A diverse group of volunteer board and committee members from Sydney GLBTI community organisations big and small met at the Sydney Masonic Centre last night for the inaugural Camp Co-Op meeting to swap knowledge and discuss what they’d like to get out of the event in the coming years.
Daniel Bone, chairman of Gay and Lesbian Community Publishing (GLCP) which publishes the Sydney Star Observer and Southern Star Observer in Melbourne, said it was great to see nearly fifty people turn up to help decide what Camp Co-Op would become.
“Camp Co-Op is an opportunity for those who give many hours to the running of our various community groups, whether it’s a sporting group, whether its ACON, whether its Mardi Gras or the Star Observer and all the other groups you’re representing, to share the enormous amount of expertise and wealth of knowledge that exists in this community,” Bone said.
“It’s an opportunity for those people who have been doing it a long time to mentor those who are new, but also an opportunity to share resources.”
“It’s an opportunity to not have to reinvent the wheel two hundred times.”
Bone said the meeting was a preliminary exercise before a formal launch at the next Camp Co-Op scheduled for three months’ time.
“The idea of the meeting today is to get your ideas about what we are going to cover in Camp Co-Op- what’s really of value for you,” he said.
“Camp Co-Op is not run by somebody else for you. It’s for everybody who’s here to say ‘these are the things that are going to be useful for us, this is how we can help each other, this is the area where we feel we need more support, where we need to get experts in to talk to us about things or where other members of our community can share their wisdom and knowledge’.”
“Tonight is about writing down where you’d like this event to go and what you’d like to see it become.”
The evening was broken down into discussion of four focus areas for Camp Co-Op – mentoring, informing, supporting, and online resources – and Campers heard presentations from current board members from New Mardi Gras, the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, Queer Screen, and from former ACON CEO Stevie Clayton.
At the end of those discussions, organisers collected notes and suggestions produced by participants and the evening closed with a networking session with drinks and nibbles.