Throughout 2017 the Wilderness Society Sydney will be hosting a number of two-day Fundamentals of Community Organising training courses. Our training program is a key part of our new community organising strategy, Movement for Life.
The training is free for Wilderness Society supporters and will focus on the core skills of community organising. After the training, supporters will have the opportunity to work on Wilderness Society campaigns, join a local organising team and to take the skills they learn and work with local community groups and organisations on environmental issues they care about.
The Wilderness Society started as a small group of nature lovers standing up for our wild places and, through the iconic Franklin River campaign, enlivened a movement and inspired a generation.
Our many successes over the last 40 years have shown that the best way to protect nature for future generations is to demonstrate visible public support, not only for the protection of nature in Australia, but care for the climate globally.
We are returning to our people-power roots and investing in our greatest strength: our ability to inspire and empower people to create change. Community organising is the primary source of our strength and will help us win campaigns, but it is much more than this. It involves empowering, training and supporting leaders; allowing them to activate their communities, build effective teams and create solutions to achieve a shared vision of a society that is deeply connected to nature and seeks to protect our natural world.
Our training program will work to develop community leaders across the country. This will build the capacity and structure within local communities that will allow us to keep winning those campaigns into the next generation.
The two-day course provides the fundamentals of community organising, including:
- theory and frameworks,
- relational organising skills,
- using personal narrative,
- cutting an issue and making a plan, and
- core organising skills including running effective house parties.
Through this training, supporters will be well equipped to work with the Wilderness Society on our current campaigns and community organising program, as well as work with local community groups or organisations to take effective action on the issues they really care about.
The complete agenda is available here: two-day community organising training agenda
The two-day course is held over a weekend, from 8:30am to 5:00pm on Saturday and from 8:30am to 3:30pm on Sunday. The dates for the 2017 courses are:
What to expect from the training
In March 2016, I attended a Movement for Life event at Glebe Town Hall, which launched the two-day community organising training program. Having been a strong Wilderness Society activist and volunteer back in the 80s, the prospect of reconnecting with community organising was a very attractive prospect. The training was a great coming together of others with a passion for protecting our remaining wild places and our increasingly battered planet.
The presentation and delivery of the training weekend was great as was the chance to be with like-minded people sharing stories and challenges. Since then and a bit of travelling in between I have joined the small Inner West team and run a House Party here at my place. I've also recently returned from a fundraising trek for the Tarkine. Another great group of people and a chance to understand a little about the country and the campaign to have the area World Heritage listed.
John and Diana's story
Hi, I'm John from Chatswood. My wife Diana and I have just spent a really great year as TWS volunteers. We decided to sign up for the two-day community organising training in December 2015, even though we had not then had much to do with TWS. We were not disappointed! It was a truly professional course. The presenters were excellent and created a lively, inclusive atmosphere, sharing their knowledge with a friendly bunch of interesting people of all ages and backgrounds.
With its practical, hands-on approach, the course is a great way to grow your skills in working with people and improve your ability to support and provide leadership in organising community groups and events. I am sure it has given us that extra confidence to work with a few other local volunteers to establish our TWS North regional group in May. Our growing team already has a few events under our belt and we have some major TWS activities planned for 2017. We have found a great way to make a real difference — and found some lovely like-minded friends to share our ideas and aspirations with!
Hi, I'm Gigi from Katoomba, and I've been a volunteer with the Wilderness Society since April 2016.
Time hasn't meant a thing, however, to the skills I've learnt and the experiences I've had since volunteering at the launch of the Movement for Life program in March this year.
The two-day training was the first step for me, in really believing that I could make realistic and long-term change. The course is presented in a way that makes visualising the road to change easier and gave me the empowerment and hope that's needed to see it happen.
As an ally of the earth and of humanity, the two-day training has inspired me, more than ever, to be as equipped as I can to protect our world and to help us thrive together.
Hi, I'm Garth from Castle Cove. I attended the Sydney two-day community organising training in January 2015. The two days were full of interesting people, great ideas and inspiring stories. The course used practical hands-on training to provide skills in working effectively with people, leading and managing community groups and in planning and organising community events. It was a fabulous way to become more actively involved with the Wilderness Society.
Since attending the training I've joined my local TWS North team, started volunteering my time at the Sydney office and am planning to visit my state MP about NSW land clearing legislation. Most of all, I've become involved with some terrific people who are enthusiastically engaged in activities that really mean something to me.