Meet the trainer: Jon Staley

Staley Jon

What's your role at ICDA?

I am one of the Community Trainers at ICDA which means that I develop and deliver governance related content across a range of domains. This includes some face to face teaching/facilitation, online classes/training and webinars and writing/developing content.

What's your involvement in the community sector?

Before coming to ICDA I founded a not-for-profit social enterprise called Youthworx that creates training and employment opportunities in creative and commercial media production for young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This came out of a passion for using the creative arts (spurred by a number of years working on film/theatre projects with the Koori community at Northland Secondary College) as a vehicle for social/individual/community transformation. The idea that you could have a voice and engage in a dialogue through the arts/media production – I was also interested in figuring out how to tap into young people’s creativity as a fuel for purpose/meaning/motivation while also turning these creative skills into commercial, food on the table skills.

So the bulk of my professional working life has been driven by seeking to create spaces/contexts that support individuals/communities to have the tools to be articulate in their own story/voice and also be able to sustain this.

At present as well as teaching at ICDA I am currently Deputy Chair of a wonderful community based organisation Fitzroy Learning Network.

What's your teaching style?

In the context of teaching here at ICDA my style is very conversational/dialogue driven. I get the most pleasure out of drawing on the knowledge in the room and building on it or underneath it. I love exploring the principles that sit behind the content and marrying this with participants/student’s experiences.

How do you like to be taught?

Throughout my life I have needed to learn through doing, through putting things into practice alongside theory – but practice first. As a teenager I completely disengaged from formal classroom-based education and was very sceptical about the way we teach/learn in traditional institutions. Despite this I ended up becoming a teacher (originally Drama and English) but always tried to bring as much life as possible to the teaching context and make the learning as hands on, project based and relational as possible. I am able to sit still and focus attention now for longer, so can tolerate lots of different ways of being taught, but to embed the knowledge still need to marry it to doing/being/experiencing in some way.

What's the most memorable thing anyone has ever said in one of your training sessions?

One student blurted out ‘I love governance’ in the middle of a robust class discussion at one point. That momentarily quietened the room!

If you weren't a trainer, what would you like to be?

I love writing, story, film, theatre and archetypal (Jungian) psychology. So perhaps something that combines elements of all of the above!

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