I attended the two-day Foundations of Community Organising Training Course because I wanted to gain knowledge and increase my confidence to become a more active member of COTA NSW’s Community Advocates Network, a group who want to create positive change for older people.
Over 80 people from diverse organisations, ages and cultures came together in a hall under St Stephens Church, just across the road from Parliament House in Macquarie Street.
We explored how community organising can help to strengthen our organisations, and built relationships with each other through sharing stories. We learnt about tools such as the relational meeting and table talks, as well as discernment, power, planning, taking action and evaluation. We also had the opportunity to practise a table talk meeting, a way to hear what the community is experiencing and where change is needed.
One of my favourite sessions was using a Power Map Grid. This enables you to brainstorm who holds the power to make the change you want and who in turn influences them. This then helps to plan the steps to reach the change being sought.
There was a lead training team and someone on each table to support participants through every topic. Each trainer had special skills making it interesting through their slide presentations and interactive sessions.
I met so many motivated people working to make a difference in their communities and for their organisations. It was truly an inspirational experience and I registered for their Masterclass series so I could continue the learning experience and meet more people.
I thank COTA NSW for encouraging me to take this opportunity. I would highly recommend this course, and the Masterclasses, for others wanting to expand their knowledge and networks as community advocates.
The Sydney Alliance brings together community organisations, unions, religious organisations and schools to advance the common good and achieve a fair, just and sustainable city. It is a non-party political organisation which currently has 38 partner organisations including COTA NSW.