Reconnected - Wednesday 2 May, Parramatta Mission, Sydney


WEDNESDAY 2 May 2018 | 10.00am – 12.00 pm

VENUE: Parramatta Mission, 119 Macquarie Street, Parramatta (MAP)


9.30 - 10.00      Arrive / tea & coffee.

10.00 – 10.15   Welcome & introduction

10.15 - 11.00    SESSION 1 (small group conversations)

  1. Identify and describe instances of success in your work that have increased social capital.
  2. Where do you look for inspiration, where do you go to learn about innovations in not-for-profit models and organising?

11.00 - 11.15    Morning Tea

11.15 – 11.45   SESSION 2 (small group conversations)

  1. Drawing on the discussions in Session 1, what aspects could work across diverse situations? How can we generate more innovation in not-for-profit organising and community building? What’s missing? What does the sector need?
  2. TAKEAWAY: We’ve begun to distil the feedback we’ve had from charities and not-for-profits around the county. We’d like your feedback on eight initiatives to increase social capital that we’ve identified, and we’d like to get a sense of whether your organisation could help us road test any of these strategies. Make sure you get a printout of the eight ideas and let us know if you can try one out.


Further Information from Andrew

These conversations will be a good opportunity for anyone in your organisation who manages or sets strategy for outreach, volunteers, fundraising, community engagement or any other form of capacity building. There will be opportunities to learn about successful, innovative approaches, and to get together and share strategies and experiences with colleagues in the sector. I will also be keen to hear directly from you about how and in what areas you think a political advocate for the interests of the sector can make the best impact.

Here’s some additional background information that I hope will give a clear sense of one of what I’m hoping to focus on and share with you in these conversations.


Reconnected - Social Capital & Civic Engagement

I’m hoping to identify the most innovative community-building projects in Australia – particularly those ideas which are readily transplanted into a new organisation – and to help to share the key elements of their success across the sector.

This consultation process has been inspired by work that Robert Putnam did in the United States in the early-2000s, through a conversation and then a book known as Better Together (

Better Together highlighted 12 success stories across the United States, including:

  • The branches of the Chicago Public Library that have become a major force for social connection and civic revitalization in and around Chicago by refashioning themselves as vibrant community centres.


  • The Shipyard Project in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, an initiative that helped reconnect a divided community through a creative arts project that expressed through dance the history and work of the local naval shipyard.


  • The Dudley Street Neighbourhood Initiative, a community revitalization project in Boston that rescued a neighbourhood from the brink of catastrophic decline.


  • The Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers, a Massachusetts-based union that creates social capital through face-to-face conversations between two people, or among small groups of people, because it is an effective strategy for sustaining the organization.


  • Experience Corps, an organization of seniors, mostly women, ranging in age from fifty-something to their seventies and eighties, who volunteer fifteen hours a week tutoring kids, offering support, and building community in the schools of greater Philadelphia.


  • United Parcel Service, an example of a corporation that sponsors community volunteering and workplace flexibility to allow employees to reconcile their professional duties with their family and community obligations, not so much out of altruism but because it stimulates profits in the long run.
May 02, 2018 at 10:00am - 12pm
Parramatta Mission
119 Macquarie St
Sydney, NSW 2150
Google map and directions
Nick Terrell ·

Will you come?

Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.