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Pushing the Boundaries: Facilitation Frontiers  
Charles Sturt University, Bathurst - New South Wales, Australia
26-28 November 2008

Location & Venue
Health & Sustainability
Sponsors & Exhibitors

Key Contacts
AFN  2008 Conference
AFN Home

When is it being held?  
What are the key dates?

Where is it being held?

Who is it for?
Who puts it together?

What is the link with IAF?
What is the organising theme?
What will the conference look like?

What can I expect to get from attending?

How can I offer to present a workshop?

How can I offer sponsorship?
How can I display and sell goods? 
What does it cost?

Can I obtain financial support to attend?

What about accompanying persons?
How can I get there?

Where can I stay?

What weather can I expect?

What should I wear and bring?

What child care is available?

What if I need to change or cancel?

Who can I contact?

What if my question or answer is not here?

When is it being held?

The Conference starts on Wed 26 November 2008 and ends on Fri 28 November 2008.
Associated IAF CPF Certification is scheduled on Mon & Tue 24-25 November 2008.

Post-conference workshops will be held on Sat 29 November 2008.
On Day 1 Wed 26 November the Registration Desk is open from 8am, with Morning Tea available from 10.30am.  The Opening event begins at 11am.
The Closing Event
on Fri 28 November begins at 1.30pm, followed by Afternoon Tea and final farewells.  The Registration Desk closes at 4pm.
For more information see 
Program Overview

What are the key dates?

Deadline for offers to facilitate a workshop session
Advice to presenters
Registration opens

Scholarship applications close
Advice to scholarship applicants
Scholarship acceptance deadline
Early Bird registration closes

Registration closes 
16 May 08   Now Closed
by 11 July 08
30 April 08
 Now Open
16 July 08   Now Closed
04 August 08  
15 August 08
 Now Closed
31 August  08 Now Closed
14 November 08  
Where is it being held?
The venue is Charles Sturt University (CSU), Panorama Avenue, Bathurst.  The 'home base' location is the Centre for Professional Development.  This is the location for the Registration and Information Desk, the Trade Exhibit, sign-up sheets for concurrent workshops, and for plenary (whole group) sessions.
Workshop sessions are held in a variety of nearby rooms.
Bathurst is located about 2.5 hours drive to the west of Sydney, New South Wales (NSW), and about 3 hours drive to the north of Canberra ACT.
This is the first time the AFN Conference has been held in a regional location and within a rural community.

The Wiradjuri people are the traditional owners and custodians of this region.  The Conference honours Wiradjuri elders and the continuing traditions and associations of Wiradjuri people with the place where we are meeting.
For more information about CSU and Bathurst, see  Location & Venue
Who is it for?
The Conference is for anyone who practices, or has an interest in, any aspect of facilitation, group process and group learning. 
Concurrent workshop sessions address all levels of capability and experience, from beginners to advanced.
Through AFN affiliation with IAF, it is a global conference which can attract participants from anywhere in the world.  Most of the participants are likely to be drawn from across the AFN 'membership area' of Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asia and the Pacific.

Who puts it together?
Like the AFN itself, this Conference is organised by peers on behalf of peers, on a voluntary basis.  
We benefit from the efforts of our peers at every Conference we attend, and this is a way of giving back.  So, each year an organising group undertakes to develop the AFN Conference for the following year.  
For more information see this year's Organising Team page.

What is the link with the International Association of Facilitators (IAF)?
AFN is pleased to be part of the Affiliate Facilitator Network of the International Association of FacilitatorsExternal link Through IAF affiliation, this Conference is one of a suite of IAF global facilitator conferences.  
For more information see the Conference home page.  
The two days preceding the Conference (24-25 November 2008) have been designated for conduct of the IAF Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) assessment process for
For more information see  IAF Facilitator Certification (CPF)
External link

What is the organising theme? 
The theme for 2008 is 'Pushing the boundaries: Facilitation frontiers'.  
This encompasses all the ways in which facilitation practice may push boundaries: for the facilitator, for the group(s), for society as a whole. 

The frontiers encompass any place where facilitation is at the forefront or cutting edge of reaching and engaging people, and supporting people to work together for better social, cultural and environmental outcomes.

For more information see  Program Overview


What will the conference look like?

AFN Conferences are not like many other conferences - rather than 'talking heads' with a content expert delivering information to a listening audience, the emphasis is on the attendees being active participants in experiencing a method or approach for themselves.  So, each session is a process of engagement and facilitation.  
Days generally begin and close with a plenary (whole group) gathering.  Participants select concurrent workshop sessions based on the program and workshop descriptions.  
For more information and links to details see  Program Overview

