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Register your interest in applying for 2023

Nominate someone to apply for COF 2023

Download the 2023 info pack



Are you looking to grow your confidence, skills, and experience in advocating for social change? Build the power and leadership of people in your community, organisation, or workplace to win positive outcomes? Want to join a national network of highly skilled and effective leaders?

If the answer is yes, we encourage you to apply for The Community Organising Fellowship (COF).


Why does COF exist?

COF exists to build movement power and leadership. We do this by training, coaching, and resourcing a national network of community organisers and campaigners.


Who is The Fellowship for?

Is the Fellowship for you? If you can answer yes to the following prompts, you should apply for the Fellowship:

  • I am working with people in my community or organisation to bring about positive change on important social issues
  • I have a specific issue or campaign I am focused on and can apply my learning to
  • I am ready to take the next step up in leadership within my organisation, group, or community
  • I am able to commit myself to 15 days of intensive training and some additional time for practice, applied learning, and mentoring

What will I learn?

The COF curriculum is structured around 7 key learning areas, with deep dives into campaign strategy, community organising, justice and solidarity, leadership and working with groups, facilitation and training, community care, learning about ourselves and each other.

The COF training is participatory, experiential, and highly practical, with a focus on real-world application.

You will learn the why, how, and what of:

  • Designing and delivering effective organising campaign strategy
  • The core leadership practices of community organising
  • Analysing systems of oppression and power
  • The practice of solidarity
  • Cultivating and upholding cultures community care
  • Identifying and developing leadership, commitment, and capacity
  • Working effectively with groups and teams
  • The art of facilitation
  • Working through complexity, conflict, and uncertainty
  • And more tools, skills, and practices that will enable you to build organised leadership and the power to win positive, meaningful, and lasting change.

What does The Fellowship involve?

  • Three week-long online intensive workshops over three months, with fifteen 90-minute learning modules in each workshop
  • Access to the COF resource library of training materials, process guides, templates, and strategy tools you can apply directly to your organising practice
  • Building strong relationships with a network of peers working in a variety of organisations and communities across the continent
  • A learning buddy for support and peer accountability
  • Some group-work activities and projects to help you practice and apply your learning
  • A series of coaching and strategy clinics where you will receive peer-coaching and constructive feedback on your strategic plans
  • A tailored mentor for one-on-one support, coaching, and practice during the COF program and beyond
  • One-on-one coaching and feedback from COF facilitators
  • A Slack workspace where you can organise and share your learning with peers and facilitators

How much does The Fellowship cost?

We work to ensure cost is not a barrier for anyone. Fees are negotiated based on a sliding scale of financial accessibility:

  • Small grassroots groups and organisations with annual budget less than $1 million: $1,500 plus GST
  • Medium-sized organisations with annual budget between $1 million and $3 million: $3,000 plus GST
  • Large organisations with annual budget more than $3 million: $4,000 plus GST
  • Partial scholarship for individual community leaders without a supporting organisation: $1000 plus GST

Fees include the three Workshops, pairing with a mentor for one-on-one coaching and feedback, lifetime access to COF content and resources library, and connections with a community of peers and facilitators waging campaigns and building organised leadership across the continent.

The full cost of each Fellowship place is majority subsidised by generous grants and donations. The fees paid by participants from large and medium organisations help to increase financial accessibility for participants from small grassroots groups and scholarship recipients.

Scholarships

  • All First Nations people who are successful in being offered a place will automatically be awarded a full scholarship.
  • Additional scholarships will be awarded to applicants who meet the following criteria, subject to funding:
    • Identify as any of: person with disability / disabled person, person of colour, refugee or person seeking asylum, LGBTIQA+, single parent, frontline community leader, student; and
      • Demonstrate commitment to the work of campaigning and community organising
      • Are currently working on or planning a campaign to which learnings can be directly applied
      • Can demonstrate financial hardship, or inability to participate without a scholarship


When does The Fellowship take place?

2023 Workshop dates

Workshop 1: June 19 - 23

Workshop 2: July 24 - 28

Workshop 3: August 28 - 1 September


Where does The Fellowship take place?

COF 2023 will be a hybrid online and in-person program. Workshops 1 and 2 will take place online via Zoom. There is an option to host the third workshop as a residential retreat, COVID-permitting and depending on the agreement of the Fellowship cohort and facilitation team. In-person COF workshops are usually held at Commonground, a custom built venue on Taungurung country, near Seymour in regional Victoria. Some scholarship recipients will also have access to a travel bursary to cover their travel costs. Food and accommodation will be provided for the duration of the in-person Workshop.

When you apply, please let us know your preferences and needs regarding an in-person or online Workshop 3.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the time commitment?

You will attend 15-days of online and in-person residential training, across three workshops. Each Workshop is 5 full days. You should plan to spend 2-3 hours before each workshop doing pre-reading/listening/watching of COF learning resources and some preparatory homework, including reflecting on your experience, preparing a campaign strategy presentation, and a group assignment on workshop design and facilitation.

Do I need to attend each Workshop?

Yes. We expect everyone to attend each of the Workshops, as they are highly participatory, practical, and rely on a consistent and committed learning cohort who work closely together and support each other throughout the experience. Online Workshops are not recorded. If you have existing commitments that will affect your ability to fully attend each Workshop, please email Max at [email protected] to discuss your participation.

What happens after the COF2023 program ends?

Fellowship Graduates will join the COF Graduates Network and a Community of Practice where they can continue to learn together and support each other's work. Graduates will have lifetime access to the COF learning resources and Slack workspace.

I’m a grassroots organiser. How much do I need to pay to participate in this program?

COF is generously funded by grants and donations. Each Fellowship place is heavily subsidised by grants and donations. The participant fee is based on the type of organisation you organise with, where participants with larger organisations pay more to support those with smaller community groups. If you plan to participate in COF as an individual from a community group, we encourage you to apply for a scholarship. Otherwise, we still expect some financial contribution for your participation to demonstrate your commitment to the program and to reflect the value and benefit it will have on your organising and campaigning practice.

I’m a waged organiser. How can I convince my organisation to pay for this program?

Your participation in COF will directly benefit your organisation and should be considered part of your work. Your skills and leadership development is critical to being an effective organiser/campaigner. COF is an immersive learning environment where you will get to do some of your most focussed work designing and developing campaign strategy and community organising plans. You will apply what you learn at COF directly into your work, which will help you to achieve your purpose, and your organisation to achieve its goals. The outcomes of the program are that you will be better at your job and able to lead and train others to do the same.


Register your interest in applying for COF 2023

We'll let you know when applications open for 2023.


Nominate someone to apply for COF 2023

If you know someone who would benefit from participating in the COF program, please fill in this form to nominate them. We’ll contact nominees with information, encouragement, and support for them to complete an application.


Download the COF 2023 info pack

With everything you need to know about the 2023 COF program.


Still have questions?

Get in touch by email Max at [email protected]