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Festival of Community Development 2021 - Gather Your Circle

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Event description

Gather Your Circle for the Festival of Community Development 2021 

Six events over six weeks hosted by Community Development Queensland.

Filled with keynote speakers, panel discussions and a bucketload of social activities, join us once a week for a mix of personal and professional development, some great networking opportunities and a whole lot of fun! 

How will it work? 

Wherever you are in Queensland (or Australia, or Beyond!), gather your circle on Event Days in a physical location and connect to the central Festival Online Hub via Zoom. The speakers and panels will share their provocations and discussions from the Festival Online Hub out to the numerous groups gathered across Queensland and Australia, where you can then engage in discussions with your physically located small group and share reflections with the network back through the Online Hub. 

A hybrid in-person and online event, the festival is an opportunity to connect and network with community minded people in your locality. Across Queensland and Australia, gather to explore how community workers can best respond to the new Covid-recovery context while deepening and developing relationships across the CD space-time continuum through conversations and some social fun.

But who is my circle? 

Whoever you want it to be! Have a chat or send a message to your friends and colleagues, fellow CD practitioners, neighbourhood centre, community support or social workers, local government officers, community and advocacy groups, students, teachers, neighbours and community members and GATHER. YOUR. CIRCLE! This Festival will be best experienced as a group of 3 to 8 gathering together over six weeks, so get together with those you know, those you don't, and those you want to know more. We are using the image of circle as symbolic of CD ways of being and doing things, asking people to sit and yarn as in circle work. No teacher/leader - just a host saying 'hi, let's dialogue'.

I want to be a Circle Host but I need some more information, what do I do?

That's great! The Circle Host role can be as casual or facilitative as you like, and can be shared around your circle. If you are keen to put your hand up to be a Circle Host, indicate that when buying your ticket to receive more information and helpful tips on how to host your circle during the Festival of Community Development 2021! You can also email through any questions to

Event Timetable 

Week 1: Thursday September 23rd, 6-8pm AEST (GMT+10)

Dialogue with ‘Them’
Adam Kahane and a panel of speakers in dialogue with Tomas 

How do we do dialogue work with people who hold diametrically opposed opinions across our communities?

Week 2: Thursday September 30th, 6-8pm AEST (GMT+10)

Gather Your Circle Trivia 

Kick your brains into gear for a night of Gather Your Circle Trivia! A bunch of CD (and some not so CD) questions will tease and tantalise the tips of your terrific tongues as Circles across Queensland (and Australia) fight for eternal glory! 

Week 3: Thursday October 7th, 6-8pm AEST (GMT+10)

Community Development in Times of Crisis: Provocations
Sue Kenny with Peter Westoby

This presentation will explore ideas of crisis, ways in which communities respond to crises and the  challenges facing community development practitioners in times of crisis.

Week 4: Wednesday October 13th - Saturday October 16th

Choose Your Own Adventure

With your circle Choose Your Own Adventure and make a day of it (or a morning, afternoon, evening, night) and spend some time together doing something fun! A picnic, a hike, a comedy night, a bring-a-plate dinner, a bar hop - the choices are endless and entirely up to you and your circle! (P.S. This might be a fun opportunity to create some content for the CDQ Filmies!)

Week 5: Thursday October 21th, 6-8pm AEST (GMT+10)

Big Issues in CD - Online Communities and Identity
Bronwyn Carlson and Sandy O’Sullivan with Emily McConochie 

What is emerging through our ‘community development’ practices when community identity and cultural practices strongly inform our ways of knowing, being and doing? What can be learned from digital forms of engagement and how has technology and the pandemic shifted every-day practices in community mobilisation? What can we learn from Aboriginal-led initiatives and approaches to connecting across various platforms, diversities and community ecologies?

Join three thinkers on community, identity, creativity, the Arts and First Nations community building.

Week 6: Thursday October 28th, 6-8pm AEST (GMT+10)

CDQ Filmies

Are you CDQ's answer to Martin Scorsese, or Tarantino, or more artful like Regina King's 'One Night in Miami'? Well this is your time to strut your stuff and lead our Multi Dollar CD Queensland short film competition! Make and submit a 1 to 3 minute short film about your community, work or practice and submit by October 20 for it to be showcased on our CDQ Filmies night! Make it fun, grab some popcorn, and let's close this show out with a bang!

​​Please note: one ticket gives you access to all six sessions! Subsidised tickets for low-waged and unemployed people are also now available. Operating on an honour system, choose the ticket which you feel is most appropriate for your situation.  

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