The New England is set to get its own version of the Voices of Indi campaign which famously toppled a Liberal MP in 2013, replacing her with an Independent.
Joanne Stead and Margaret Paterson are the coordinators of the new initiative What Matters? New England Electorate.
The group plans to hold thousands of small kitchen table conversations of six to eight people across the electorate in the run up to the next federal election, which must be held before May 2022.
Organisers hope to be able to engage 10,000 people, about one-tenth of the population of the New England electorate, in a formalised participatory democratic decision-making process to develop a document to serve as a litmus test for candidates at election time.
Ms Paterson said it was about "empowering people to have their say" in their own government.
Ms Stead was quick to say the intention was not to create a challenge for Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce for re-election at the next federal election.
"I think there are a set of people who want more [involvement in their democracy] and they're the people who are out protesting and lobbying and that sort of thing already," she said.
"And then I think there's a lot of people that just don't really think about it, that don't give much thought to what their agency is or their power is as a citizen and a voter. This is an opportunity for them to get involved, in a very low-key way, if they're just sitting around somebody's table and thinking for the first time about what's really important to them."
Ms Stead said the model had the potential to grow exponentially, because most participants in a kitchen table would go on to organise their own kitchen tables.
"That's a model that's been used by Indi and a few other electorates in Australia already, and they did it successfully," she said.
"I've had a kitchen table conversation at my house. It is a really nice space and it feels like a safe space. You just invite your friends. You know all the faces and you don't feel threatened or anything."
All responses are kept anonymous. The organisation is not affiliated with any political party, and organisers are keen to hear from people of all ideological stripes.
The first Voices for campaign was developed in the Victorian communities of Wangarratta and Wodonga in 2012, initially simply to identify what the community wanted from the political system. An offshoot of the community organisation endorsed independent candidate Cathy McGowan for the local federal seat. She went on to narrowly defeat incumbent Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella at the 2013 federal election.
In 2019, a similar campaign in Warringah helped topple former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Both seats had been held by Liberal or National MPs for decades.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: