Be Bold

What is the ChangeFest Movement?

Not-for-profits, philanthropists, organisations, communities and individuals giving rise to understanding, supporting and celebrating place-based social change through community-led decision-making. 

An inspirational festival of Australia-wide change-making efforts was initiated by the founding partners - Collaboration for Impact, Logan Together, Griffith University and Opportunity Child - at the inaugural ChangeFest held in Queensland, November 2018.  More than 600 conference delegates committed to building a national movement to enable First Peoples and communities determine the shape of government-funded services to their communities through place-based change. 

At the heart of this collaboration is a commitment to remind Governments that First Peoples, who have layered a culture-of-place in hundreds of communities over thousands of years and been confronted with different ways of doing by the recent creation of Australia as a nation, need the relationship between Governments and its oldest citizens reimagined.

Such an effort will touch all Australians socially, economically and environmentally throughout the journey of creating a more equitable, inclusive and resilient Australia.


What is needed for success and what can you do?

The inclusion of ChangeFest Policy Submission intentions as part of the new Government’s agenda.

You are invited to be bold. Call your local candidates. Call your members. Call your local leaders. Mobilise your networks.


What are the key points of the Policy Submission?

The 2018 ChangeFest Place-based social change: Recommendations for action during the 46th Parliament of AustraliaStatement and a Policy Submission were developed as a platform for advancing the National Network building commitment with the aim to:

  1. Progress local joint decision-making and social investment reforms, building on existing initiatives
  2. Resource the design and development of a national alliance of opt-in communities, with supporting infrastructure - $5 million over 2 years;
  3. Resource and enable place-based approaches and community governance in priority opt-in communities - $187 million over 4 years

Delegates at ChangeFest18 unanimously supported the call from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to move beyond simple recognition to a powerful respectful partnership where:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People are accepted unconditionally as the First Peoples whose land, sea and water rights are upheld in the Australian Constitution; and
  • The contents of the May 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart are taken to heart so that its intentions are enacted in all relevant statutes in Local, State, Territory and Federal jurisdictions.

Delegates supported the growing of a national movement whose outcomes are to:

  • Ensure that First Peoples are empowered and enabled to be at the forefront of all system change design and delivery;
  • Result in First Peoples-led control of local services and programs; and
  • Support and strengthen the treaty process in States and Territories


Why is this so important?

Compounding efforts of Governments over time has resulted in loss of understanding of what it takes to enable caring and resourceful communities to be in control of their local and shared regional destinies.  Instead, there’s an entrenched way of doing that is an anathema to supporting communities to harvest their bounties for the benefit of the most vulnerable and innocent of all – their children.

To First Peoples, elderhood is a function of sustainability rather than an identity – it is not a position earned simply by the number of years on the planet or the title ‘parent’ or ‘grandparent.’  Government approaches to Closing the Gap is seeing our First Nation communities become awash with aged people but bereft of Elders in the truest sense of the word.  First Nations Elders in our time of great crisis (ecological, spiritual, political, and otherwise) are needed by all children so that in time they can become the respected leaders that this ancient land and Australians of all ages and cultures can rely on.


What is place-based decision making and why will to make such a difference? 

Place-based development means that outcomes specific to each community are pursued through community-led decision-making on planning, funding, implementation and evaluation of place-based responses to community-determined needs. 

The approach is founded on any opt-in community manifesting a significantly positive impact on intergenerational development, which is a central tenet for First Peoples communities becoming self-enabling and sustainable. 

Nationally networked social impact collaborators, upon invitation from local leaders of opt-in communities, will support and mentor local actors and organisations in developing the capacity and capability needed to design, develop, plan and benchmark steps to becoming community-led facilitators of intergenerational place-based change.

Such an effort will touch all Australians socially, economically and environmentally throughout the journey of creating a more equitable, inclusive and resilient Australia.

While the Australian Government has embarked on initiatives such as ‘Stronger Places, Stronger People’ and ‘Empowered Communities’ to support long-term place-based social change, an opportunity exists to significantly extend these initiatives for greater reach, impact and efficiency. 

The key beneficiaries of creating a social change movement for a healthier Australian society are:

  • communities where children are a priority;
  • communities and their regional neighbours; and
  • intergenerational stewards of communities.


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