Guest speakers and facilitators

Workshop 1

Steph Cunio

Steph Cunio

Stephanie Cunio works with the Climate Action Network of Australia as convenor of the Community Organising Hub. Stephanie began her life as an activist with Greenpeace in the ’90s, and has since been an organiser/educator with the Trade Union movement . During this time she has worked for the NSW state public service union (PSA). and the council of trade unions (ACTU).

Stephanie has also worked for the Sydney Alliance as a Community Organiser. Her most recent role was Organising Manager at the PSA, where she worked with her peers to transition the union to an organising focus. Stephanie has strong skills in facilitation, training, relationship building and mentoring and she is excited to be working with the climate movement to build and exercise power to create the change we want.

Kristyn Crossfield

Kristyn Crossfield

Kristyn Crossfield

Kristyn is currently a Director at Reveille. Reveille works with membership organisations committed to helping their members make transformative change in Australia.

Motivated by a desire to impact for the common good, Kristyn has worked for over 20 years in the trade union movement as an organiser, campaigner, educator and senior leader. In addition to paid work, Kristyn has practiced leadership within her local school community, her church, in the Sydney Alliance and is currently a board member of two not-for-profit organisations.

For over 10 years, Kristyn worked in the Australian Services Union, 7 of those years as the Branch Secretary of the NSW Services and Airlines Branch, organising and campaigning for workers rights. She then moved to a role within the Australian Council of Trade Unions Organising Centre, responsible for working with unions to win by planning (both strategically and operationally), campaigning, developing leaders at all levels and facilitating organisational change. Her final role at the ACTU was that of Director of Leadership Programs and culminated in the NexGen organising conference in 2017.

Kristyn’s broad experience enables her to facilitate and challenge leaders to think about their work across all levels and functions within an organisation in order to achieve purpose.

Lindsay Soutar

Lindsay Soutar

Lindsay Soutar is a Network Organiser with the Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) Network Support Team. Prior to working with the Climate Action Network Lindsay was the National Director and founder of Solar Citizens, where she spent more than 8 years as a campaigner and community organiser working for a renewable powered future.

Lindsay first got involved in the climate movement when she set up a local climate action group – Climate Action Newtown. Lindsay was previously a CANA board member and is a former Young Environmentalist of the Year.

 

Workshop 2

Jack Bertolous

Jack Bertolous

Jack Bertolous has been at Market Forces for 3 years where I’m currently Research Coordinator. He enjoys helping people understand how their finances help and hinder climate action and empowering them to align their money with their values. Jack completed the Community Organising Fellowship in 2017.

 

 

 

Tim Lo Surdo

Tim Lo Surdo

Tim Lo Surdo is the Founder and National Director of Democracy in Colour - Australia’s first national racial justice campaigning organisation led by people of colour. Previously, Tim was a Senior Organiser at United Voice, led campaigns at Oaktree, has been an adviser to two Senators, directed national campaigns for an advocacy organisation in India, co-founded an international spoken word poetry platform, was the National Communications Director for UN Youth Australia and organised young people in Queensland for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

Millie Telford

Millie Telford

Amelia Telford, a young Aboriginal and South Sea Islander woman from Bundjalung country is the National Co-Director of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network. Amelia is passionate about supporting a national grassroots network of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to protect our land, culture and communities from the impacts of climate change and fossil fuel extraction and be a part of creating positive change for our people. Amelia was awarded National NAIDOC Youth of Year in 2014, Bob Brown’s Young Environmentalist for the Year 2015 and Australian Geographic Young Conservationist of the Year 2015 for her commitment to building a more just and sustainable future for all young people. Millie is a COF2014 graduate.

Pablo Brait

Pablo Brait

Pablo Brait has volunteered and worked on climate, fossil fuel and renewable energy campaigns since 2007. His main focus is helping people work together to build the power they need to win. Pablo is a campaigner with MarketForces.

 

 

 

Workshop 3

Dan Spencer

Dan Spencer

Dan Spencer worked with the Port Augusta community and its allies from 2012-2017 on the Repower Port Augusta campaign that won a new, $650 million solar thermal plant to be built in the region creating clean energy and new jobs following the closure of the city’s two coal fired power stations. Dan now works as a Senior Campaigner at the Australian Services Union SA+NT Branch and previously worked as a campaigner/organiser at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and Solar Citizens.

Kate Smolski

Kate Smolski

Kate Smolski is an environmental advocate with over 15 years of experience in grassroots organizing, campaign strategy, media relations, policy and lobbying. As a grassroots organiser and campaigner Kate has worked for several leading US environmental non-profits including Green Corps, the Sierra Club and Greenpeace.  Kate moved to Sydney in 2012; she now leads the Nature Conservation Council of NSW as the CEO, after two years as the Campaigns Director. Kate co-founded the Community Organising Fellowship.

