Storyboarding in this context was developed as a way to document the development of the Palm Island Youth Centre in 2003. It was important to have clear transparent communication mechanism to keep the local community and government stakeholders working on the same process and toward the same goal.  Our fear was that the if the government stakeholder meetings were not kept transparent then the process would not be accountable and therefore become another disempowering process for Palm Island people.

Story Boarding is actually a term derived from the film industry. The technique being applied in a community development setting was first used to develop the “Bundagen” intentional community on the mid-North coast of NSW in the late 1970’s, early 1980’s.  In that instance it was both a planning tool and a communication tool.

Social Habitat employs Storyboards for all our major projects.  Storyboarding has been employed on a number of our current project including:

  • Tweed Street Masterplan
  • Rekindling the Spirit – new facility


There is no set, best way to create a Storyboard.  A Storyboard can be like a form of visual minutes or a newsletter.  It has some of the following characteristics:

  • It is a document developed consecutively as it happens, once a page has been finalised it should not be changed;
  • It is designed to be a publicly displayed document but keep in mind it is potentially a marketing document as well, therefore format and text size are important so that it can potentially be printed at different sizes A4 as a document, A3 or A2 as a poster;
  • It should be both visual and textual;
  • It should be designed to act as a communication bridge between all stakeholders, therefore text in particular needs to be kept simple for some audiences; and
  • It should acknowledge all stakeholders as often as possible, therefore include as many pictures of all participants as possible, this assists in creating a sense of ownership;

Examples of Pages and Purposes

Historical Mapping

Site Mapping

Record of Consultation

Record of Workshop

Visual Minuting of Meetings

Project Planning

Mapping of Conflict

To Advertise


Design Options

Design Presentation

Cost Estimates