CHANGE THE CONVERSATION - Australian Social Progress - Social Event

"Progress 2015 convened the who's who of Australia's campaigners and change makers. With a over 1200 in attendance, we discussed new and bold strategies for our country's future - and more importantly, explored how we will strengthen our organisations and movements to make these ideas happen." (Australian Progress)

Passionate representatives from the third sector convened for a three-day conference based at Melbourne Town Hall run by Australian Progress and on the second night the attendees partied in a laneway!

Australia's leading campaigners and change-makers co-located in Godfrey Street, beside Donkey Wheel House, for a night of reflection, mid-conference, and socialising, with old and new delegates.

It was a significant moment for DWHE to hold the major social event. Jarrod Briffa brings to light that not-for-profits are continually working independently on shared dilemmas, however, he cries, “…imagine if they could come together and talk to each other!”

The event united social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations to: celebrate progress, allow each other to update each other and provide a springboard for collaboration. "I think there were a few progressive babies made or at least partnerships forged," mentions Sally Hill, the Impact Strategist and Founder of Wildwon. Check out how well things wrapped up!

Edward Snowden (the American computer professional who leaked classified information from the NSA to mainstream media) spoke moments prior to Progress Party beginning via satellite from Moscow. Snowden informed the Melbourne Town Hall audience, made up of change-makers, that Australia’s laws surrounding  privacy will not prevent events such as the Sydney siege from happening. Time spent surveying the innocent in fact clouds the opportunity to locate information on actual threats and Snowden stressed that people who say they don’t worry about their privacy because they have nothing to hide “ like saying I don’t care about free speech because I have nothing to say”.

Jayde Harding, Wildwon's Creative Producer, highlights that Snowden is encouraging Australians to understand the government's relationship to meta-data and to act on these laws now, not when someone becomes victimised by them.

After "...ingesting so much social change information" Jayde says with new vigour that the social event had everyone "...rejuvenated by their cause" by "...making connections with people...making what they were working on happen" and, she adds," much dancing!"

What is happening now?

Be a part of the Australian Progress Network, an online network where resources are continually being put together to unite change-makers and have them learn together. Launched on the final day of the conference, the idea, Jayde highlights, is to change the conversation and to have influence on government and policy.

Applications are now open for the Melbourne cohort of the 2015 Fellowship Program beginning in August this year. "The Fellowship Program is a leadership course for a specific type of leader: people working to change the world through public advocacy" (Australian Progress).

Jarrod concludes, "It's the beginning of the next period which sees these companies make a different difference."

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