please go to the volunteer sign-up page.

YES Voices KTC Questions


Living in community:


1) What makes for a strong community?

2) What are the best things about living here?




3) What are your experiences of democracy?

4) How would you envision strengthening the relationship between citizens and elected representatives?


Issues and Concerns:


5) What issues in your community do you feel strongly about that you feel should be focused on by your elected representatives?

6) What issues beyond Yarra et al. do you feel should be focused on by your elected representatives?


Next Steps


7) Do you have ideas about what could be done to deal with these issues effectively?



YES Voices KTC Guidelines for Respectful Conversations


We will pose questions and go around the circle to hear from each person. We welcome people’s different perspectives. We are not here to convince one another, but to better understand one another.

To ensure we can listen to one another fully, we suggest the following guidelines:

  • One person speaks at a time 
  • Stay engaged: Listen to understand one another 
  • Respect for all – even if you disagree with people’s ideas 
  • Share from your own experience and thoughts: there are no silly answers
  • Share the time and space with one another equally

Kitchen Table Conversation

YES Voices KTC Outcomes & Report


YES Voices will record what participants say - but responses will remain anonymous. We gather what matters to the community and present that back to the community as a report so those who represent us - or want to represent us - understand the community’s views.