Alumni Community Action Projects

Alumni Community Projects

Alumni Community Action Projects

Graduates of the Governor's Leadership Foundation (GLF) program are often characterised by their awareness and responsiveness to the communities of which they are a part. Many GLF Alumni have initiated or contributed significantly to projects that have provided important and far reaching social impact. These inspiring ventures reflect the growth, challenge and wisdom provided through the GLF and the strength that the Alumni network offers.

Since 2009 a key element of the GLF program is the development and implementation of a Community Action Project (CAP). Participants work in small groups on an action learning project of their choice from early in the program. During the program participants are provided with a range of workshops that help them in developing the skills needed to successfully deliver the project.

CAP groups conduct a feasibility study, consult with key stakeholders and where appropriate develop a pilot and/or business plan during the GLF year, which they present to the Board of the Leaders Institute before their graduation in November.  If you would like to put forward a project idea please email us.


Lighthouse Disability: Engaging frontline staff

A 2017 group of Caprice Davey, Cate Gaston, Kelly Robson, Naomi Ebert Smith, Ross McLennan and Matt Salisbury worked with Lighthouse Disability which provides 24/7 care to adults and children living with complex and diverse disabilities.  Lighthouse Disability wanted to change its culture such that front-line staff felt able to use their initiative with regard to day-to-day decisions concerning clients and the running of the houses they were based in.  As a result of the project the Leadership Team of Lighthouse Disability developed a deeper understanding of the underlying assumptions and beliefs of each stakeholder group involved in the activities and the CAP group proposed some courses of action to address the perceived lack of engagement of frontline staff in the innovative development of services and supports to clients.


Learn and Grow: Playford International College

The 2016 GLF group of Andrew Naffin, Myron Mann, Natalie Hill, Dorata Clausen, Richard Bates and Matthew Woosnam combined to implement a "Mini GLF" for Playford International College students after finding difficulties between students transitioning from school to their chosen path which has been shown to contribute to the very high unemployment rates for youths in Elizabeth.  Following interviews with teachers, ex-school leavers, parents and current students the team identified two main gaps which were the students lacked support in developing adult self-learning skills to allow them to build behaviour that will provide them with capacity in achieving short and long term goals and also, that students lacked awareness of career and employment options because of minimal industry networks and work experience placements.   The group developed a program for selected Year 12s which gave students exposure to various industries, leadership experiences, life skills and career and employment opportunities.

Moving Through Homelessness: Exploring delivery models for improved literacy and numeracy outcomes for Hutt Street Centre clients

The 2013 GLF Alumni team of Dave Adamson, Wayne Buckerfield, Mauro Farinola, Fiona Gill, Heather Gryst and Susan Jackson-Wood formed with strong support for an initial idea to enhance the services being provided at Hutt Street Centre (HSC). Each of the project team had undertaken a Community Placement activity at HSC, and was moved by the need as leaders to do more for those disadvantaged. The challenge from the outset was to identify the adaptive challenge and move away from technical solutions. What started off as an upgrade to the amenities areas soon developed into several ideas with competing tensions. The team finally settled on something ‘small enough to do, but big enough to matter’. From research and discussions with Hutt Street Centre’s Executive Team it became clear that one of the key barriers to exiting homelessness was inadequate literacy and numeracy. This project has explored delivery models for improved literacy and numeracy outcomes for Hutt Street Centre.

The target audience for this CAP is the 70% of Hutt Street Centre clients who struggle with literacy and numeracy skills. HSC has identified a distinct need to have research findings available to make informed decisions about the future programs being delivered. This CAP has provided the much needed access to this current research in literacy and numeracy programs and aims to enhance current programs. The intent of this project has been to research opportunities for literacy and numeracy training for homeless people, evaluate the current offering at Hutt Street Centre and suggest improvements where possible. 

Missing in Action - Increasing female participation as elected members in South Australian Local Government

2013 GLF Alumni Kath Button, Madeleine Davis, Margaret Faulkner and Alex Gaut, successfully undertook research to tackle a major adaptive challenge facing Local Government in South Australia - increasing the representation of women as elected members. Half of South Australia’s population is female, yet women currently represent only 27% of elected members in Local Government, and current trends suggest this will remain stagnant. 

Following consideration of a range of possible interventions, the CAP team agreed to run three World Café forums to explore two pivotal questions with women from diverse backgrounds:

- What does effective community leadership look like to you?

- What message would inspire you to become involved in community leadership?

The result of their research is the publication of a report that they presented to the Local Government Association (LGA) including seven recommendations to tackle this adaptive challenge. Their recommendations are now cited in some of the key resource documents for councils in South Australia. You can find the report here.