Upskilling 2021

Our main project for 2021 is a program of training workshops for local Transition group members, part funded by a Banyule City Council Environment Grant.

We are building community capacity within sustainability groups in Banyule. To rapidly progress towards a sustainable future, we are supporting members of local groups to learn, grow and thrive in order to become more effective at catalysing change.

In two skill areas, we will host a training session for group members:

* a half-day community group facilitation training with the Groupwork Centre for up to 20 people, followed by a series of 4 x 2 hour practice sessions with a qualified trainer

* a one-day Social Permaculture training session with a local permaculturist for ~30 people

In another two skills areas, we will book places for our group members in public trainings:

* up to 15 places in Non-Violent Communication Foundation Training with certified trainer Shari Elle

* 10+ places in Stories for Impact Online with Digital Storytellers

In one skill area, Sociocracy, we will follow a self-guided training program over 8 x 1hr sessions, provided by Sociocracy for All, for up to 16 people.


We will connect our 2020 project, Sustainability in the Suburbs: Recharge and Reconnect, with this 2021 project with a Deep Declutter workshop with Cecilia Macaulay, an experienced permaculture designer and new Banyule resident. It will be about paring back the layers of our lives to refocus on our interests and create space for what energises us. The physical stuff we let go of, or rearrange for a smoother flow in our lives, mirrors the mental and emotional, supporting us to avoid or recover from burnout.

A commitment to the upskilling opportunity will be supported by a shared cost model whereby participants contribute at least 20% of the workshop fee. Participants will be expected to pay the full fee upfront and will be reimbursed after completing the training.

Support to implement new skills will be provided through a series of follow up sessions, i.e. NVC peer support practice group, group facilitation practice following a Community Practice model, catch ups to share digital story development.

Details about the training topics:

Groupwork: Harness the power of groups to build more than the sum of our parts. See

Sociocracy is a governance system, just like democracy or corporate governance methods. It’s best suited for organizations that want to self-govern based on the values of equality. Some people refer to sociocracy as Dynamic Self-Governance or simply Dynamic Governance. See

Non-Violent Communication (NVC) supports us to understand ourselves and each other by drawing our attention to our inner needs. With this as the foundation of our relationship with ourselves and others, we have the opportunity to become aligned with our true nature and build peace in ourselves, our relationships and our world. See

Digital Storytelling: All our communication tells a story – our conversations, our community group newsletters, our community events. When we are clear about the purpose, audience and intended outcomes of our stories, they become effective. The Stories for Impact workshop by Digital Storytellers clearly communicates how to design our stories to have impact! See

Social Permaculture is the application of permaculture design principles to social change, groups, and people care. It supports group purpose and effectiveness and builds motivation for involvement in group activities. e.g.

Rough Timeline:

January 2021 – NVC workshop

March 2021 – Group facilitation (half-day) workshop; Sociocracy self-guided program

March-September 2021 – Follow up activities to support application of learning, i.e. NVC

peer support practice group, group facilitation practice following a Community Practice model with

an expert facilitator, catch ups to share digital story development

September 2021 – Social Permaculture workshop (timed to occur after the rest of the training and follow-up is complete)

October 2021 – Final video stories to be completed; Acquittal report due 31 October 2021

Workshop details for participants:

Non-Violent Communication

The next face-to-face training workshop being offered in Melbourne by Sydney-based certified NVC trainer Shari Elle will be on the weekend of 9-10 January.

Cost per participant: 20% of ~$289 (assuming earlybird and ‘bring a friend discounts’)

See Shari’s booking page for details: (NB: the dates in this URL are incorrect)

We anticipate that there will be 1-2 participants from each of Banyule’s Transition groups registering for this training, to be nominated by the respective groups.

Steps: Pre- and post-training surveys. Before the training, read Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg or watch a 3 hour video of a workshop, as recommended by the trainer. Following the training, participate in an ongoing peer support practice group for some months, at times to suit participants. Share learning with local group in a format decided by their own group, e.g. presentation, video story by a Stories for Impact participant, mini training session. Apply learning to ongoing participation in local group.

Stories for Impact (digital storytelling)

Sydney-based Digital Storytellers offers an online version of their Stories for Impact workshop. This format gives participants access to the training materials for 12 months so they can work through it at their own pace. One participant per local group.

Cost per participant: 20% of $150

See the booking page for details:

Steps: Pre- and post-training surveys. During training (over several months), participate in catch ups to motivate each other to progress steadily through the program. Following (or by the end of) the training, create at least 2 x 2-3 minute video stories for the local group. Share learning with local group in a format decided by their own group, e.g. presentation. Apply learning to ongoing participation in local group.

Participants are also need to cover the cost of any video editing software they acquire. Digital Storytellers recommend a few options. There is also the basic, but adequate and free Movavi software:

Group Facilitation

A half-day group facilitation workshop followed by a series of 4 x 2 hour monthly practice sessions.

Groupwork Centre trainer Andrea Jones will deliver a workshop designed for community group members on Sunday 14 March 2021 8.30am for 9am-1pm, followed by lunch to 2pm, at Holy Spirit Anglican Church Watsonia.

The practice sessions, on Monday evenings 7-9pm, March 29, April 26, May 24 and June 21, at various Banyule venues (TBC) will be delivered by another Groupwork trainer (TBC).

Up to 20 participants from across our local network of groups can register here.

Cost per participant: 20% of $110 (the full cost of this training of ~$300/person has been heavily subsidised by the grant and Transition Banyule)

Steps: Pre- and post-training surveys. Recommended reading ‘Getting Our Act Together’ before the training. Participate in both the main event and the 4 x 2 hour monthly practice sessions. Share learning with local group in a format decided by their own group, e.g. presentation, video story, mini demo. Apply learning to ongoing participation in local group.


Sociocracy for All’s self-guided training course ‘Empowered Learning Circle’ course is our choice for this project. Groups of up to 8 people work through the training materials together. Cohousing Banyule members who completed it a couple of years ago recommend breaking it down into 8 x 1hr sessions, rather than 4 x 2hr sessions as designed. There is space in the budget for all members of all our local Transition groups to participate if interested.

See details here:

Cost per participant: Nil (covered by Transition Banyule)

The Transition Banyule core group members (currently 8 people) will commence this training in late January. Other groups that can run concurrently can be scheduled in January. For now, consider the time commitment required, especially if your group members are nominating for more than one training opportunity. There is a fair amount of pre-reading for each module.

Steps: Pre- and post-training surveys. Reading before each session. Share learning with local group in a format decided by their own group, e.g. presentation, video story. Apply learning to ongoing participation in local group.