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Mon, 16 Mar


Borderlands Co-operative

Regenerating Community

The great predicaments of our time are pushing community development to the fore. The practice is uniquely positioned to make a difference if we embrace the latest thinking about regenerative approaches and restore our capabilities to relate with ourselves, each other and our world.

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Regenerating Community
Regenerating Community

Time & Location

16 Mar 2020, 9:30 am AEDT – 17 Mar 2020, 4:30 am AEDT

Borderlands Co-operative, Suite 43, 25 - 27 Albert St, Footscray VIC 3011, Australia

About the event

The learning goals of this workshop are as follows:

• enabling participants to talk confidently about what CD is and could be and how it may fit in their daily practice, their organisational and every-day living contexts; 

• enabling participants to develop a framework with which to assess the competing and contrasting claims about CD and a ‘compass’ to guide their present and future practice and learning;

• assisting participants in combining philosophical, theoretical and practical principles to inform their engagement in CD;

• together with participants elaborate ecologically informed steps towards regenerative development of their community/communities.

Lunch is provided; participants will receive a USB with materials illuminating or illustrating the discussions and presentations during the workshops. Both facilitators will remain available for consultation after the workshop on or via 9819 3239.


Day one 


What brought you here and what you expect of this workshop? What context are you working in as an employee, volunteer, activist, participant… in your communities, local councils, agencies, departments, etc. and how does this connect with community involvement; how to you perceive ‘community’ in this work and its context? 

 ‘Community’: what’s in a name/word?

‘Community’ is used so often and in such a variety of meanings that it has almost become meaningless… attributed meanings fall into three main dimensions, the ‘material/ecological/topographical; the relational; and the ‘(un)conscious’ in all its dimensions. We’ll gather our individual meanings and construct a collective/holistic picture. What are the overarching ideas which come about…? How do they relate with one-another?

Regenerative Practice is an holistic integrated approach which recognises that people and their places are intertwined and interdependent.  The focus is firmly centred on the redevelopment of our capabilities for relating with ourselves, each other and our world.  We will explore what this means in the context of the predicaments which we currently face and how this affects what we need to do in working with communities.

The ‘community atlas’ and other ways of coming to know ‘your’ community

A historical and comparative look at ‘community’ – what’s happened to ‘us’ as we became ‘individuals’? 

What was the ‘community’ in earlier historical examples referred to and how has it changed over time…? And how different are communities in different locales still today…? And what had ‘development’ come to mean in this story…? 

The Contexts of community development – or the practical, political, geographic, institutional and every-day ‘spaces’ in which CD is at work… 

Using a simple framework – categorical, territorial, functional - which ‘holds’ these dimensions together, we’ll try and paint a picture of the ‘field(s)’ in which CD is mostly situated and for which it is supposed to be ‘a useful tool’… We will invite participants to ‘locate’ themselves and their practice (existing or intended…) within the contexts

Emotionally locating ourselves in community…

Participants are invited to remember a moment/event/situation/ experience in which they really ‘felt’ ‘this is community happening’ and tell everyone the story … We will then reflect on what is common and what is more specific about these stories/events…?

Historical re-view of story of CD: looking at ‘Community Development’ as an evolving story – or even a set of stories… 

The fields of CD: attempting to construct a mind map of the areas often and usually associated with CD

Amongst others: the arts; international development; economic development; CD in health; CD being for ‘for the disadvantaged’; ‘community engagement’ and ‘capacity building’; community development as community ‘action’ and ‘organisation’; ecologically-informed CD; etc. etc…. 

Participants share their experiences and their knowledge about the fields, creating a picture of diverse experiences and understandings…

Review of Day one and short introduction of a set of ‘principles’ underlying Community Development (if time available) and preview of Day Two: anything participants would especially like to focus on…?

Day two

Reflections from day one and further development of introduction and discussion of a set of ‘principles’ underlying Community Development as this ranges from political action, economic alternatives, organisational change, local neighbourhood connections, environmental activism, sustainability and ecological involvement, and learning again how to relate with one another in a context of extreme individualism…

If CD is all about ‘relating’ and ‘relationships’, how can we (re-)start to understand what that means…? Thinking about ‘restorative’ and ‘regenerative’ work at the centre of the development of community…. And how do we include the ‘other than-human’ in this?

Returning to the ‘fields of practice’ the participants are working or volunteering in: using the ‘principles’, how can we add some more depth to our understanding of the possibilities and challenges associated with our community involvement? We will examine an attempt at thinking about community development as a generic ‘working principle’ across the range of approaches to working in and with communities and their members, individuals and groups.

How can we apply the principles and what helps or what prevents them from being meaningfully applied in participants work setting and engagements? Could we ‘negotiate’ ways of doing things differently in our work and living environments…? And how can we prevent burn-out?

1.15 How do you: 

– come to know your community…?

- learn to work in groups…? (Given that most CD work

will occur in or through groups!)

- … start to get a sense of (your) the community’s strengths and ‘issues’…?

- … how do you start ‘doing something’ about what you’ve discovered…?

- … and what do you do then…?

- … and what to do about conflict…?

We will attempt to get a bit of a sense of ‘process’ and ‘method’ of CD but won’t forget the Principles, the contradictions and tensions as well as the possibilities… We will group participants in groups working in similar contexts and organisational or community ‘settings’ or ‘fields’ 

 Engaging with the ‘Doughnut’ – Kate Raworth’s way of thinking about the integration of the local and the global, of the social and the ecological, of the personal, the social and the ecological…

Survival and response-ability of CD workers in their organisational settings: manoeuvring between the ‘technical rationality’ of method and funding and the ‘rationality’ (?) of service delivery and the need to build community as relationship or the need to resist certain impositions by the wider system (think development and population growth; think major works and their effect on community; think ecological destruction; think inequality and disadvantage; think loneliness and alienation; think ecological sustainability; etc., etc.) 


  • Workshop fee

    This ticket includes a light lunch, morning & afternoon tea. Please bring a USB if you would like copies of notes. G.S.T. is included in the ticket price

  • Concession workshop fee

    This ticket includes a light lunch, morning & afternoon tea. Please bring a USB if you would like copies of notes. G.S.T. is included in the ticket price




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