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Denis Moriarty

New festival to bring sparkle to community sector governance

By Lachlan Pollock, reporter, Our Community

Australia's first-ever year-long celebration of community governance, the 2019 Festival of Community Directors, has just been launched, and the program is jam-packed with inspirational, informative and celebratory events.

The festival maps an entire year of training and events to help not-for-profit board members plan for 2019.

Organised by the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA), the festival incorporates a number of themed weeks to focus the attention of not-for-profit board members.

The themes are tied to a wealth of resources from ICDA and other relevant experts, such as renowned ethicist Dr Simon Longstaff and former ACNC commissioner Susan Pascoe.

Featured topics include cultural diversity, organising a great AGM, communicating with clout, policy renewal, and ideal inductions.

A newly expanded national program of specialised training and events covers a range of subjects essential to the governance of community organisations.

Training videos, help sheets, news articles, webinars and all other resources will be hosted on the Festival of Community Directors webpage, available here.

Our Community executive director Denis Moriarty said the festival was a "celebration of learning".

"Good governance is always the foundation of a well-run organisation. This year, the Festival of Community Directors will help the community sector get its governance in order.

"Our goal is simple: Make the community sector stronger than ever," said Mr Moriarty.

"We know there is a great deal of passion in the community sector to do the right thing, but what's sometimes missing are the skills to get things done.

"This year we're giving directors and the staff who work alongside them the chance to upgrade those skills with a year-long program."

Mr Moriarty said he had noticed that while many community sector organisations had set big goals for 2019, some lacked the strategies and plans that would enable them to meet those goals.

It was this observation, he said, that had inspired the Festival of Community Directors.

"We've packaged everything together to help community directors to plan their year, and to make sure things aren't left till the last minute," he said.

"This allows members to see the kaleidoscope of activities on offer all in one place, and they can plot their interests and see the gaps in their skills, and work towards upgrading them."

The Festival of Community Directors will benefit ICDA members country-wide, providing more training and events around Australia.

Denis Moriarty

Our Community's Denis Moriarty says the Festival will be a celebration of learning.

"As ICDA's membership has expanded, so too has our need to cater for the full membership across the country," said Mr Moriarty.

The festival program includes specialised courses in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, along with Diploma of Business (Governance) training, which is available in all states and territories.

For the full program, check out the ICDA brochure.

Highlights early in the year include:

  • Celebrating Women - a free International Women's Day networking event for female ICDA members, celebrating their contributions to the community sector. Melbourne CBD, 6pm, Friday 8 March.
  • Good Ethics & Good Culture - a half-day training event presented by Dr Simon Longstaff of The Ethics Centre. Dr Longstaff is fresh from spear-heading a review of Cricket Australia's culture and is ready to pass on wisdom from this experience to help your board reflect on its own ethics and culture. 9am-12:30pm, Melbourne CBD, Wednesday 13 March.

We have also partnered with Commonwealth Bank to bring new governance training for the disability support sector to five Australian cities throughout the year.

Susan Pascoe, the inaugural commissioner of the ACNC and current chair of the Community Directors Council, has endorsed the new festival, saying it has been "designed to give board members and the senior staff who support them the best possible chance to succeed."

"There's something for everyone," she said. "I'm sure you will find plenty in ICDA's year-long calendar of events to set you on the right path."

To get involved, check out the festival webpage and the program, and then register your expression of interest or purchase tickets for upcoming events.


Festival homepage | Festival brochure | Re-live the festival launch on Facebook

Celebrating Women: a free networking event | Good Ethics & Good Culture | All upcoming Festival events

Denis Moriarty

Eminent ethicist Dr Simon Longstaff is hosting a training day for the Festival in March.
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