Making Change Happen – Be Part of Unique Professional Development Opportunity

Stephanie Koorey

02 Jun, 2016

Being part of a movement to bring about united positive change, for a just, equitable and sustainable world is central to ACFID and its members.

That’s why we’re championing a new and exciting professional development course called Making Change Happen. The three-unit course will be delivered in partnership with La Trobe University with generous funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

So what would ACFID’s time-poor Members get out of the course?

ACFID spoke to the Making Change Happen course convenor, La Trobe Associate Professor Chris Roche. Chris is also Chair in International Development, Director of the Institute for Human Security and Social Change and Developmental Leadership Program Senior Research Partner.

ACFID: What was the catalyst for designing an ACFID course called Making Change Happen?

CHRIS: For some time, staff in the NGO sector in Australia have been discussing how to remain relevant in a complex and uncertain world at formal events and conferences on ‘disruptive change’, in the pub or around the metaphorical water-cooler. Our sense is that there is a growing hunger to delve deeper into these issues in ways that are likely to promote more than empty rhetoric about ‘doing good’, but which also recognise the reality of how the world really works rather than how we would like it to be.

ACFID: Staff in our member agencies are time-poor and with limited professional development funding. Why should they participate in MCH?

CHRIS: When was the last time you took time to ask some of the big questions about what you do, and how it might be done differently, in a structured way? We are often told we need to distinguish between the urgent and the important. Talking a step back, asking oneself if one could make more of a difference and engage others in this debate is one of those important things that is often sacrificed on the altar of urgency.

ACFID: How can participants be sure this course is relevant to their current, and future, work?

CHRIS: First, the course is being delivered by people who have long experience as practitioners and as senior staff in NGOs. Second, participants will be bringing their real, live problems, issues and challenges to this course and work on them between the face-to-face sessions.  The course is designed to be based on active learning shaped by the needs of the participants.

ACFID: What will participants in Making Change Happen come away with?

CHRIS: We are expecting that participants will come away with: broader knowledge of different ways of understanding how change happens; some enhanced skills applicable to working in a complex and uncertain world; and not least, a potential network of colleagues who are all seeking to champion development effectiveness in their organisations and across the sector.

ACFID: Can you give some examples of what participants will be doing on this course? Is it all theory, or do you look at real life examples?

CHRIS: Whether it is exploring the Arab Uprisings, discussing how non-Indigenous people can best support Indigenous causes, or reading a novel to explore the ‘fiction of development’, this course will mix practice and theory and challenge assumptions. If you have figured out how the world works and how to make change happen, please come along and share your ideas; if you haven’t then maybe you should come too!

Making Change Happen Unit 1: Foundational Issues in Making Change Happen starts on Wednesday 14th September 2016. Units 2 and 3 will run over the first half of 2017. More details – including the objectives, course outline, cost and location can be found in the Information Pack

Registrations can be made here. Places are limited, and payments can be made in this financial year.

Enquiries about Making Change Happen can be emailed to Steph Koorey or call her on 02 6281 9230. 

  • Stephanie Koorey
    Stephanie Koorey

    Dr Stephanie Koorey joined ACFID’s Learning and Development team in March this year. She was previously with Deakin University as Senior Lecturer based at the senior course of the Australian Defence College, the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies. Her research interests involve human security and transnational security issues, particularly trafficking and smuggling of people and goods. 


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