ChangeFest is a gathering of people, intent on working at the local level for place-based impact.
ChangeFest recognises First Nations first within strong diverse and sustainable communities, and this year was hosted by the Elders from Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation in Mount Druitt NSW, with special guest Elders from the Northern Territory, where the next ChangeFest will be held.
The resounding message was that "Change happens at the speed of trust” – it depends on building genuine relationships, devolving power, and listening to communities.
We listened and participated in thought-provoking discussions about systems change, what is getting in the way of change, data and storytelling, governance, the economics of place, and deep collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Participants from all over the country also braved a bushfire smoke evacuation to continue the conference at Rooty Hill RSL. Dedication!
On the final day, VFFF Foundation Manager Emily Fuller participated in a Reverse Dragon’s Den – where the funders pitched their ‘product’ to the community representatives. Emily contested against government, crowdfunders and academics, to convince the Dragons that philanthropy could best support their communities.
This was a creative and effective power-shift exercise, that saw community representatives put funders through their paces.