The Centre for Australian Progress is an organisation dedicated to building the advocacy capacity of Australia’s civil society organisations. They hold two key conferences in Australia called Progress and FWD+Organise.
Australia’s largest social change conference is held every two years. Bringing together entry-level campaigners, senior management teams, and everyone in between, Progress helps to build the courage, connections, and capability of civil society through a cross-pollination of ideas, lessons and skills, and by fostering new relationships.
FWD+Organise conferences have built dynamic communities of practice around digital campaigning and community organising, connecting advocates to cutting-edge technologists and organising approaches from Australia and around the world. FWD+Organise is a two day conference bringing together hundreds of digital campaigners and organisers to share hands-on skills, tactics and lessons from recent campaigns.
The Commons Library undertakes ‘event reporting’ at Australian Progress conferences. This includes attending sessions, liaising with presenters, sourcing presentations, and writing articles to capture the key lessons. The Commons Library also engages in the conference discussions and online platforms to link participants up with relevant resources, deepening their learning experience.
Here we have collated links to videos, presentations and articles from past conferences.
FWD + Organise 2021
Australian Progress hosted the FWD+Organise 2021 conference online from the 1-2 Dec 2021 and is an initiative of Australian Progress, a national organisation dedicated to building the advocacy and campaigning capacity of Australian civil society to achieve systems change. The conference is a place where community organisers and digital campaigners come together to share practical skills, learn innovative approaches to advocacy and build lasting collaborations to win systemic change. The conference featured more than 60 speakers leading more than 50 sessions in the program which included keynotes, workshops, masterclasses and expert briefings. The 2021 program focused on centring communities with lived experience, highlighting winning case studies during the pandemic and tactics to win on our issues in the upcoming Federal Election.
- Cell Phones for Collective Action
Inspiring talk by Koketso Moeti, a South African activist & founder of the digital engagement platform and advocacy organisation amandla.mobi.
- Deep Canvassing to Shift Hearts, Mind and Votes
Learn about the success of a deep canvassing approach to rights for undocumented migrants and Medicare for All in Michigan by Caitlin Homrich-Kneiling from We the People MI.
- Winning Long-game, Collaborative, Grassroots Campaigns: The WA Forest Campaign Experience
Reflections and wisdom from Jess Beckerling from the WA Forest Alliance. Here are her learnings from winning long game grassroots campaigns.
- Home Grown: Mapping Australian Organising Models
A new research project to map organising models in Australia, with examples from three organisations. Presented at FWD+Organise 2021.
- Organising in a Post-Lockdown World: Events and Training
Australian Conservation Foundation ACF shares their tips about organising and examples of strategies they have used in a post lockdown world.
- Digital Accessibility: Making Online Spaces Accessible
Tips, notes and presentation slides from a session at the FWD + Organise 2021 Conference about how to make online spaces more accessible by Manisha Amin from the Centre for Inclusive Design. Manisha also refereed to this valuable resource – Accessible Online Meetings Micro Course by DARU, the Disability Advocacy Resource Unit
- Five Lessons from Fair Agenda’s Campaigns for Access to Abortion Care in Australia
Lessons learned from Fair Agenda’s campaigns on winning safe and legal access to abortion care in Australia by Renee Carr from Fair Agenda.
- Digital Transformation in Progressive Organisations
How do we convince our organisations to invest in tech and digital? How do we get new ideas up and running, and build a culture of innovation? By Sara Smylie (United Workers Union), Madeline Holm (Reveille Strategy), and Jack Milroy (Defiance).
- Tech Tricks and Trends for Your Pandemic Election Campaign
Sorcha Rochford on how NationBuilder supported customers in running an election campaign and a nonprofit in the midst of the pandemic.
- Fast and First: Shifting Narratives through Rapid Response Media Campaigning
Tips on how to run a rapid response media campaign and sustain momentum beyond the immediate media moment.
- Local Power: Shifting Power at the Local Level – Candidate School
Case study of organising at a local level, Victorian Trades Hall Council’s Candidate School, focused on who gets elected to local office. By Nadia Montague (Victorian Trades Hall Council).
- When Facts Fail: How We Fight Misinformation
Article about organisations fighting misinformation and disinformation from the FWD + Organise Conference 2021 in Australia.
Virtual Progress 2020
Australian Progress held Virtual Progress 2020 on June 23-24. It was a rapid response online conference to respond to the intersecting crises of the pandemic, racial injustice, rising inequality and the climate crisis. The conference included 1,600 participants, 225 speakers from 13 countries, 5,000+ live chat messages and more than 60 sessions exploring everything from First Nations self-determination to racial justice, disability justice, health, economic fairness, the climate crisis and so much more.
- Organising in this Moment: Marshall Ganz at Virtual Progress 2020
Hear Marshall Ganz talk at the Virtual Progress 2020 conference about organising and leadership during the time of change in 2020.
