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Co-Director - Community Organising Fellowship - Flexible Location

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW

We are seeking a motivated and experienced co-director with a talent for leadership, organisation, project management, and facilitation.

You will work closely with our small team to ensure the successful planning, rollout, and execution of the Community Organising Fellowship (COF) program in 2022.

Your key objectives will be to manage COF operations, including:

  • Budget and finances
  • Program promotions and recruitment
  • Supporting the COF staff and fellows by creating culturally and psychologically safe working and learning environments
  • Updating curriculum and resources
  • Training design and facilitation


The Community Organising Fellowship (COF) is an annual 17-day intensive residential and online training program for community organisers and campaigners leading campaigns for social, environmental, economic, First Nations, and racial justice. Each year, our transformative program takes 25 leaders on a 6-month journey of intensive learning and skills development. We give participants the tools and skills to design, initiate, and lead powerful campaigns that engage thousands of people and win positive, meaningful, lasting outcomes for justice. Our mission is to build the power of our movements by training and mentoring a national network of highly-skilled community organisers and campaigners to activate and mobilise communities around shared values to win targeted and strategic campaigns. Our graduates have led more than 700 workshops to share community organising and campaigning skills with more than 12,000 group members, volunteers and community leaders across the continent.

The Community Organising Fellowship is the deepest and most intensive campaign training program on offer in Australia. Our pedagogy is participatory and maximises applied learning, with a strong focus on strategy development.

The Community Organising Fellowship is a program of The Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC), run by a small and flexible team of 6 core part-time and casual staff. The Program launched in 2014 with a group of founding partners, including NCC, The Change Agency (Aus), and The Sierra Club (USA). While The Change Agency is no longer involved in COF, NCC is continuing to support the program through an exciting new phase in its leadership and direction.

You can find more information about our work at www.cof.org.au.


  • You’re motivated to tackle the root causes of injustice
  • You’re an empathetic and motivating leader with experience managing small-but-powerful teams
  • You have experience with managing teams, projects and budgets
  • You’re comfortable working independently, and as part of a small, remote team that communicates online and over the phone
  • You are an outgoing people person with connections in a range of campaigning organisations
  • You believe that collective problems require collective action solutions
  • You have an understanding of community organising and campaigning, and know that we need to build leadership and skills of our movements to win lasting change
  • You’re excited about training, skills sharing, and participatory learning
  • You’re strategic and know how to win campaigns


As Co-Director, you’ll join a small staff team committed to building leadership and the power of our movements to achieve purpose. You’ll work closely with the other Co-Director to oversee the delivery of our training program and day-to-day operations of The Community Organising Fellowship. You’ll play a key role in ensuring COF continues to grow and develop the leadership, strategic capacity, and organising skills of our national network of highly-skilled community organisers and campaigners. You will play a key role in steering the future direction of the program.

Your key responsibilities will be:

  • Managing budget and finances for the program
  • Manage the hiring of new staff or engagement of contractors as necessary
  • Supporting the COF staff and fellows by creating culturally and psychologically safe working and learning environments
  • Engage with campaign organisations and groups to promote COF through e.g. events, networking, meetings etc
  • Play a key role in the annual recruitment of the training cohort, including course promotion, candidate selection and fee negotiation
  • Coordinating program monitoring, evaluation, and reporting
  • Maintaining effective relationships with COF fellows, participating organisations, graduates, guest facilitators, funders, board and program reference group
  • Ensuring COF curriculum and resources reflect best-practice organising and campaigning approaches
  • Training design and facilitation on topics relating to community organising and political campaigning

You may be required to perform other duties from time to time to suit organisational requirements and which are broadly consistent with your role.

In a typical week as our Co-director, you may:

  • Meet with the NCC CEO to discuss various matters including the COF budget.
  • Check-in and liaise with COF staff on their projects and progress
  • Convene meetings with our staff team and reference group
  • Assist the other Co-Director to meet with a funder to discuss our plans for 2022 and beyond
  • Represent COF in collaborative social movement spaces
  • Draft a workshop design and discuss with a co-facilitator/critical friend
  • Research and review new resources and trainings about community organising and campaigning
  • Post an update to the COF Facebook page or cohort Slack workspace


NCC is an equal opportunity employer and we know our capacity to drive change is increased when our team has a diversity of backgrounds and experience. At COF, we are committed to equity and justice, and removing barriers to people from a range of communities. We do our best to create a workplace which is collaborative, caring, and committed to solidarity. We know that sometimes the best people for the role may not fit the exact selection criteria. We value motivation and lived experience over professional experience. We strongly encourage people of all cultures, genders, abilities, and experiences to apply.


We encourage you to apply even if you do not meet all the criteria listed below. Please indicate how your skills, talents and experience may be applied to meet the objectives of this role.

Talent & Capabilities:

  • Demonstrated commitment to social, environmental, economic, First Nations, and racial justice
  • Organised and can manage multiple projects concurrently
  • Proven ability to develop strong, collaborative and long-lasting relationships with colleagues and key stakeholders for our program
  • Willingness and ability to work independently with limited supervision and a high-level of individual responsibility, as part of a small, collaborative team operating remotely

Skills & Experience:

  • High level interpersonal and communication skills
  • Experience with project and budget management
  • Leadership and team management skills
  • Coordinating program monitoring and evaluation
  • Experience dealing with a range of issues that arise as part of running a program

Extra Points For:

  • Demonstrated experience designing, developing, and delivering education and/or training programs
  • Understanding of adult education pedagogies
  • Experience facilitating groups, teams, and training workshops
  • Experience with campaigning and community organising strategy and practice

Applicants must have a legal right to work in Australia.

For more information, contact: Maxwell Smith COF Co-director on msmith@cof.org.au using the subject line: Co-Director - Community Organising Fellowship enquiry via EthicalJobs or 0408 053 622.

A position description is attached.

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