Lead Community Conversations

We are looking for three people - with lived experiences of drugs - to help lead community conversations about drug policy and social justice in 2021.

Unharm and the Local Community Services Association have teamed up to run a series of conversations about drug policy and social justice, with participants from across Australia. 

Bringing together experts and members of the broader community, these conversations will identify common ground, common language for understanding the issues, and a shared agenda for change.

Building capacity and empowering people with lived experience of drugs to lead conversations.

Fostering participation in public discussion and debate about drug policy and social justice.

Making space for innovation and tackling shared challenges through community-led action.

Leadership from the affected community is an important principle for this project. We are making training bursaries available to three people who will be trained in effective community engagement as part of the project.


Do you want to build skills in community leadership and help facilitate more meaningful public conversations about drugs?

As a Community Leader, you will be supported to attend a three-day immersive training program on community conversations, run by the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. The program takes place 15-17 February 2021 in Sydney. 

This training will empower you with new skills in community engagement - especially how to identify shared aspirations and the changes needed to achieve them. 

You will then join the project leadership group, and receive ongoing coaching to co-facilitate up to three online conversations with 10-20 people. (Unharm will be organising the logistics of the conversations and the recruitment - that won’t be on you!)

With the leadership group, you will then help synthesise the outcomes of conversations, which Unharm will turn into a published report.

The goals of this project are to

  1. engage and grow the community of people interested in drug policy and social justice;
  2. identify community readiness and capacity for change;
  3. identify shared aspirations and the changes people think are needed to achieve them;
  4. identify how members of the community think and talk about drug policy and social justice;
  5. adapt Unharm’s organisational strategies in light of the the stage the community is at, and enable allies to adapt their own strategies by sharing the outcomes; and
  6. identify and develop community leaders who can contribute to making the change.


What's involved in being a Community Leader?

As a Community Leader, you will receive a $500 bursary to support your involvement in the program and the costs of the training and coaching program ($2,000) will be covered by project partners. Your financial situation will be taken into consideration and a travel support package for the training program can be negotiated for those outside of Sydney.

Being a Community Leader in this project involves participation in the following activities:

  • Three day Harwood Public innovation workshop, 15-17 February 2021, 9am-5pm, Marrickville Youth Resource Centre.
  • Opportunity for 12 coaching calls in applying what you learnt in the training.
  • Eight x 90 minute project Advisory Group meetings at a time that works for everyone, over the course of 2021
  • Run up to three two-hour community conversations, as facilitator or notetaker in August
  • Participate in two workshops - one prior and one after the conversations, to plan and then help synthesise the discussions

To become a community leader, you will need to commit to participating in all of these activities from February to August 2021.

We welcome diversity in all its forms. We strongly encourage expressions of interest from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants, as well as those from diverse community groups and ages including, people with disabilities and other diversity groups. Community leaders' financial situations will be taken into consideration and a travel support package can be negotiated for those outside of Sydney. Expressions of interest close 11 January, at 5pm.

If you have live experience of drugs and want to lead meaningful community conversations about drug policy and social justice, complete the expression of interest form below.