Workshop participant Pam McAllister, Red Earth Community Foundation board member Carl Rackemann and presenter Lisa Ryan chatted at a post-workshop dinner

June 20, 2018

by Dafyd Martindale

The question of how individuals can tackle pressing social issues isn’t a topic that comes up very often around the dinner table.

But the Australia we live in today has only come about because individuals saw things that were unfair, unjust or unhealthy and worked to bring about social change.

Those individuals – and the movements that often grew around them – gave us votes for women, a public health system, universal education, the 40-hour week and many, many other things we now take for granted.

But it wasn’t always so – the Australia of the 18th and 19th centuries was a much harsher, more brutal place than the one most of us know today.

The question of how to create social impact to address pressing social challenges taxed the minds of 20 local residents who attended a special workshop at Kingaroy’s TAFE College last week.

The workshop was sponsored by the Red Earth Community Foundation, thanks to a grant from the Building Better Regions Fund, and was led by Lisa Ryan, the co-founder of Adaptive Leadership Australia (ALA).

Lisa, from Sydney, worked in many different roles in both the private and public sector before she help create ALA.

She has a passion for showing people how they can get involved in social impact projects, and how they can strengthen existing social enterprises, and she shared that with the audience at the day-long workshop, which was followed by a dinner in the evening.

After the workshop was over, participants told they’d found it more challenging than they’d expected, but thought it was “a very worthwhile exercise”.

“When you really look into it, social impact is a complex process and the best way forward isn’t always easy to see,” Kylie van Schyndel said.

“But it was a great workshop and I think everyone is glad they took part.”

Lisa’s workshop was one of a series of four being held at the TAFE college between late May and the end of November.

The first workshop – held on May 23 – was led by Natalie Egleton, the CEO of the Foundation for Rural And Regional Renewal, who focussed on fostering the development of philanthropy and community foundations.

The third will be held on September 12 and will be led by former ABC Landline journalist Peter Lewis who will look at communication and public relations.

And the fourth, on November 28, will share the insights of RuralScope Director Jo Eady who’ll discuss all aspects of mentoring, including how to find one and how to become one.

The workshops are being managed by Torkit Solutions, and information about the coming September and November workshops can be found on their website

Chef Jason Ford and Hospitality Certicate III student Hannah Anderson were part of a TAFE team of volunteers who catered for the day-long event and the post-workshop dinner
Wendy Olsen and Suzanne Mungall talked about the workshop with Red Earth board member Cr Ros Heit

Anderssons Fruit Market for quality fruits and vegetables
Beautiful Xmas Gifts from Shop 38, Kingaroy - click here


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