For the first 5 months, the Organising School was run by volunteers lead by two ‘super volunteers’ – Amanda Tattersall and Isabella Morand. In October the School received a small grant which has allowed us to expand.
Amanda has over 20 years of experience as a community organiser and educator. She co-founded GetUp, founded the Sydney Alliance, hosts the ChangeMakers Podcast and is now researching social change strategy with the University of Sydney’s Policy Lab. She brought US style community organising practice to Australia in 2007 through founding the Alliance. She deeply values organising’s focus on leadership and relationship building while also understanding its place across an ecosystem of different people power strategies (that’s the focus of her upcoming book). She leads on content at the School.
Isabella – or Isab as we fondly call her – has been the operational lead of the program, holding together the training space, coordinating large teams of volunteers to participate. She joined the team within weeks of it launching and has worked since then as its co-founder – the thing could not have lasted without her. Her role connects to her passion for leaderful movements and her interest in making mass volunteer participation the engine room for social change. She is leading the leadership intensive program from Season 3 as well as supporting program delivery.
In Season 3 we welcome our first staff person Will Potter. Will is a proud Gundangara man and Student Striker who has joined us as our Delivery Coordinator. He will help us expand the School with breadth and depth across the country.
Through Isab, Amanda and Will’s work, every training session involves around five volunteers. These change week to week (although we luckily have an increasingly large group of committed people who play a leadership role). These people help run the tech and breakout functions, the slides, and chat. Every week we have multiple trainers and speakers, featuring both concepts and case studies. And of course, we have multiple breakouts to ensure participants get to exchange, learn and explore the content, and most importantly, connect with each other.
We hold ad hoc planning meetings with organisational partners and supportive individuals to help us slowly and surely expand access to the School across the country (and more broadly) ensuring that whenever anyone joins a call – they are meeting with and learning from people different to them.
This is what some of our participants have said:
- This is a fantastic course for all change makers – whether you’re a seasoned organiser or super fresh to the movement. The tools and lessons shared are invaluable and you’ll be putting those in to practice right away! The chance to connect with so many change makers from within the broader change movement was incredibly motivating too! Nat Rowed, The Wilderness Society
- Curiosity got me interested in joining the school initially but then I was hooked. I can’t remember anything like this – where I became so aware of what I thought I knew (but didn’t) and what I needed to learn (and did). To be able to appreciate the principles that have guided other movements and causes, and in the same session, to hear from people who applied and used those principles – this is the way for me to become more effective and more useful! Malcolm Paterson, Stop Adani Brisbane