Ballot for Bondi Beach

Ideas from the “Ballot for Bondi Beach” workshop at #notwestminster 2015, hosted by Rashid Mhar, with Joe Taylor.

Rashid Mhar at #notwestminster
Rashid Mhar at #notwestminster – photo NotWestminster (10 of 30) by Anthony Mckeown

Workshop challenge

Using only the resources and co-operation that you can find amongst your neighbours, and your own initiative… What strategy can you find to return a council to local democracy? This workshop was based on the real life story of the citizen led transformation of Waverley Council in Sydney, Australia, home to the world famous Bondi Beach.

The three ideas

Flag created by Juan Pablo Bravo from The Noun Project

    1. Understand the decision making and political process.
    2. Communicate well in the community.
    3. Form a secret council and vote them out via the third chair approach.


Want to join us in working on one or more of these ideas?
You can Leave a Reply at the foot of this page.



Bondi beach placard





About the workshop hosts


Rashid Mhar
Local activist and democratic campaigner

Rashid Mhar is a local organiser for 38 Degrees Manchester, Planner and Facilitator for Manchester Assembly for Democracy, NatCAN Administrator and local activist and democratic campaigner. Follows a strict principle of independent political thinking and radical challenge to systems that exhibit a tendency to stay the same. From a perspective informed by environmental consciousness and humanism he advocates for the restoration of evolution to the heart of the democratic process. In a line; the people should raise the issues, participate in proposing the answers, decide which to try and see and take responsibility for the results and when fitting change their minds and try again.

In the past he worked in programmes for the long term unemployed, development of vocational training and qualifications, key skills and basic skills support for Manchester College of Arts and Technology. Also was involved in early days of Internet evangelism and Redbricks wired network for Hulme Estate.

He would rather spend his time learning and walking the great history and heritage of the North West, study science and nature and sit quietly in Whitworth Art Gallery but accepts that democracy should not be an opt in or opt out affair but a state of conciousness that you express by doing rather than believing in.

Joe Taylor

Community developer and organiser

Joe Taylor is a community developer and organiser. He spent many years of his life on itinerant travels working his way across the world which led him to spend the Thatcher years in New South Wales. Upon his return to Wigan he was shocked by how much he had missed and the changes wrought during that period. Moved by the effects on the people of those changes he committed his efforts to doing work to support the community. He divides his time and determined effort between NatCAN, Greenslate Community Farm, 38 Degrees Manchester, Positive Money, Assemblies for Democracy and Manchester Assembly for Democracy amongst many others.

Starting his ‘second youth’, Joe likes to offer to his help and vast experience to anyone trying to do something. With blunt manner and dry humour of a son Wigan that hides the experience of years of journeys across the world, people who get to know him inevitably realise he is a surprise package.

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