by Kay Mclean
It’s been a busy year for the Sunshine Coast group. As we close the year, we are please to have developed a strategy and action plan which will facilitate a number of opportunities for groups to collaborate, share and review how they can strengthen their position. We thank Maria Tennant for facilitating the group planning process and welcome Bea Rogan who will be supporting the implementation of the plan.
To launch our strategy and action plans, we held a community conversation event, in conjunction with the Australia wide Changemakers Festival. Nourished by traditional jewish foods made by one of our members, Smadar Menashe, the Nambour event saw a number of board and staff members coming together to share stories of collaboration.
Beginning with an overview of the Coalition and then a group discussion, it became obvious that one of the major challenges where small organisations have begun collaborating is to maintain that collaboration. It takes time and energy, which is scarce.
The Hinterland Community Development Association spoke of their current renewal efforts around ensuring that collaboration is meeting their individual and collective needs and strengthening their vision.
One organisation spoke of the need to include creative visioning processes which take people out of entrained mindsets and allow new possibilities and hope to emerge;
One attendee shared the positive experience of a recent AGM which was creative and celebratory and renewed member enthusiasm – it gave us insight into non-prescriptive ways of maintaining heart, while ensuring good governance;
Paul Martin spoke of a new initiative on Sunshine Coast which is bringing several organisations in the disability field together – ultimately under one roof, with shared backroom, some shared staffing, and even a set of minimal policies incommon, plus with a large shared vision to create social enterprises and other innovations. In this instance, board members were not directly involved, with key leaders of each org meeting regularly, initially to discuss issues and possibilities, but gradually involving some common relief staff, and eventually agreeing to joint project.
The Sunshine Coast CoCB are planning some training events in the New Year, especially around governance and will use the time until then to build connections with other local organisations.
If you are interested in finding out more, or discussing how your organisation would like to be involved, please contact me Kay Maclean firstname.lastname@example.org