Space is provided in the program for a range of formal and informal networking and other interaction.
The program includes a Conference Dinner where we celebrate our gathering and a Regional Showcase where we acknowledge and learn from the setting and the community in which we are gathering.  
As part of our Social Responsibility values, the Conference has been guided by a Healthy Community policy to safeguard the health and wellbeing of participants, and a Sustainability policy to reduce the ecological footprint of the event.  For more information see  Health & Sustainability
What can I expect to get from attending?
To some extent this depends on what you are willing to put in.  
The conference provides many opportunities for connecting, and for sharing information and experience.  So you can expect to gain contacts, new experiences, exposure to new methodologies and perspectives, and new opportunities for practice, development and learning. 
In the end, each participant is responsible for their own contribution and their own learning. 
For all participants, and particularly for international visitors, the rural location within a regional community offers a different perspective and experience of life outside the city - a conference in 'the bush'.  This will be highlighted in Opening and Closing events, Regional Showcase and Celebration Dinner events, and in other aspects of the program.  
For more information see  Program Overview
How can I offer to present a workshop?   
Now Closed
Any participant is invited to offer to present a concurrent workshop.  The convenors will select workshops to be included in the program, based on advice provided by presenters.  Priority for inclusion may accrue to workshops which overtly address aspects of the Conference Theme (see above), or which provide greater balance in offerings for different levels of capability and experience.
For more information and form to express interest, see  Offer to Facilitate a Workshop
How can I offer sponsorship?
We welcome sponsorship of many kinds, and we publicly acknowledge those who support our gatherings.  With hundreds of participants from across Australasia and beyond, there are many opportunities for sponsors to gain meaningful profile.
For more information, guidelines and a prospectus, see Sponsors and Exhibitors

How can I display or sell goods?
Facilitation conferences provide great opportunities to display and market good such as books, multimedia products, software, presentation materials, and so on.  Space for a trade display will be located near the Registration Desk.
For more information and guidelines, see Sponsors and Exhibitors

What does it cost?

Participants can pay registration fees on line through a link from the Registration page.  
Conference registration includes:
Day 1:
Morning Tea + Lunch + Afternoon Tea + Regional Showcase
Day 2:
Morning Tea + Lunch + Afternoon Tea + Celebration Dinner 
Day 3:
Morning Tea + Lunch + Afternoon Tea
There are rates for day attendance and for accompanying persons. 

For more information, see Registration
Accommodation costs are additional to registration.  For more information, see Accommodation Options  
Transport costs are the responsibility of participants.  For more information, see Transport Options

Trade exhibitors who wish to display and sell products may need to pay a fee.  For more information, see Sponsors & Exhibitors 
Can I obtain financial support to attend?
The AFN and conference organising teams have a commitment to scholarship support for voluntary and community-based practitioners, students, and others who may otherwise have difficulty in attending the AFN Conference.  
For more information and to access an Application Form, see Scholarship Support on the Registration page.  

What about accompanying persons?
Persons accompanying Conference participants, but not registered for the Conference, are welcome to attend the Opening and Closing events without cost.  No catering can be provided for people not registered to attend the Conference. 

Tickets for accompanying persons to attend the celebration events on the evenings of Days 1 and 2 can be purchased at the time of registration, or during the Conference (only if places remain available) at the Registration Desk.  For further information see  Registration
During Conference sessions, accompanying persons are encouraged to get out and about in the Bathurst city and district.  For basic information follow page links from  Location & Venue .  These lead to  external links for more detailed information and bookings.  All bookings and arrangements are the responsibility of the participant and accompanying person.
If accompanying persons wish to meet, and coordinate activities or touring with, other accompanying persons, please advise the convenors and a register will be established near the Registration Desk.
How can I get there? 
Bathurst is about 2.5 hours drive from Sydney, across the Blue Mountains and via Lithgow, or about 3 hours drive from Canberra via Cowra and Blayney.  It is accessible by regular air, rail and coach transport.  We encourage car pooling or public transport wherever feasible.
For more information, see Transport Options
Where can I stay?
On campus at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst we have secured a range of accommodation styles and prices that can suit singles, twins and families, with self-contained or shared facilities.
Off-campus, there are diverse accommodation options a short distance away.
For more information, see Accommodation Options

What weather can I expect?
Bathurst lies at 670 metres (2,180ft) above sea level in the Central Tablelands of NSW.  
The Conference is being held at the time that Spring is giving way to Summer.
Summer temperatures average max 27 deg C (81 deg F) and min 13 deg C (55 deg F).  
Average annual rainfall is about 630mm (25.2 ins).

What should I wear and bring?
AFN conferences are relaxed and informal, with 'neat casual' the most common dress code.  Some participants like to bring slightly more formal dress for the Conference Dinner.
In case of rain, an umbrella will be useful for moving between locations.
If you are touring in the district, or walking around campus, some bushwalks will require sturdy footwear with enclosed toes.
For your wellbeing and safety outdoors, you are advised to bring a hat, sunscreen SPF30+, sunglasses, and insect repellent


As part of our Sustainability Policy, we will not be supplying Conference satchels, so you may care to re-use a satchel you have collected in the past.  We are offering prizes to recognise the most venerable and exotic satchels from previous facilitation conferences.  Also as part of this policy, you are asked to bring your own pens and note-paper (although there will be some supplies available). 
You may need to check with your accommodation provider as to whether you need to bring any other materials.

What child care is available?
The organisers are currently checking the terms of availability of Childcare on campus.

What if I need to change or cancel?
We recognise that sometimes other events overtake us and we need to make a late change in our plans.  The Cancellation Policy for registrations is.....
For more information on cancellation, see Registration
Who can I contact?
Email the organisers.  For further information, see Key Contacts
What if my question or answer is not here?
If the question you are asking is not here, or the answer does not sufficiently assist you, please contact the organisers.  

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Last update 2 November 2008

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