Gemma Borgo-Caratti

Gemma Borgo-Caratti

Gemma Borgo-Caratti is the National Director at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Prior to stepping up, Gemma was AYCC’s campaign and programs co-director, driving strategy and the rollout of AYCC’s campaigns and programs through their huge grassroots network across the country. Gemma been with the AYCC since 2010 as a NSW State Coordinator, National Fundraising Director and Campaigner and recently led their successful Don’t Risk the Reef campaign which saw Lend Lease, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank publicly withdraw from coal ports on the Great Barrier Reef. Gemma is passionate about empowering young people to take action on climate change and has run training days for hundreds of young people and even facilitated climate change workshops in the Antarctic. Gemma is a COF2014 graduate.

Chloe Aldenhoven

Chloe Aldenhoven

Chloe Aldenhoven has been campaigning for action on climate change and keeping fossil fuels in the ground since 2009. After joining the Quit Coal collective in 2012 Chloe began working as campaigner and community organiser at Friends of the Earth. She has worked with communities across the state to resist onshore gas and fracking, playing a core role in building a social movement that achieved a permanent ban on fracking and a long term moratorium on all gas exploration in Victoria.  She is now working at the Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity and is a volunteer member of Friends of the Earth’s Sustainable Cities Collective. Chloe is a COF2014 graduate.

Annie Kia

Annie Kia

Annie Kia has strong faith in collective intelligence. With threats to our life support systems and to democracy, she believes we need to deepen social movement know-how, so that a great many of us hold it, and strengthen it, together.

Annie first experienced People Power in her 20s, when she started learning from scholars and practitioners of nonviolent resistance, and engaged in the anti-nuclear movement of that time.

Her work experience includes TAFE teaching, counseling, organizational change and health promotion. In this latter role she immersed herself in learning how whole populations change – how they can adopt new behaviours via network cascades, and about emergent, complex systems. She started applying the Cynefin framework in collaborative projects. Using these concepts, she helped midwife a collaboration of regional organisations to act on climate change – Sustain Northern Rivers.

When her region was threatened by coal seam gasfields, Annie threw herself into the Northern Rivers campaign – as part of a capacity building team whose goal was scaling up the movement.

She co-developed a process of grassroots democracy called Gasfield Free Communities. After door-to-door surveys, communities unilaterally declared their district Gasfield Free. Her understanding of the Cynefin framework helped this go to scale and there were eventually 147 self-declared communities in the Northern Rivers. Reaching across every political affiliation, this process contributed to mass-movement dynamics at the Bentley Blockade.

In late 2012 Annie started working for Lock The Gate Alliance. Her role was to build the capacity of frontline communities to grow their movements, including the ongoing evolution of Mining Free communities. There are now more than 460 Gasfield Free, or Coal Free communities in Australia.

 

What are people saying about us?

Alana

Alana West, Quit Coal organiser

The fellowship has equipped me with a deeper understanding of what community organising is, and how it can best be applied. Through my learnings I have been challenged to move from tactics-based campaigning to more strategic, long-term campaigning. I understand better where my campaign and my community fit into the incredible tapestry that is the environment and climate movement in Australia.
2015-03-17T21:00:54+00:00
Alana
The fellowship has equipped me with a deeper understanding of what community organising is, and how it can best be applied. Through my learnings I have been challenged to move from tactics-based campaigning to more strategic, long-term campaigning. I understand better where my campaign and my community fit into the incredible tapestry that is the...
Six Degrees

Sam Robb, Six Degrees

When I’m amongst passionate and talented people, I always feel like our movement can be powerful. But after the last 10 days, I not only feel we can be powerful, I know we can. I know how we can be and that is a unique and invaluable gift. The quality and consideration of the facilitation and subject matter was astonishing, and there was a group wide acknowledgement of both an immense privilege of being a part of the cohort and a resounding responsibility to use and share what we felt and learnt.
2014-05-23T17:11:47+00:00
Six Degrees
When I’m amongst passionate and talented people, I always feel like our movement can be powerful. But after the last 10 days, I not only feel we can be powerful, I know we can. I know how we can be and that is a unique and invaluable gift. The quality and consideration of the facilitation...
josh

Josh Creaser, Frontline Projects Coordinator, 350.org

Most campaigners would probably shudder at the thought of spending ten whole days away from the frantic world of actions and meetings, to invest time in their own reflection and learning. The Community Organising Fellowship forces you to do just that – and what a gift and opportunity that time becomes.

 The Fellowship is a unique combination of ingredients. Time for pause and reflection. Discussion with leading thinkers. Connections to a wide array of campaigns. Guidance from experienced and caring facilitators. Bonds formed with 25 inspiring campaigners from across the country.

 These ingredients are brought together with carefully crafted methods. Thought-provoking stories. Challenging questions. Developing crucial skills. Applying new methods and tools. Preparing new plans for real world projects. 

