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COF Curriculum Themes

The Community Organising Fellowship learning is structured around 5 key learning areas. Fellows develop a strong working understanding of:

Campaign Strategy

Tools for analysis and planning campaign strategy, with opportunities to practice and apply them to real and hypothetical situations. Fellows will develop strategic confidence and competence to analyse changing situations and devise an emergent strategy, as well as an understanding of mass movement strategy. Fellows also strengthen their analysis and ability to see their campaign, organisation, and role in the longer view of social change and as part of a movement ecosystem, and develop the confidence to share these strategy tools and processes with their teams and communities. Fellows will apply the tools they learn in real-time to their own campaigns, and receive regular coaching and constructive feedback from facilitators, mentors, and peers.

Example of concepts covered:

  • Political Economy
  • Movement Ecology
  • Theories of Change
  • Tools for developing effective campaign strategy
  • Situational Analysis
  • Tactics analysis & timing
  • Monitoring and Evaluating campaigns

Community Organising

Developing an understanding of and applying the fundamental concepts and theories of community organising, including: understanding and identifying self-interest, public narrative, building relationships, community mapping, coaching, building power in coalition, and structured organising. We will explore various approaches and contexts of community organising.

Example of concepts covered:

  • Approaches to Organising
  • Understanding and identifying self-interest and values
  • Relational Organising and Relational Meetings
  • Power of Storytelling and Public Narrative
  • Structured organising conversations
  • Community Mapping
  • Coalitions & Alliances

Justice and Solidarity

Focus on deepening an understanding of racial justice, and building on an understanding of how intersecting systems of oppression operate in our society, our movements, our organisations, and on ourselves. Share learning on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, resistance and contemporary issues (with resources to continue the learning journey) and build on the understanding of how non-First Nations people can support First Nations-led campaigns for justice. We explore the concept of solidarity and deepen commitment and capacity to work in solidarity with communities facing injustice.

Example of concepts covered:

  • History of First Nations' Resistance and First Nations' Self-Determination
  • Race, Gender, and Disability Justice
  • Systems Thinking
  • Solidarity Organising

Leadership and working with groups

Exploring the core practices of leadership in community organising, acknowledging the many different conceptions of leadership across contexts and cultures. Understand and practice leadership identification, develop skills and tools for leadership development. Diagnose your self-leadership strengths and challenges. Grow and practice peer coaching, critical friendship, and mentoring skills. Share and apply tools, skills, and frameworks for sustaining healthy and effective teams. Understand what makes teams tick and how to maintain strong team health, including learning to manage team dynamics and conflict. Participants reflect on and make plans for cultivating team cultures that embody the practice of community care, where everyone can thrive.

Example of concepts covered:

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Leadership Identification and Development
  • Diagnosing Team Health
  • Tools and Structures for Effective Teams
  • Psychological and Cultural Safety
  • Team Culture and Community Care
  • Strategic Questioning
  • Giving & Receiving Feedback
  • Working with conflict
  • Coaching and Mentoring

Facilitation and Training

Develop confidence, skills, and experience to facilitate effective groups and teams. Diagnose group dynamics and identify appropriate interventions. Fellows will hone and practice facilitation micro-skills and the process of workshop design, delivery, and debriefing/action learning. Graduates are empowered to plan, design, and deliver training programs and workshops to share what they learn in the Fellowship with their communities and organisations.

Example of concepts covered:

  • Training Design
  • Container Setting
  • Zones of Learning
  • Diagnosing group dynamics
  • Facilitation Micro-Skills
  • Facilitation Practice and real-life application
  • Open Space technology
  • Debriefing and Evaluation

Learning and Connecting

By creating a safe learning environment, the group builds relationships of trust, vulnerability, and openness to giving and receiving constructive feedback. Participants reflect on and share their journeys, goals, strengths, and learning edges with each other. All Fellows have accountability frameworks to support their learning, development, and praxis. This enables Fellows to build strong relationships towards a lasting support network, deepen connections, and grow effective working coalitions and alliances with each other.


The Fellowship will include a tailored mentoring and coaching program to match all participants with an experienced community organiser or campaigner for monthly discussions, including coaching and critical friend feedback.