By Becky Hirst
What a year! Community engagement is gaining MASSIVE momentum as a sector, a profession and a passion.
Heading to the end of year, I'm wondering what was your high point in the world of Engage 2 Act during 2017?
Was it the forming of the Engage 2 Act board to provide practitioner-led strategic direction for the engagement sector? Was it the great connections and conversations that you've made in our Facebook and LinkedIn groups or via Twitter? Perhaps it was the opportunity to participate in academic research in to our sector? SO GOOD!
Maybe it was the moment we saw engagement guru and highly respected engagement elder Dr Wendy Sarkissian on stage Beyoncé dancing with the Chadstone Bowling Ladies, sharing their story of their plight to save their bowls club at our (un)Conference? Or perhaps it the moment Wendy Sarkissian presented her inaugural award for courage in the practice of community engagement to the hawkers from the Pang Jai Fabric Market in Hong Kong for their brave fight with the government and creating a vision for their community? Or maybe it was that moment we listened to some leading practitioners deliberating on the topic of deliberation, followed by other leading practitioners joining them to ask questions? MINDBLOWING!
Or maybe it was simply discovering what feels like 'long lost family' in signing up to the Engage 2 Act collective, finding over 550 like minded souls from across the world to connect to? Or attending one of our many local networking and learning events across the country - Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth? AMAZING.
Maybe it was a simple City Hall Selfie? Or witnessing our Engage 2 Act Youth forming, engaging with children and young people from age 5 and up to find out what they consider to be best practice engagement? Or maybe that Love is Love party we threw in support of marriage equality, highlighting the awful engagement process used to reach a decision? PHENOMENAL.
If you answer YES to any of the above, you join me in my MANY personal highs from 2017. It really has been incredible. I'll stand by saying that you get out of Engage 2 Act what you put in to it.
To round off the year with a bang, we partnered with EngagePhase to get global engagement industry news straight to YOUR inbox! Make sure you're signed up as an member of our Collective to get a super special EngagePhase 100% discount code to keep you in the loop on GLOBAL engagement industry news! It's our festive gift to each and every member of our Collective! SUPERB!
In the meantime, we're signing off for the year (other than some get togethers for end of year celebrations and our FIRST event in NEW ZEALAND!) to refresh, regroup, catch up on a bit of behind the scenes stuff, enjoy some time off with our family and friends and maybe even spend some time getting immersed in our own communities. BLISS.
I'd like to thank my board, volunteers, all those of you who've organised get togethers and learning opportunities, those who've supported us financially, those who are brimming with ideas and excitement for the year ahead and every single member of our Collective who make us what we are. YOU'RE AMAZING!
BRING ON 2018!
Becky Hirst, on behalf of the Engage 2 Act Board
President & Cofounder - Engage 2 Act