Week 00082–00083: Module 8 — Exhibiting Change — The End of the First Program

Oct 22nd — Nov 4th, 2018

The long awaited final module of the inaugural AFSE Program kicked off with a chance for Fellows to reconnect over dinner. The next day the program started in earnest with a beautiful Welcome to Country from Gheran Steele and opportunities to catch up with each other in a more structured way.

Interesting conversations were sparked about what it might mean to exit the first year of the program well and how we might best transition into Senior Fellowship. There were lots of references to Atlantic Philanthropies Board Member Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot’s book - Exit: The Endings That Set Us Free.

The morning was also a chance for Cristilee Houghton to introduce herself to the Fellows. Cristilee joins the AFSE Team as the Lifelong Fellowship Lead (Inala has moved into a new position titled Relationships and Engagement Lead). On her first day in the job she was already amongst the Fellows and getting a handle on the program. Cristilee brings a wealth of experience working for a range of organisations on leadership programs, employment programs, and social impact.

A big part of Module 8 was about Fellows sharing their reflections and progress. Early in the module Fellows shared their deep personal reflections on their own learning and change. Stories of exploration, growth, and transformation filled the room.

Later in the module, the Fellows presented their progress on their social change projects at the Marketplace of Ideas. We were lucky enough to have Nolan Hunter, Lisa Cotton, and Rupert Myer join us as a panel of friendly faces. The panel asked thoughtful questions and provided insightful feedback to each Fellow while providing tangible links into networks of support and opportunities for funding. Many AFSE Program collaborators and friends also joined for as many sessions as they could over the course of the two days. It was excellent to be joined by a group from Aotearoa who stayed for all the sessions (including Pro Vice Chancellor Jim Peters and Associate Professor Melinda Weber from the University of Auckland).

Between the two presentations Fellows engaged in a number of sessions with AFSE Collaborators including Lyn-Al Young, Bruce Pascoe, Belinda Duarte, Jeremy Heimans, Anita Heiss, and Paddy Batchelor. With each collaborator we explored important ideas that came throughout the program. Ideas of: expression, custodianship, resilience, power, narrative, and networks.

On a couple of days we had evening events. One with Anne Summers in conversation with Susan Carland talking about her life and feminism, the other attending Madiba the Musical.

Lyn-Al ran a stunning Fasheaming (Fashion + Dreaming) workshop with the Fellows. Each Fellow was able to paint their own silk scarf which would become their completion gift on closing night.

In the last few sessions of the program we turned our minds to the legacy, hope, impact, and potential of the program. We were also joined by Atlantic Institute Executive Director Penelope Brook to talk about the exciting opportunities for Global Senior Fellowship.

On the evening of the final day of the program we all participated in the Completion Ceremony. We were treated to another beautiful Welcome to Country by Gheran Steele and a powerful performance from the Fighting Gunditjmara.

The Fellows then transitioned to Senior Fellowship and beautiful words were spoken by all who shared the microphone. Including Jason Glanville (AFSE Executive Director), Penelope Brook (Atlantic Institute Executive Director) Carla McGrath (AFSE Program Lead), Durkhanai Ayubi (AFSE Fellow), Nick Eakin (AFSE Fellow), Marcus Atukata-Brown (AFSE Fellow), and Professor Marcia Langton (AFSE Board Member).

The Fellows received their scarfs as transition gifts and we unveiled the one-off piece Lyn-Al designed to capture the essence of the program and the cohort. It was a special night and a perfect way to bring to a close the first year of the AFSE Program.

This is by no means is the end for the first Fellows. From now on, in Senior Fellowship, they will continue to collaborate with the Team and develop what the Lifelong Fellowship looks like, locally and globally. Each Fellow gained something important from this year that will allow them to go forth and have even more impact. We look forward to staying in fellowship with them and continuing to supporting them to challenge inequity and transform systems. Together, over many years with many successive cohorts, all collaborating, we will start to see a shift towards social equity, flourishing wellbeing, and boundless opportunity.

😁 — Carla, Chloe, Cristilee, Inala, Jason, Laura, Mickey, Pam and Sarah (The AFSE Team). Get involved and join our network by becoming a Fellow or a Collaborator. Connect with us on Twitter at @AFSocialEquity and let’s start a conversation.