December 2021

A Reflection on CFI’s Deep Collaboration Intensive workshops

Article by Mark Yettica-Paulson, CFI Deep Collaboration Practice Lead


The 2021 delivery of Deep Collaboration Intensive – Practice and Awareness for Facilitating Collaboration with First Nations and other Australians was completed in November, engaging 12 community leaders. The training was facilitated by expert facilitators Mark Yettica-Paulson (Practice Lead, Deep Collaboration at Collaboration for Impact) and Liz Skelton (Co-Director, Collaboration for Impact).

The training took place over three months and included six day-long virtual sessions supplemented by four individual coaching sessions and ample opportunities for self-directed learning, and group, and individual reflection.

Practice Lead, Mark Yettica-Paulson, shared his reflection after the training:

There are now 12 more people who have a greater understanding and awareness about the challenges, promises and practices of working in the space of leadership and facilitation with First Nations and other multicultural Australians. It represents powerful ripple effects for the work roles, organisations, initiatives and communities that they are participating in.

Each one of the 12 participants has had an opportunity to deeply reflect on their leadership and how they can be active in transforming their barriers into capabilities. They have all been able to apply content from the Deep Collaboration Facilitation Intensive into their roles, whether they are in government, community, philanthropy or private sectors.
Participants have spoken about having a greater understanding of the impacts of colonisation, their use of power, the importance of setting up the right conditions for collaboration and working through the tensions of time to build relationships and get work done.

It has been a privilege to work alongside 12 changemakers as they increased their awareness and understanding to improve the way they take up their roles in leadership for purpose in the collaboration space between First Nations and other multicultural Australians.

And from some of the participants:

“In my work, I’ve used the learnings (from DCI) to acknowledge the roles I take on and how that plays out when I’m on autopilot. By using the learnings, I was able to humbly acknowledge where I was coming from and learn from that growth opportunity.” – Dean Wickham works for Hands Up Mallee as the Social Impact Project Lead – CALD


“The program has been immensely valuable and the more I reflect the more I realise what I have learnt and paradoxically the more I need to learn…I am so very thankful to be better prepared for a Deep collaboration board retreat this week I am co-facilitating – the members all have lived experiences of mental illness and other related traumas relating to colonisation and various social determinants. Just getting to the retreat has been an amazing experience of codesign, staying on neutral ground, and managing conflict. The retreat will test all my knowledge skills, patience and facilitation techniques. I feel better-prepared thanks to the Deep Collaboration Intensive program. If together we can create a safe space and allow authentic conversations – amazing growth for all involved is highly likely.” – Marion Wands is the Director at ConNetica


> Explore more resources on the Deep Collaboration site

> See upcoming events in CFI’s Systems Change Learning Program 


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