Leaning into leadership together

How can we show up together as authentic leaders to support Our DS?

Campfire hosted a retreat for the recently merged Deaf Society and Deaf Services (known internally as Our DS) in late March 2021.  More than 20 managers and executives from across NSW and QLD (supported by a team of interpreters) came together over three days to connect and do good work together.


The retreat offered space away from the every day to be in learning together about participatory leadership (Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that matter), and experience some of the processes and practices with the focus question: How can we show up together as authentic leaders to support Our DS?


Moze and Nick hosted the face to face retreat and were supported by Mel in the design process. There is strength in a team of three people working together, even if they are not all physically in the same room.


This was a wonderful opportunity for Moze to host from within, as she also works for Our DS as an internal consultant. “I learned so much from this experience, particularly about what happens to people when they go back to their workplaces after training. Being able to stay in the reflection and conversation with colleagues has been powerful.”


The seeds of collaboration and connection planted at this retreat have already started to germinate and we hope they continue to be of service to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.


Some of the words that were shared in a check out after three days together were: opportunity to listen, open conversation, learning, understanding, sense of belonging, not alone, empathy, vulnerability, valued by organisation and collaboration in such a large group.


In the words of ...


The process brought our staff together and helped us develop a common understanding and foundation to move forward with.

Craig McDonald | Chief Operating Officer


I learned so much in terms of understanding who people are, relaxing in the space to form a team, building connections and exploring issues together. The time together allowed trust and openness to build more quickly and deeply than anything other structure we have in the management team. I was challenged, gained understanding from other people's opinions and came away more connected and with a stronger sense of belonging.

Kate Matairavula | Manager Education


Michelle (Moze) and Nick both had a warm and engaging manner and quickly created ease amongst participants. Over the two days we were led through a series of frameworks that focused on problem-solving, decision-making, working together as a group, and leadership. When I reflect on the retreat I think of the atmosphere of openness and vulnerability and the importance of a shared experience as a new team, and the sense of a shared history from that point forward, providing a good foundation for future work together.

Jen McKee | General Manager


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