ICA Australasia colleagues engage in a range of social impact activities

ICA Australasia is a network organization – of colleagues in New Zealand and Australia. Its members are engaged in a wide range of social impact activities. These include Indigenous reconciliation and recognition, currently through the Voice, Truth Treaty campaign; working with, and learning from the First Nations people of Australia and the Maori community of New Zealand. Members also work with the asylum seeker campaign, supporting the struggle in Timor Leste, climate change initiatives, and many related organisations including the church, etc. etc

Recent highlights in Australia

  • the training of 100 middle managers in NSW National Parks and Wildlife is showing positive signs of people talking together differently around contentious issues. Internally the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
  • ICA members continue to be engaged in ToP and related facilitating and training with the ICAA Facilitative Leadership Program, within Australia and Asia Pacific. There is a lot of collaboration in training and development across our region and beyond. We are working on practical networking of practitioners and ToP policy, globally.
  • with most ICAs facing the question of succession planning, and how they continue to be viable into the future, ICAA, with colleagues in the region is engaged in developing a Sustainability Audit tool.
  • the Women’s Reconciliation Network (WRN) (which includes a number of Sydney ICAers) has been very involved in documenting the stories of two of our Elders, Aunty Ali and Aunty Beryl

  • the WRN, (now 21 years old) is also working with the Voice, Truth, Treaty campaign with our First Australians, through participating in, and running grassroots awareness raising workshops in different areas on the Eastern coast.
  • HandUp Congo (which includes several ICAers) continues to work closely with leaders and community in Democratic Republic of Congo, involving two main arms – Emergency Medicine training across DRC, and grassroots community development in villages. Congratulations to Dr Vera Sistenich, who has just been named Australasian College for Emergency Medicine’s Country Liaison Representative for the DRC. Vera is HandUp Congo’s team leader for Building a Healthy Congo. As ACEM’s liaison, she will act as a point of linkage with ACEM, its members and local providers of emergency care and facilitate the capacity of developing countries (like the DRC) to deliver safe and effective emergency care. All this has huge challenges and successes! www.handupcongo.org
  • reconciliation for Western Sydney has been providing a platform for Australian First Nations people to address the wider community on the issues, and actions featuring nationally known presenters in the Building Bridges series. This program has gone on for 22 years and a current special emphasis is on the Uluru Statement from the heart, seeking a constitutionally grounded First Nations “Voice to Parliament” and the creation of treaties.
  • some members are involved in various Climate change initiatives. This includes the Voices for Power Campaign of the Sydney Alliance, seeking commitment for government to make affordable renewable power available to multicultural communities in Western Sydney. It also includes supporting the students school strike for government action on climate change and building on growing community interest as well as the international private sector rejection of the Australian government’s support for building one of the world’s largest coal mines in Queensland.

Recent highlights in New Zealand

NZ continues to offer ToP courses under the ICA-A Facilitative Leadership Program banner.

1) Being a Facilitative Leader – inaugural NZ offering of this course.

In June we held our first ever Aotearoa – NZ offering of Module 7 Being a Facilitative Leader. Mark Butz joined Helen Ritchie and Michelle Rush on the training team, and we worked in partnership with Tuihana Bosch of Te Mauri Tau to deliver this course.

We wove into the delivery, Maori perspectives on leadership – concepts of Rangatira and Rangatiratanga… also Tino Rangatiratanga (those of you who understand a little of our country’s history will know this last term is significant in the Treaty of Waitangi.)

We also explored the ToP leadership stances through the lens of Maori perspectives on the person (Tuakiri o te Tangata – which to my not complete understanding, is about a person’s identity, personality, or what lies beneath the skin). The model we used to explore this was one initially developed by Dame Katerina Mataira (Katarina’s mother) who was a significant Māori educator and leader here, and which the team at Te Mauri Tau have evolved further since.

Some very insightful and valuable learning came out of that and it enriched the course in amazing ways.

Participants all worked on a leadership challenge they had, with opportunities to do a ‘make over’ applying one or more of the elements explored. This was a small group exercise (us trainers worked with a group each) that turned out to be really powerful and transformative, with a number of trainees facing some very challenging situations.

There were also some tricky moments about colonisation and whether or not the ToP content (some of it, e.g. the affirmative stance and how it is described…) represented yet another attempt at colonisation (re-colonisation…). Some work for us to do in the future to look fresh at some of the ToP thinking on leadership and explore revisions / rethinking in light of what emerged.

2) CToPF

Mark and Michelle assessed a candidate for CToPF. We are pleased to announce that we have provisionally awarded Colleen Smith, a CToPF: She is one of a handful of folk we now have in NZ who have done all seven modules.

3) Group Facilitation Methods September 25-27 2019

We are running a public Module 1+ course in September at Te Mauri Tau. We have a corporate course confirmed for October (Module 1) and we are quoting for delivery of an ongoing training programme for a government client.

4) A re-look at the course manuals

One of the outcomes of our reflection on Module 7 was that we realised (for NZ at least..?) it’s time for us to revisit the manual content (as in all our manuals) – and have a thorough explore of it to look at how well the materials aligns with / supports cultural diversity. Perhaps it’s time to use the guidelines developed for AFN – towards indigenous informed facilitation – and look at our own material from that perspective – and revise and adapt where necessary?
If any of you are keen to be part of this conversation, please let us know.

5) APRC in KL in September – work towards a guideline for assessing trainee trainers

We continue to support the work on a process for assessing ToP trainers that could be offered as a standardised approach for Asia.



  • Keeping connected and aware of what members are engaged in
  • ICAA focus as we move forward, in collaboration with ICAs in the region
  • Further developing and connecting the Australasian Facilitators Network
  • Sustainability of our work

Next steps:

  • Review our current status and explore possibilities for collaboration in the region and with training and development strategies.
  • A re-look at the course manuals
  • At the APRC in KL in September – work towards a guideline for assessing trainee trainers
  • Continue to support current member driven programs and activities

This item was first shared as a report of ICA Australasia to the August 2019 ICAI General Assembly.