Over the course of almost a decade, Hobsons Bay City Council has partnered with Polykala to deliver a range of training, facilitation and professional development opportunities for its staff and community members.

Context

Polykala’s work with Hobsons Bay City Council goes back to 2016 and remains one of our longest professional partnerships. Initially, the council was looking for an innovative approach to training and development of the organisation’s internal culture. 

Polykala ran a series of culture change programs at the council focussing on shifting attitudes to gender, sexuality and cultural diversity. These sessions focussed on a diverse set of participant groups, from general staff, young people, library staff and members of the parks and maintenance team. 

Polykala was also invited to deliver a training session on Presentation skills for both online and face-to-face contexts.

Over time, the delivery of professional skills training sessions resulted in Polykala being invited to facilitate sessions for the Hobsons Bay Settlement Network focussing on collaboration and team development.

Approach

Whether our workshops are focussed on shifting organisational culture, professional communications skills, or helping teams function more effectively, these sessions share a common approach.

Our sessions blend facilitation and training as distinct pedagogical modes. We begin by facilitating conversations to elicit the perspectives of the people in the room to ensure that the expertise of the participants is honoured. This provides participants with an opportunity to hear from each other, learn from each other, and strengthen their relationships. The training shifts gears towards building the professional skills of the participants so that they can expand their skill set through supported practice to ensure they can contribute to their workplace or community.

The session we designed and delivered for the Hobsons Bay Settlement Network stands out for us. The session brought together a range of representatives from across the Hobsons Bay local government area that work together to deliver support services for newly arrived migrants and refugees. Having worked together successfully for a number of years, the group elected to engage in professional development to ensure the group’s continued success. The session involved a facilitated discussion about the opportunities for improvement within the group. The skills component of the session focussed on collaboration and the cultural conditions necessary for collaboration to thrive in a group. In order to bring the concept of collaboration to life, we took the group through a series of exercises. This allowed them to see their group dynamics play out so that they could reflect on them and choose a new way forward. 

Outcomes

We have now had a partnership with Hobsons Bay City Council that has included over 20 individual training sessions to a total of over 350 staff and community members. We are proud to have contributed to the council over the course of such a long partnership.

“We chose to work with Polykala because their team has the right combination of skills and expertise for the transformative work we were curating with diverse local agencies and our own staff. This included a range of complex matters from gender equity and anti-racism to reigniting partnerships, governance models and community leadership. From the get-go, the team at Polykala were a joy to work with – very dedicated, thorough and creative in their approach.”

Amber Cassidy – Hobsons Bay City Council

Imagery sourced from Hobsons Bay City Council, 2023

Client

Hobsons Bay City Council

Year

2016 – 2022

Number of participants

350

Number of sessions

21

Location

Melbourne (VIC), Online