Community training

Image showing a diverse group of women and girls smiling, laughing, and holding flowers, one is throwing petals into the air.

Sharpen your skills by joining Yarra's free community training program. Different sessions are run throughout the year to support not-for profit and community organisations in Yarra to help them run as effectively as possible. 

This is a great opportunity for people involved in local community organisations to seek advice and information about how to apply for grants, managing relationships, project management and media strategies.

The program is aimed at community leaders, managers, coordinators, members of management committees or people considering joining management committees of not-for profit community organisations. The training is designed in a sequence and you can attend one session or come to them all.

Upcoming sessions

Registration for each event opens approximately six weeks prior to each event. However, if you click the links below, you can set an Eventbrite registration reminder.  

We are now hosting many sessions online - see below for details. 

Building effective partnerships

One characteristic of a very successful organisation is the number of partners they have. People and organisations like success and effectiveness, and actively seek to align themselves with it. This session will provide clarity about what it takes to be a good partner for funders, other community organisations and their members. Topics include:

  • Realising which part of the organisation needs partners
  • Choosing the right partners
  • Identifying different types of partnerships that add value
  • Understanding barriers to effective partnerships
  • Knowing what to contribute and what to add to the partnership
  • Formulating steps for creating partnerships
  • Managing, evaluating and transitioning partnerships

Wednesday 18 November 2020, 12:30pm – 3:00pm 

Register here!

Past sessions

Managing conflict

A diverse group of people from different backgrounds, experiences and varying opinions can enhance community groups or non-profits for being a successful organisation that is creative and progressive. Sometimes this diversity can also create challenges for the group if not managed effectively or if people are not respectful of the value of differences. This session will provide participants with the foundations for creating an inclusive and productive group culture. It will help participants to prepare a plan that will help organisations to prevent or mitigate potential conflicts through positive culture, improved communication, good policy and processes and early intervention. 

Committee roles and responsibilities

Committees are the backbone of every community organisation and club. They are responsible for decision-making and at times, are involved in the administration of the organisation so they need to be cohesive and function as a team. Successful and effective committees are therefore the goal of every community organisation, yet it is often challenging to achieve.

This interactive workshop will help community groups to understand more about the responsibilities of their committee and what accountabilities are relevant for each committee member role. Topics include:

  •  Understanding committee roles required by the Associations Incorporation Act and the accountabilities of each, including role descriptions
  • Appreciating what makes an effective committee
  • Evaluating their current committee’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Knowing what specific skill sets and attributes are required for each committee rol
  • Putting into place strategies for recruiting, inducting and evaluating committee members
  • Keeping an eye on the future

Running a successful AGM

The AGM is a time to communicate the successes and challenges of the past year and importantly, what’s planned for the future. Bringing all stakeholders together to celebrate the year through a well-run meeting of information and inspiration, will help to enhance an organisations reputation in many ways.

This session provides the framework for committees to prepare for and run a successful AGM. It includes help with who has to do what, when and how to determine the required steps to set up the AGM and engage existing members and others in local community. Topics include:

  • Things to know when planning an AGM
  • How to prepare an AGM checklist
  • Ideas to help the meeting run smoothly
  • Attracting members to attend the meeting
  • What to do after the AGM? 

Project management essentials

Every successful program or project is based on great design and loads of planning and the planning of a project takes focus and creativity. So how does one design a project that is successful, on time, on budget and achieves all of the goals set? It’s a big ask when there are limited resources. This workshop will assist committees to avoid common project plan faults and maximise resources for a better chance of success. It will also help those who apply for grants to have a solid base for including in grant applications, so funders can see everything is ready to go. Topics include:

  • Defining the project and its benefit to the community
  • Creating the project or program plan
  • Assessing risk in new programs and determine their viability
  • Identifying program opportunity risks
  • Building program budgets
  • Utilising project management tools
  • Understanding the role of evaluations and its importance when managing a project

Grant writing

There are many grants available to non-profit organisations. With the majority of the workforce being volunteers with limited time to dedicate to applying for grants, how does one decide which ones are best and where to invest precious time into? The first question is, “Are we grant ready?” With most funders having different requirements and application procedures, learning how to set up a framework, from which one can be ready to apply for any grant efficiently and effectively will open the doors to opportunity and success. Topics include:

  • What are grants and why do organisations give them out
  • What funding is available?
  • Selling one’s organisation and project
  • Defining the project and its benefits
  • The cost of the plan – the budget
  • Defining the organisations stakeholders and partners
  • Sustainability - keeping the project going after the funding finishes
  • Evaluation of the project 

Building community with social media

Social media and online activities are now part of the way we communicate at work and play. For community organisations they provide a great opportunity to reduce workload and create efficient communication, the challenge however, is to decide which platform will have the greatest impact to support goals.

This interactive session will provide a basic overview of the most popular social media platforms used in Australia and insights on the best way they can be used effectively. This session will be most beneficial to organisations new to promoting their organisations through social media channels. Topics include:

  • The pros and cons of some social media and online platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.)
  • Understanding target audience / selecting platforms
  • Having creative ideas for content
  • Communicating the right messages
  • Preparing a social media plan

Measuring the impact of your volunteer program

Volunteers add immeasurably to our not for profit organisations. And that’s just the challenge – it’s difficult to measure their contribution and the effectiveness of our volunteer programs. Difficult but not impossible with some good planning. Just like planning to evaluate programs and projects, volunteer evaluation can be measured by being clear on the outputs and impacts wanted and setting objectives which can be measured.

This session will provide the tools to help conduct a volunteer program evaluation and articulate to volunteers, the staff and board, what the value of the volunteer contribution really is. Topics include:

  • Achieving clarity around the outputs and impacts wanted from a volunteer program
  • Planning how and when to measure volunteer program
  • Choosing evaluation methods
  • Gathering and analysing the data

Finding grants and funders

You know what your project is, what the impact will be and how much it will cost, now you need to find a grant to match.

Come to this session prepared with your project idea in hand and we can help you to find potential grants worth applying for to support your cause. We will guide you through how you can prepare an application which responds to the funders needs and presents your organisations as the ideal partner prepared to deliver on your commitment and make them look good! Topics include:

  • Defining your project and its benefits
  • Understanding what funding is available?
  • Reviewing the funders guidelines and objectives
  • Selling your organisation and project
  • Demonstrating how you can deliver on your commitment
  • Keeping in touch and engaging with the funders 

Building a culturally competent organisation

Whether an organisation is small or big, is community based or government run, all organisations operate in a culturally diverse environment and need to have the ability to interact with this ever-changing landscape.

Through a series of group exercises and discussions, this interactive and thought-provoking program will enhance your team’s skills to take steps towards building a culturally competent organisation. Topics include:

  • Realising why cultural competency is important and how it relates to the Human Rights Principles
  • Testing and challenging the most common misconceptions about culture
  • Understanding one’s own culture and story
  • Being conscious of cultural sensitivity; awareness and safety
  • Broadening the scope of cultural vision both internally and externally
  • Taking fundamental steps towards building and maintaining a culturally competent organisation


Have a question?

If you have a question about the community training program, you can ask us online, or call us on 9205 5555. 

Cover image: This image was taken during a workshop collaboration between The Clubhouse at Fitzroy Learning Network and Bus Projects. Throughout October 2016, artists: Nina Mulhall, Minna Gilligan, Atong Atem, Daisy Catterall and Sheena Colquhoun ran workshops with a group of girls at The Clubhouse. The workshops celebrated the participants, their relationships, the things they like and that are important to them in life. Participants explored ideas of self-identity and representation and how to express this with new forms of verbal and visual exchange, using the tools of each of the mentoring artists: collage, photography, drawing and zines. This has been captured in a special printed publication which was launched at the 2017 Melbourne Art Book Fair. Photograph credited to Bus Projects.