Welcome to the website of the Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity Program (AFSE).
The website, like with all we will do at AFSE, is offered in the spirit of fellowship, collaboration and engagement. While it may look like a fairly standard website for now it will adapt and change significantly as our bravery in developing what we intend will be a radical new level of co-creation, authenticity and transparency grows.
It’s all experimental and new and in that very start-up way feels like we a building the ship as we are sailing it. We have, for lots of reasons the team and I will explore in this blog over time, crammed 18 months worth of imagination, creation, planning and execution into 6 months – and I can’t overstate how much fun we have had doing it.
On Monday we welcome our inaugural cohort of 15 Fellows who in addition to their own learning and reflection will help us, through a deep process of co-creation, over the course of the next 12 months to make sure the program is as profound and full of possibility as it deserves to be.
The imminent arrival of the Fellows and the fact that I recently passed the milestone of six months in the job as Director of the program have been cause for pause and I have spent some of the quiet hours of the morning and reflective moments before nodding off to sleep thinking about the extraordinary opportunity we have all been given.
I must admit that, at a personal level, I sometimes struggle with
the inclusivity, genuine freedom and permission to dream that comes with the
opportunity that Atlantic, the University of Melbourne and other program
partners have provided. In the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community
(and in Indigenous communities around the world) we fight every day for
personal and cultural agency and a genuine sense of self-determination but, as
I’m discovering through this program, when the pre-conditions for it genuinely
exist it can be terrifying and the sense of obligation that comes with it
intimidating – but what a lovely set of challenges to have.
I recognise that we all (Fellows, the AFSE Team and our partners,
the Global Atlantic family and the wider community) come to this with different
experiences and expectations. Our initial experience of the program will be one
of excitement and trepidation, we will test our bravery to be genuine, our
capacity to keep faith and to learn from our authentic imperfection.
What AFSE adds up to for me is a unique set of converging
opportunities that gives me absolute faith that this program, through the power
of self-determined Fellows working collaboratively, will:
- Re-frame what leadership looks like in Australia, New Zealand
- Create a new narrative of possibility and opportunity
- Help redesign systems to allow all of us to flourish.
I know that our contribution will be incremental and patience will
be our partner, but as we continue to engage with you all I know it’s all
Program Director, Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity