Gay & Lesbian Community Publishing (GLCP) Ltd, publisher of the Sydney Star Observer, is helping launch a new networking and skill sharing event for people who volunteer on the boards or committees of GLBTIQ community organisations.

GLCP Chairman Daniel Bone said the idea for Camp Co-Op came about when he first joined the SSO Media board.

“We needed to review and update some of our governance documents and we also needed to make sure we had processes in place,” Bone said.

“Because I’d organised Fair Day in the past I was fortunate to know people who ran other community organisations who were happy to swap documents and ideas, and review things we wrote and share with me.

“But I realised it would have been pretty difficult at that time if I hadn’t had those connections.

“Within the community there’s been a bit of a vacuum in terms of a structured way for people to get together and learn together.”

Bone said a range of organisations had come on board, contributing their own ideas.

“The key people supporting it from the start have been board members from ACON, New Mardi Gras, and the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Business Association who have been doing concrete things to get it off the ground,” he said.

“The City of Sydney is involved as well and we’ve spoken to board members from Team Sydney and the NSW Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby.”

Bone said the name was chosen in honour of Australia’s oldest public GLBTI organisation, the Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP).

“CAMP, the first active group fighting for gay and lesbian rights in Australia, was founded 40 years ago so I thought it was nice to mark that anniversary,” he said. “But camp is also fun, it’s gay and it defines the community —it brings in all the letters of the GLBTIQ alphabet.”

Camp Co-Op will host quarterly networking events while a website will provide shared resources and a place to find new board members, volunteers and community contacts. Gatherings will begin with a roundtable discussion, presentation or speeches, followed by an opportunity to share ideas with others while enjoying drinks and nibbles.

An inaugural gathering will be held on November 30 and will discuss how the co-op can best meet the needs of members. Officeholders from Sydney’s not-for-profit GLBTIQ community organisations are invited to attend the free event.

info: The inaugural meeting of Camp Co-Op
is on November 30 from 6.30pm at the
Sydney Masonic Centre in Goulburn St. To attend
email your details and the details of your
organisation to campcoop@starobserver.com.au

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