Boingboing blogs from… Australia and New Zealand
OZ and New Zealand community university partnerships – hot stuff!
by Angie Hart – Boingboing blogger
Greetings from a very sunny Australia where I’m spending four weeks courtesy of Engagement Australia, an umbrella organisation for a number of Australian universities committed to community university partnership working. Off to New Zealand after that. Dave from Cupp has told me I’ve got to do a blog. Otherwise he won’t help me get back on the Cupp network next time I forget my password. So expect to be hearing from me copiously.
Temperatures here are hitting 40 degrees. And that’s before we get down to discussing the complexities of community university partnerships. Engagement Australia has a Visiting Fellow scheme and they have kindly invited me over to wilt and perspire in front of various university and community groups. I’m talking about Brighton’s community engagement work, and attempting to enthuse with tales of the Communities of Practice (CoP) approach as applied to community university partnerships. CoPs are groups of people who work together with a passion for a shared interest. There’s a bit more to them that, but take a look at the link above if you are at least a bit interested.
A brief digression for anyone who doesn’t know what we’ve been up to recently in the UK, let alone Oz. In Brighton some of us have been working with the CoP concept because we think it helps us practically (and theoretically if you like that kind of thing) with community university partnerships. We are blessed to be part of a UK Research Councils’ funded Project called Imagine coordinated by Graham Crow at Edinburgh Uni. This is about Imagining Different Futures and Making them Happen. One part of the project is setting up a series of resilience-focused communities of practice (including international ones) in collaboration with community organisations and statutory sector partners. As part of Imagine more widely, other community partners and their academics around the UK and beyond are doing fascinating work across community organisations, the arts, humanities and social sciences. The best is yet to come.
Back to Oz. I have been talking about Imagine over here, and the broader, very exciting Connected Communities Programme (CCP) of which Imagine is a part. The Australian Research Council don’t have anything quite like the CCP and the Ozzies were thrilled, and indeed very jealous, to hear about it.
Over and out. Will tell you about where I’ve actually been for my first set of presentations and meetings very soon. Keeping up the suspense, I know you want it.