 The result? Ten days that couldn’t have been better spent for someone that is looking to challenge their assumptions, deepen their understanding of why we organise in communities and feel ready to go forward with greater focus and vigour in their work.
2015-03-17T20:56:37+00:00
josh
Most campaigners would probably shudder at the thought of spending ten whole days away from the frantic world of actions and meetings, to invest time in their own reflection and learning. The Community Organising Fellowship forces you to do just that – and what a gift and opportunity that time becomes.  The Fellowship is a...
Shani Tager

Shani Tager, Friends of the Earth

The fellowship has been really useful in helping me become more disciplined in the strategic planning process and able to clearly communicate why we’re doing what we’re doing. The facilitation team have been fantastic and having theory drawn out from our own experiences and then immediately applied to our campaigns means I’ll be returning to my team with a solid analysis of how we can be more effective.
2014-05-10T21:52:42+00:00
Shani Tager
The fellowship has been really useful in helping me become more disciplined in the strategic planning process and able to clearly communicate why we’re doing what we’re doing. The facilitation team have been fantastic and having theory drawn out from our own experiences and then immediately applied to our campaigns means I’ll be returning to...
Peter Archer

Peter Archer, World Vision

I have shared with my friends and family that this workshop was the most valuable training I have done. It came at a time when I had become aware of my passion for grassroots activism. The follow-up support equipped me quickly and powerfully to put my learning into practice and age my confidence a huge boost.
2014-03-30T08:11:05+00:00
Peter Archer
I have shared with my friends and family that this workshop was the most valuable training I have done. It came at a time when I had become aware of my passion for grassroots activism. The follow-up support equipped me quickly and powerfully to put my learning into practice and age my confidence a huge...
quitcoal

Peter Callender, Quit Coal



Like many campaigning groups, we are constantly grappling with capacity issues, a lack of funding/resources, burnout and how to best manage volunteers. While it's early days, the fellowship is already having significant flow on effects to the rest of the Quit Coal collective and the lessons we are learning are both effective and reinvigorating!


2014-04-16T22:34:36+00:00
quitcoal
Like many campaigning groups, we are constantly grappling with capacity issues, a lack of funding/resources, burnout and how to best manage volunteers. While it’s early days, the fellowship is already having significant flow on effects to the rest of the Quit Coal collective and the lessons we are learning are both effective and reinvigorating!
dave & gemma

Dave Muhly, Sierra Club

What began at Pittwater as a collection of skilled campaigners became a cadre of skilled organizers by the final day at Baden Powell. On Sunday evening as we gathered, I overheard one participant chatting with another at a picnic table and heard, "challenge, choice, outcome" as part of her conversation. Another commented at the final circle at how what had seemed like such a large group at Pittwater now seemed like a much smaller group, reflective of how closely this group had bonded as a team despite their vast differences in geography or organizational size or style, but based on a common goal and identity. Concepts like "building teams" and "building relationships" were part of the normal parlance and just a cursory review of the evaluations to date show an increased appreciation for and attention to leadership development and strategic planning. A number of participants reminded me of my off-the-cuff set of definitions about the differences between mobilizing, campaigning and community organising (focusing on local power), and one told me she has it on the wall of her office to inspire her every day. This has been the successful launch of an ambitious and visionary program. Many thanks to James and Kate for their vision, wisdom, and care in developing and nurturing the curriculum and the cohort. Kudos!

2014-09-15T10:27:41+00:00
dave & gemma
What began at Pittwater as a collection of skilled campaigners became a cadre of skilled organizers by the final day at Baden Powell. On Sunday evening as we gathered, I overheard one participant chatting with another at a picnic table and heard, “challenge, choice, outcome” as part of her conversation. Another commented at the final...
Sophie Peer

Sophie Peer, ChilOut campaign director

The Change Agency is like a best friend in the drawer. As the only paid employee in a very small not for profit, it is fabulous to know there are trusted, well tested resources a click away. Whether it's workshop planning, strategic re-think, tactics - tCA is the chamomile tea to my campaigner-stress.
2014-05-16T14:31:59+00:00
Sophie Peer
The Change Agency is like a best friend in the drawer. As the only paid employee in a very small not for profit, it is fabulous to know there are trusted, well tested resources a click away. Whether it’s workshop planning, strategic re-think, tactics – tCA is the chamomile tea to my campaigner-stress.
Naomi Hodgson

Naomi Hodgson, community organiser, NW NSW

I can emphatically endorse the value of this time to build skills and awareness in strategic thinking and in specific and practical community organising tools. I am sure that with concerted application of the course content I will become a significantly more confident and effective organiser. Furthermore, the value of the relationships that have been forged among the cohort offer great potential for future collaboration and support to help build a more coordinated, cooperative and powerful environment movement in Australia.
2015-03-17T20:49:16+00:00
Naomi Hodgson
I can emphatically endorse the value of this time to build skills and awareness in strategic thinking and in specific and practical community organising tools. I am sure that with concerted application of the course content I will become a significantly more confident and effective organiser. Furthermore, the value of the relationships that have been...
isaac

Isaac Astill, Divestment Campaigner, 350.org Australia

It would take years of fumbling along for me to learn what the Fellowship has taught me in a few short months. I feel more powerful for it, and I’ve walked away with the ongoing skills and relationships I need to build a more powerful movement.
2015-03-17T19:37:41+00:00
isaac
It would take years of fumbling along for me to learn what the Fellowship has taught me in a few short months. I feel more powerful for it, and I’ve walked away with the ongoing skills and relationships I need to build a more powerful movement.