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Mutual mindset: An Introduction to Co-operatives and Mutuals

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Event description

Do you have new employees unfamiliar with co-operative and mutual structures and their purpose? Or do you have directors and executives looking to deepen their knowledge of the sector? This is a 2-hour online program designed to provide a general introduction to the co-ops and mutual industry in Australia and globally.

This course is suitable for anyone new to co-operatives and mutuals and those looking for a refresher and information on the live sector. It can be tailored to your existing induction training program, or your employees can take one of our online classes throughout the year.

It is facilitated by well-known co-operative development expert Antony McMullen and includes live interaction and a guest speaker.

About this course

This unique program has been developed to provide foundational information about co-operatives and mutuals for your employees.

Developed especially as an easy and affordable induction training for new employees, this industry-developed course is relevant for staff at all levels to ensure a consistent level of knowledge across the co-operative and mutual enterprise (CME) sector.

It is designed to ensure CME employers can provide an introductory overview of the business model and the CME sector to new and existing staff.

The key objective is to educate and inspire people working in the sector to understand more about the unique role and contribution of co-operatives and mutuals to help them in their role in their CME, whether frontline staff, management or directors. It will help build a meaningful connection between the employee and the wider CME sector, as well as strengthen the relationship with their individual employer.

This is achieved through a deeper understanding of the fundamental principles which underpin CMEs as businesses that put purpose, people, and communities at the heart of the enterprise.

It is delivered in a live and interactive webinar structure with a unique live Q&A with a sector leader. Knowledge is delivered in a fun and accessible format.

By undertaking the course, your employees will learn:

  1. About the co-operative and mutual business model and how it is different to other kinds of business structures.
  2. About the purpose of co-ops and mutuals and how they are structured to benefit members.
  3. Some real examples of co-ops and mutuals through case studies.
  4. How co-ops and mutuals started here and around the world, and,
  5. Why working for a co-op or mutual matters – in a live conversation with a senior co-op or mutual business leader.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course, attendees will be able to demonstrate their understanding of:

  • The size, scale and impact of the co-op and mutual sector in Australia.
  • The unique nature and fundamental concepts of co-operative and mutual businesses.
  • Similarities and differences from other business models, including shareholder-owned businesses.
  • The origins and development of co-operatives and mutuals in Australia and overseas (including mutual ADIs, Friendly Societies and agricultural and retail co-ops).
  • The seven global co-operative principles and the three mutual values.
  • Why co-operatives and mutuals matter to a sustainable economy and society.

Length: 2 hours

Delivery mode: Online

Professional development: 2 CPD points are awarded


  • BCCM Member (1-9 registrations) – $230 plus GST and booking fee
  • BCCM Member (10+ registrations) – $179 plus GST and booking fee
  • Non-BCCM Members – $454 plus GST and booking fee


    • Tuesday, 25 July 2023, 2 pm – 4 pm AEST
    • Tuesday, 26 September 2023, 2 pm – 4 pm AEST
    • Tuesday, 28 November 2023, 2 pm – 4 pm AEDT


    Antony McMullen, Advocacy and Sector Development Lead, BCCM

    Antony McMullen is a seasoned co-operative developer committed to building local prosperity for the common good. His passion for good governance is recognized through his designation as Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia (formerly Chartered Secretaries Australia); he co-drafted the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) Co-operative and Mutual Enterprise best-practice governance framework. He holds qualifications in social impact (social entrepreneurship), community development, community services management and co-operative leadership.

    Antony has helped develop and has co-founded several co-operatives, serving on co-operative boards as both Secretary and Chair, so he has a firsthand understanding of the benefits and challenges of the co-operative business model. He is the co-founder of the first co-operative co-working space in Melbourne – 888 Co-operative Causeway  – which hosts regular social and solidarity economy events and even a podcast (The Co-operative Way).

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    Refund policy

    The BCCM understands circumstances can change and requests for refunds will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Please note that refunds do not include the booking fee. This course requires a minimum number to go ahead.