Transforming football: values and communities

Last month, I had an opportunity to meet with a consortium that was bidding for a Football Federation Australia franchise license.

Our conversations centred on values and communities.

My role was to challenge the consortium’s values proposition. By the end of our time together, and with the support of others keen to debate transformation we had come to a consensus.

We agreed:

  • The bid was based on a love of football.
  • We hoped to invite people to sample participation in the game in a variety of roles: player, coach, official, administrator, volunteer.
  • We hoped to persuade people that football could be a life interest that would be nurtured by respect and mutual recognition.

Our approach focussed on local communities that were the point of touch for the franchise’s values. We recognised that this needed leadership and that the franchise would actively connect communities in order to provide learning and support opportunities … and become an organisation that learns.

There was an unequivocal commitment to the spirit of the game and profound ethical dimension to the bid.

By the end of our discussions we also committed to:

  • a nursery model to support multiple role pathways
  • multi-sport opportunities as counters to early specialisation models
  • an invitational environment that enabled people to enter, leave and rejoin pathways
  • a distributed support system for young players that included opportunities to train in an intense way
  • clarity that a very small proportion of players would receive professional contracts and that lifelong involvement or absence from the game was not determined by the aspiration to be a professional player.

I though the bid enshrined the joys of being involved in football. The commitment to explicit values was very important in framing what I think is a transformational bid.

I am looking forward to learning what the Football Federation Australia think of this bid.

Portals and portkeys

I sat in on a presentation yesterday.

My colleague Scott Nichols , Director of Student Connect at the University of Canberra, shared progress on a new student portal that aims to provide a single point of entry that supports choice of course, enrollment, studying, graduation and on-going alumna/alumnus connection.

The portal will respond dynamically to each student log in and provides an exciting approach to supporting personal learning journeys. I hope this access can be available for the lifetime of the learner.

Scott’s presentation was shared in confidence so I am unable to provide the detail of a platform that will be launched in 2019.

I was fascinated by Scott’s talk and I focused on the personal potential of the platform. It will provide a data rich environment, that with students’ informed consent, could lead to a profoundly ethical resource to support personal learning journeys and personal learning environments.

I believe that the impact of such a portal could be amplified if we are able to appreciate the success of the national Vocational Education Training’s Unique Student Identifier (USI) registration scheme.

At present, six million students who are taking or have taken nationally recognised training opportunities have a USI. This is a reference number that:

  • creates a secure online record of recognised training and qualifications gained in Australia, from all training providers
  • gives access to training records and transcripts
  • is accessed online, anytime and anywhere
  • is free and easy to create
  • stays with you for life

These ten numbers become a portkey in my vision for innovations at the University of Canberra. The USI transcript service that became available in May 2017 underscores this portkey potential.

With the appropriate checks and balances in place, the USI connects school, tertiary and lifelong learning in a wonderfully transparent way.

The announcement of the USI transcript service included these observations:

  • Training participants and graduates can view, download or print their USI Transcript and share it electronically with future training providers if they wish.
  • It will help training participants and graduates when enrolling in further training or applying for jobs as well as support Australian businesses to get a better understanding of their employees’ level of training.
  • The service will enable the Federal Government and policy makers to get a clearer picture of the skills pathways that Australians pursue, and importantly, the ones that work.

In this context, the University of Canberra portal becomes part of a nationwide and global learning network. It has portkey potential (“an enchanted object that when touched will transport the one or ones who touch it to anywhere on the globe decided on by the enchanter).

Another kind of #ruokday

R U OK Day is on Thursday 13 September this year.

Braidwood had an early start with its Tune Up Day on 7 September. The event was organised to offer our local community the opportunity to meet at the Recreation Ground and access health and wellbeing services.

The organiser of the day, George Sherriff, has a close connection with R U OK through the OzHelp Foundation. The Braidwood event was a day to listen, ask, plan some action steps and set up ways to continue conversations.

I was there with the Braidwood Rural Fire Service. Our contribution to the day was to talk with anyone thinking about clarifying their bush fire readiness plans.

Over the nine hours of the day there was a constant stream of people taking advantage of the OZHelp consultancy, our bush fire awareness conversations and the host of other services available including: the rural health advisory program; Braidwood’s multipurpose service; rural finance advisors; NSW Department of Primary Industries; and livestock management experts.

Throughout the day I was mindful of the conversations going on throughout the Recreation Ground fuelled by excellent complementary coffee and the Braidwood Lions’ catering service.

As well as meeting lots of people in our community, I bumped into Frank Arsego who was working with OzHelp. Frank had just returned from Singapore after working there as Technical Director of basketball. Frank and I first met when we were both at the AIS in 2002.

Now that Frank is back he will be continuing his work with OZHelp and will bring his passion for sport into conversations with tradies in and around Canberra. Geore Sherriff, the event organiser, is the Braidwood Redbacks’ rugby union coach.

As part of my follow up conversations I will make sure I introduce them to each other.

Photo Credits

Frank Aresego (Todayonline, 2016)

George Sherriff (Braidwood Times, 8 May 2017)