- How to run virtual conferences and retreats
Need to know how to run virtual conferences or retreats? Australian Progress share lessons learned from their experiences with you.
- First Nations Justice
Hear from 3 First Nations leaders about the health and justice systems crisis, overpolicing and incarceration of First Nations people.
- Imagining a Future We Can Create Together
Hear from amazing speakers about First Nations Justice, rebuilding our economy, democracy and creating a safe climate for all.
- When debt doesn’t matter: Spending to build an economy for the people
Hear from two experts about their visions for a bold new economy that centres investment in people, public services and sustainable industry.
- The Future of Workers’ Rights
Behind-the-scenes lessons from the campaign to secure JobKeeper in response to widespread job losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Climate and Disaster Capitalism
Video about the risks of climate and disaster capitalism and how to work together to undermine attempts at cashing in on the Covid-19 crisis.
- All in For A Feminist Recovery
Hear from these powerhouse women on their vision for a feminist response to the crises the world faces.
- Lessons from the Disability Justice Movement
Hear from 3 leaders around the world in the disability justice / rights movement on campaigning and organising.
- Disability Justice Links
A collection of links sourced from presenters and participants at Virtual Progress 2020.
FWD + Organise 2019 Conference
Australian Progress hosted the FWD+Organise 2019 conference in Sydney, 5-6 December 2019. The conference was attended by 300 of Australia’s leading grassroots, industrial and community organisers as well as digital advocates, campaigners and activists from organisations representing all sectors. The conference featured 70 speakers running more than 30 sessions. The conference took place against the eery backdrop of record air pollution from bush fires, bringing the climate crisis front of mind. Decolonisation was also strongly on the agenda with powerful First Nations presenters and case studies.
View the collated materials from FWD+Organise 2019, or click the links below to presentations, articles and related resources.
- How ActionStation (Aotearoa NZ) became a values-led organisation
- Momentum Webinars on movements, mass decentralised organising and mobilisation
- An in depth look at the Hong Kong democracy movement
- Fighting online racist trolls
- Barnstorming in the Australian context
- Mass organising calls and webinars
- Community mapping
- Beginner’s guide to making video with your smart phone
- The big five trends in video for 2020
- Creating your brand identity
- Developing sustainable online fundraising
- Artificial Intelligence and social justice
- Progress 2019 Keynote – Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General, Amnesty Interational
- Top 3 Messaging Tips from Anat Shenker-Osorio – Joel Dignam
- Facebook Advertising: An Intro to Methodology, Case Studies and a Few Resources – Lee Strike, Young
- How Hospo Voice leverages digital tools to win – Tim Petterson, United Voice
- How to do video content faster, lighter and without a big budget – Digital Storytellers
- Running a Campaign Clinic – Anita Tang
- Solidarity In Times Of Crisis: Listen to the Progress 2019 panel – Aliya Ahmad, Reema Yasser Ahmad and Faisal al-Asaad
- Using Megaphone to organise workers (or why you should care about online petitions) – Moira Cully, Victorian Trades Hall Council
- Exploring roles in social change movements – Holly Hammond, Plan to Win and Commons Library
- Centre the voices of people with disability – Carly Findlay
- Action in Times of Uncertainty – Winnie Byanyima from Oxfam International
- Young people leading the way – Sashenka Worsman from Oaktree
- The importance of journalism in democracy – Lenore Taylor from Guardian Australia
- From GDP to Wellbeing – Fiona Stanley, ANDI
- The Fight of our Times: Stopping Adani and New Coal – John Hepburn, The Sunrise Project
- Defending Democracy and Human Rights – Gillian Triggs
- Change the Rules to Fight Inequality – Sally McManus, Australian Council of Trade Unions
- Queer is in! Now politics needs to catch up – Micah Scott, Minus18
- The fight for the rights of people seeking asylum – Shen Narayanasamy, GetUp
- Gender, development and the role of business with purpose -Sam Mostyn, Australian Council for International Development (ACFID)
- Messaging in the age of alternative facts – Anat Shenker-Osorio
- What young people want from Australian democracy – Paige Burton
- Building 21st Century Movements – Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, SumofUs
- Enhancing collective decision-making with technology – Ben Knight
- Winning Words About Work: Communicating a progressive agenda about work and beyond – Anat Shenker-Osorio
- The power of civil society – Danny Sriskandarajah
- Pacific Climate Warriors – Koreti Tiumalu, 350.org
- The power of unions to make change – Nadine Flood, CPSU
- Winning Social Media with Animals Australia – Jesse Marks, Animals Australia
- Australian Progress collection on the Commons Library
- Australian Progress Capacity Building Hub
- Australian Progress website
- Australian Progress (Conference)
- FWD + Organise 2019 (Australian Progress Conference - Australia)
- FWD + Organise 2021 (Australian Progress Conference - Australia)
- Progress 2015 (Conference by Australian Progress)
- Progress 2017 (Conference by Australian Progress)
- Progress 2019 (Conference by Australian Progress)