Community Organising Fellowship workshop #2

April 23, 2014 | By: James Whelan

Fellowship cohort at Yengo

We’re just back from Workshop #2 of the Community Organising Fellowship where our cohort enjoyed a fantastic line up of guest facilitators and presenters.  On the first day we  dived into two parallel full day sessions, the first on effective organising around an election  led by Mark Wakeham, Acting Executive Director at Environment Victoria who spoke about the community campaign building around the Victorian state election this year. Participants concentrating on divestment campaigning worked with Julian Vincent, Director of Market Forces and finance analyst Tim Buckley, experts in developing strategies to influence financial institutions to stop investing in destructive coal and gas projects.

On Tuesday, we were joined by Lindsay Soutar, Director of Solar Citizens, to share her organisation’s insights in moving decision-makers through electorate-based interactions, effective meetings and accountability sessions.

Alliances and coalitions are a critical part of effective organising. We spent time with several experts to share insights, apply theory and hear real world advice on how to form effective alliances to achieve shared goals.  Our guests included Anita Tang, Manager of Policy and Advocacy at the Cancer Council, Michael Poland, Campaigner at GetUp! and Dave Copeman, Community Organiser at Queensland’s Community Alliance.

For participants to gain a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture and explore how to respectively work with traditional landowners in their campaigns, we rounded out the workshop with a full day cultural awareness training lead by Uncle Paul Gordon.

For Workshop #3, we’re gathering near Melbourne in late June. Check out the Fellowship webpage for more on this exciting new program.

About the Author

James Whelan

James Whelan

James is founding co-director of the Change Agency and co-director of the Community Organising Fellowship.

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