Frequently asked questions

Master Class on Leadership for Community Engagement

When and where is the Master Class?

12-13 September 2018, at the Macedon Ranges Hotel & Spa, Macedon, Victoria.

 

How much will it cost me?

Community volunteers: no cost. The program will cover the cost of your accommodation and meals during the Master Class, and reimburse your travel costs to get to and from the Master Class (fuel or public transport fares, upon presentation of receipts to the Master Class coordinator).

Agency staff and other professionals: if you are participating as part of your paid work, we’ll cover the cost of your meals during the Master Class. You or your employer will just need to cover the cost of your transport and accommodation (accommodation is approx. $180 for one night).

 

What if I’m not a leader and I’m not sure I want to be one?

You may not necessarily be a team leader at your workplace, or the president of your local Landcare group, but you want to make a positive difference to your community group or to how your workplace engages with the community, and you have the drive (and some community or professional networks) to get started. The Master Class will build your knowledge and skills, and boost your support networks to make it happen.

 

I’ve done engagement training before. How is this course different?

The Master Class is different to a traditional community engagement training course. The aim is to better equip existing and future leaders with a deeper understanding of how their practices influence the way they work with community and or their organisation, and the theory behind this practice. Drawing on both international and national experiences, the program is designed to take a deep dive to help participants discover their own philosophies and strategies for more effective engagement, refine their approach, and work collaboratively to share knowledge and ideas.

 

Can you help me out with transport to the Master Class?

Out-of-pocket expenses for volunteers to attend at the Master Class will be reimbursed (fuel, public transport fares). In addition, the Master Class team can assist in co-ordinating travel options with participants coming from the same region.

 

Is there a minimum age for applicants?

Applicants should be over 18 years old.

 

How much work / community experience do I need?

There’s no minimum amount of experience needed. However, you need to be able to show that you’re involved with invasive species OR natural resource management at either an agency, business or community level, that you’re connected with others who can support you, and that you’re committed to leading positive change in relation to community engagement.

 

What is the selection process?

Applications will be assessed by the Master Class advisory panel (comprised of representatives from community and Agriculture Victoria) according to the selection criteria . Consideration will also be given to ensuring diversity of participants with respect to age, gender, location, sector and skills. Applicants will be notified of the outcome during the week starting 13 August.

 

What region does the Master Class cover?

Any part of Victoria where invasive plants and animals are an issue, including rural, regional, peri-urban, metropolitan areas.

 

What happens after the Master Class?

This will be driven by participants. During the Master Class, we’ll discuss options for support beyond the event – including establishing a learning network or community of practice – but the form this takes will be defined by participants.

 

What do you mean by ‘community group’?

This includes (but isn’t limited to) Landcare, Committees of Management, conservation management networks, and ‘friends of’ groups, as well as groups focused on sustainable farming, environment, specific invasive species, and other NRM issues.

 

Who is running the Master Class?

The course will be facilitated and led by Professor Ted Alter, an international leader in community engagement outreach in agriculture and NRM, and key advisor on Victoria’s innovative community-led approach to rabbit management. He will be supported by presenters with diverse experience in community engagement and invasive species management.

 

Who is funding the Master Class?

The Master Class is hosted and supported by the Weeds and Rabbits Project, which is managed by Agriculture Victoria with funding from the Commonwealth Government. The project partners are Victoria’s four community pest management groups for blackberry, gorse, rabbits and serrated tussock.

 

I work with community but I don’t have much involvement in invasive species management. Can I still apply?

Yes. Participants don’t need to be actively involved in invasive species management in their current role, but they should be able to demonstrate an interest in managing pests and weeds, involvement in natural resource management, and the potential to bring benefit to how we work with the Victorian community to improve management of invasive species.

 

I work in invasive species management but I don’t have much contact with community. Can I still apply?

Yes. Participants don’t need to be actively working with the community in their current role, but they should be able to demonstrate an interest in managing pests and weeds, involvement in natural resource management, and the potential to bring benefit to how we work with the Victorian community to improve management of invasive species.

 

Will there be any pre-course work or reading involved?

Yes. Participants will be asked to:

  • Bring an example of a community engagement or pest management challenge they’re facing in their work or local community, to work through during the class
  • Prepare a written or pictorial representation of the community or pest management system they work within and with, to share, consider and discuss as part of the systems thinking component
  • Read no more than 5-6 articles – a mix of academic, case studies and popular material – as preparation in the two weeks prior to the Master Class.

More information will be provided to successful applicants.

 

More questions?

Email the Master Class Coordinator, Lauren Hull: lauren.hull@ecodev.vic.gov.au.