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Diversity Groups : Network Groups FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Network Groups?

Network Groups are voluntary groups made up of staff and students that come together based on shared identity or life experiences. Network Groups provide support, enhance career development, and contribute to personal development in the School environment. They create supportive environments and help bring people together.

Who can join the network group?

Staff and students will be invited to join. This provides opportunities for shared experiences, mentoring and reverse mentoring, and aligned action across the School community. Allies will not be included in the initial membership of each group, however once each group has established its terms and has built a solid team dynamic, each group may determine whether they wish to invite allies to the group. 

Can I be in more than one network group?

Intersectionality describes how characteristics like gender, cultural background, ability, sexual orientation and age can overlap and intersect in dynamic ways[1].  Staff and students may fit into and belong to multiple Network Groups and are actively encouraged to join as many as they feel a connection to. This will bring an added layer of richness and present further opportunity for collaboration between the groups.

How will network groups be supported?

Each network will have a dedicated Executive Champion whose role it is to advocate and take steps to influence the executive team and council. Executive champions will not form a normal part of the group, nor attend meetings regularly in order to ensure that the group feels able to have open dialogue.They will also be expected to act as role models of equity, inclusion and belonging.

The co-chairs of the group will report to the Executive Champion when there is news, or if they encounter issues or barriers, or where a task needs broader attention, but will ensure that the Champion is kept in the loop so that group action/activity can be shared at the monthly Executive Meeting.

How often do network groups meet?

Network meetings will take place regularly and as determined by the members. People & Culture recommends the groups meet between once a month to once every three months.

What decision-making power do the groups have?

The groups will determine:

  1. The terms of their group (with a template provided by P&C)
  2. The name of their group should they wish to choose one
  3. The annual key project(s) they wish to focus and spend budget on – this will be shared at the Q3/Q4 Taskforce planning meeting

There will be no formal proposal/approval process required. Groups are expected to keep their executive champion informed so that they can be mobilised to help address and barriers and provide access to budget.

If the executive champion, or the executive team find any issues with a suggested action by the network group, this will be discussed at the Inclusion Taskforce meeting, and the network group will be given an opportunity to put their case forward to the exec team.

[1] Kelly, W.S, & Smith, C, 2014, What if the Road to Inclusion Were Really an Intersection

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