Community Development in the West – our Community of Practice

Share Reflect Learn Grow

Network West, together with a group of committed local community development practitioners in the west, facilitate opportunities for all community development workers to reflect on their practice in the real world. We use this time together to share what’s worked, challenge ourselves and one another, listen and consider new ideas in the field. We meet every two months.


Our  next session is in March 2023. Please contact us if you want to be on the mailing list.

Join us as we discuss and share our thoughts about  ‘Activating Community Voices’.
If you attended the last session on 27th July 2021 but have not yet given us your feedback, please help us by completing this survey. 

Thursday 25th June at 9.30 am
Please contact me at if you would like to join.


Community of Practice meeting dates for 2020

Tuesday 4th August at 9.30 am

Tuesday 27th October at 9.30 am

Thursday 10th December at 9.30 am


Thursday 16th April 2020 at

See here for a video of that session – with wonderful insights and learning opportunities


Thanks to all who participated and shared openly and honestly. I believe we all learned a huge amount.

Local Programs dealing with racism and white privilege
Wingate Avenue Community Centre, Together We Stand
for more information contact Kelly Harding or Lauren Holst.

Additional resources about the types of language you might use to intervene are coming soon, thanks Helen!

Robin D’Angelo here
About race with Reni Eddo-Lodge Podcast
Peggy Macintosh  Ted Talk.
Sue Borrego Ted Talk about Understand Privilege
Layla Saad Good Ancestor, Conversations with change-Makers & Culture shapers

McIntosh Peggy 2009, White privilege, Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
Whiteness survey
Mullaly B., and West J., 2017 Privilege an Over

Robin D’Angelo: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism 
Reni Eddo-Lodge Why I am no longer talking to white people about race
Layla Saad Me & White Supremacy. Also see Layla’s website

Hello, Privilege. It’s me, Chelsea

Connecting People – Feb 2020 Contact List

What is Community ownership? How do we foster it? What are the challenges and tensions inherent in community ownership?

A short summary of our panellists contributions Neighbourhood Houses bring the community voice to their work by

  • Membership
  • Governance
  • Auspicing
  • Fostering conversations
  • Community mapping
  • Building leadership

Panellists talked about the history of Neighbourhood Houses from the women’s movement in the 1970’s, and focused on the role of Boards.

Questions & Discussion that followed;

What does ownership mean? Can there be too much? What about if one groups ownership excludes another group or leads to unfair decisions?

Boards / Committees of Governance… who should be on theme? Is their role strategic or statutory or both? The board sets the organisations principles and values, but they may not know about Community Development…

Group discussions: How do we foster community ownership?

  • Create as sense of cultural safety
  • Enable communities to identify their own priorities , advocacy
  • Connect groups and networks / Making the relationships work
  • Facilitate opportunities
  • Enable communities to identify supports needed
  • Increase agency
  • Hand over decision making power, then facilitate
  • Challenge complacency
  • Acknowledge power structures
  • Responding to community driven issues
  • Building strong and trusting partnerships
  • Using mechanisms for conversation
  • Creating spaces – for young people to connect.

Bi-Cultural Oppression – Date Co-health bi-cultural Internship Presentation

Reflections on Federal Election – June 2019 Jim Ife Essay

Group Agreements – Community Development- Nov 2018 Presentation

  • Community development is a holistic approach grounded in principles of empowerment, human rights, inclusion, social justice, self-determination and collective action.
  • Working in Collaboration / Client-led practice (choice and ownership)
  • Strengths based / Asset based practice
  • Doing with, rather than doing to.
  • Reflective & Reflexive practice (check your privilege, bias and prejudices frequently)
  • CD is Complex dynamic, every challenging experience and full of dilemma’s.
  • Other cultures may work differently or move at a different pace to western standards. This needs to be embraced and respected if they have ownership over the program.
  • Capacity building through peer to peer learned skills, sense of accomplishment and confidence.
  • Using Strength based Language – Community Engagement, Co-design Community building, health promotion etc. More on Presentation above.

Discussion Notes from session

  • Confidentiality – what is said in the room, stays in the room
  • Whilst using examples of practice – be mindful of issues around confidentiality and privacy
  • Non-judgemental about people’s practice
  • Recognising and acknowledging people coming from different experiences, professional roles and communication styles
  • Spectrum of formal community development training – the difference between formal training and ‘practice wisdom’
  • Hold a space where people can be vulnerable
  • Being open to diversity – no one is the expert
  • Inclusive of different voices
  • Respecting people’s humanity
  • Listening without interruptions
  • Focus on the idea/issue/practice not the person
  • Shared ownership amongst the network
  • Respecting confidentiality and intellectual property (ie, don’t steal other people’s ideas)
  • Any grievances – open to feedback – in the first instance owning behaviour/feelings

Topic Agenda Brainstorm – November 2018

Original white board


  • Practice dilemmas – brainstorm :
    • gather alternative ideas
    • one person brings dilemma for group to unpack
  • Sharing successes – analysis
    •  theory/practice
    • Articulation
  • Guest speakers – give examples
    • (Sue Kenny (recording/podcast)
  • Topics – Eco focused CD
  • Updates – email list>
  • Food for thought – articles (one per session)
    • Guiding questions and discussions
  • Technology – Skype, Facebook, google classroom, Loomio portal

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