The Victorian Greens Facilitators Network exists to promote facilitation as a key skill for members of the AGV by serving as a forum for sharing ideas, developing skills and providing expertise and advice to the AGV in all aspects of facilitation.
About us ... from little things big things grow
The facilitators network was started by Jim Buckell and Josephine Maguire-Rosier in June 2015 with Janet Rice as our patron. They wanted to provide some support, training and resources around facilitation to members across the party.
In February 2017, our application to become an official working group of the Victorian Greens was supported by state council. The purpose of the network is “to promote facilitation as a key skill for members of the AGV by serving as a forum for sharing ideas, developing skills and providing expertise and advice to the AGV in all aspects of facilitation.”
How we can support you
The Facilitators Network is here to help you in one of the key roles for the Greens – facilitation. As we discover when we facilitate our first meeting, there's a lot more to this task than getting through an agenda. We have to be able to hold the group space with great care to guide us to good outcomes.
Facilitators help us make great music
A facilitator is like the conductor of an orchestra. They ensure we play by the agreed rules as we harness the creative energy so we can work together in harmony. They keep us to time, paying heed to every player and ensuring no one is drowned out by the big brass.
Facilitators need training
The network grew out of a need to maintain and build skills across the party in running great meetings, making good decisions by consensus and working well together in the spirit of collaboration that underpins our culture. Many of us have found that as the party grows we face bigger and more important decisions and we don’t always know how best to proceed, especially when we face a wide range of views.
We discovered as we rolled out our training sessions that there was a big appetite for the skills and processes we were teaching. However, we were only ever able to scratch the surface because as volunteers our time was limited. Now we are an official body of the party we have been able to put forward a modest budget submission so this training can be stepped up and delivered professionally.
The Victorian Greens have allocated a budget this financial year to run training for facilitators. So far, we've identified four key areas members tell us they need help with:
- core facilitation skills
- running great meetings
- consensus decision-making
- handling conflict as it arises
We’d like to hear your ideas about training at our AGM.
A budget to support our work
There is now some money in the Victorian Greens budget to help volunteers at all levels of the party access professionally delivered training in facilitation. This program will be stepped up over the four-year forward budget cycle in conjunction with the Melbourne-based Groupwork Institute.
... And some elected office bearers to help manage stuff
In the meantime we need to elect some office bearers to help manage the network. Nominations are now open for the Victorian Greens Facilitators Network (VGFN) office bearers election and will close at 11.59pm on 31st August, 2017. Positions to be decided by election are a convener or two co-conveners and a secretary or two co-secretaries.
If you are interested in putting your hand up to be a part of the VGFN executive, submit your nomination statement of up to 200 words here. The Returning Officer for this election is Rachel Laws who can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
All VGFN members are eligible to vote. If you would like to join the VGFN, please fill out the form on the right. Voting will take place in the form of an attendance ballot at the AGM on 16th September, with the option for members who cannot attend to request an online ballot. The online ballot opens on Monday, 4th September and closes at 11.55pm on 15th September.
How you can get involved
There are a few ways to get involved in the network, which is open to all members of the Greens.
- Opt in to membership to hear our news, receive our training schedules, and vote for office bearers by filling out the form on the right
- Come to a training session - a training schedule will be developed over the next few months
- Contact us for advice or support - see contacts below right
- Nominate as an office bearer - nominations close 31 August