These are a few of the questions we get asked on a regular basis. If you have a question about the Alliance, becoming a member, our training or our work please get in touch.
- Who is the Queensland Community Alliance
- What is community organising?
- Why is telling stories important to community organising?
- Is there training in community organising?
- What are table talks?
- How can I become a member of the Alliance?
The Queensland Community Alliance is a new type of nonprofit community organising group that relies on grassroots organising and people power to make all our lives better and achieve a fair, just and sustainable state.. In a few short years we've achieved so much already.
Like our close friends at the Sydney Alliance, the IAF and Citizens UK, our Alliance relies on a small group of professional organisers who train, support and help dozens of community leaders in their local communities make a difference for the common good.
We practice the craft of community organising, providing opportunities for people to have a say in decisions that affect them their families and communities.
We've been around since 2014 and formally launched in August 2017 where the Premier pledged to support our campaigns. Importantly we are fiercely independent and and not aligned with any political party. We are funded by our members and we don't take direct government funding.
Our members are a growing collective of Queensland's largest civil society organisations including faith groups, unions and community organisations who have chosen to come together for the common good of Queensland.
You can find out more about our members on our partners page.
The work of community organising begins with one-to-one relational meetings.
The aim is to intentionally build understanding, respect and sense of reciprocity between individuals within our communities and member organisations and our active participants.
- Relational meetings form part of the organising cycle that includes,
- group meetings or 'table talks' where we share stories,
- discernment, where we look at the issues raise and decide what is systemic, what is 'winable' and what we are prepared to fight for,
- then there's research into the issue where we bring together academics, peak bodies and others to dig into the issue,
- we then plan one or series of actions that can be anything from a small meeting with decision-makers to large 'town hall' style meetings where we have decision-makers present alongside community leaders and our storytellers who share their stories publicly.
- This leads to outcomes and change for the better on the issue.
An individual has both a private and public aspect to who they are. The stories we seek are not your private ones, nor are we in your public stories that are detached from your values, passions and history - from who you are.
Today, the reality is that people are very isolated from each other and our organisations are also isolated. The isolation presents a problem when people face pressures and challenges. They are left alone to interpret the pressures.
In our context stories are an important part of our work as they can reveal that our private pressures are actually systemic. Your personal story, shared through a table talk, may help other people recognise that their problems can be improved in a way that helps everyone.
The hospital parking issue we have won in North Brisbane is a great example of private stories of pain - the burden of high parking cost for chronically ill people - was shared by so many and also impacted congestion for locals that it became the issue the community chose to organise around.
The stories we are looking for happen are at the intersection between public and private—the place where the things that matter to you the most are, that have a public dimension.
When we don’t make the connection between public and private, we are bound to interpret our problems as signs of personal failure.
It is in the intersection between our private lives and our public lives that Queensland’s issues become our personal concerns. For instance:
- Where a ‘housing crisis’ becomes my personal pressure if I am struggling to pay my rent or mortgage,
- Where a ‘transport crisis’ becomes my personal pressure if my 2 hour commute every day means I don’t get to see my kids before they go to sleep.
But we often do not see our issues like this.
We like to think of our training as leadership development.
The Queensland Community Alliance runs regular introductory training called Foundations of Community Organising. It's a 2-day program. We run these usually once a month in different parts of South East Qld. If your organisation is large we can also run one specifically for your organisation.
Twice a year we do a deep-dive into community organising for people who have shown their commitment. The 6-day program, National Training, is for people committed to understanding the craft of community organising and who want to play a key role in leading the activities of the Alliance within and beyond their organisation. This training is pitched at key staff within an organisation and members planning to step up to leadership roles
National Training is residential and is run together with our colleagues at Sydney Alliance. So far we're close to training 80 people in Brisbane and surrounding regions.
We also provide training to everyone as part of all of our events and preparation for events and actions. We encourage and support people to step-up to leadership roles such as assembly or discernment co-chairing.
Table Talks are small group meetings of 6-12 people, where people discuss their experiences/stories in relation to an issue, a topic.
The purpose is to share experiences and identify a commitment to action. Table talks are often held inside organisations such as after a religious service or as part of other meetings or with colleagues.
Individuals who are members or employees of our partner organisations are automatically members of the Alliance and you can attend events, actions, be supported to run table talks and apply for training.
If your organisation would like to become a member then please contact us through this form and we'll get the right organiser to get in touch.