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The Australasian Facilitators Network (AFN) is a self-organising community of practitioners based in Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asia and the Pacific, who have been meeting as the AFN since 1998 (and informally, with other identities, since 1992). Here is a brief description of the AFN's structure (pdf)

Our focus is on working, learning and sharing with each other.
We share a passion for facilitation and participatory practice in pursuit of better communication, understanding, collaboration and harmony in workplaces, communities, and the world at large.
As an informal unincorporated association of peers, we pay no membership fees for AFN.  
As a self-organising community, we choose for ourselves when to connect, communicate, collaborate and contribute with each other through the network.  

We take responsibility for developing initiatives and organising AFN activities which contribute to our core purpose, developing and spreading new knowledge and capabilities, and fostering innovation.
In return, AFN provides us with a wide range of benefits, including:
  • opportunities to connect with others in a community of interest  
  • a safe forum to explore and test our ideas or validate proposed approaches 
  • access to diverse experience and expertise to expand our horizons, gain knowledge and seek help in addressing challenges in our work and practice 
  • support to be more conscious of, and feel more confident in, our own personal knowledge and practice  
  • a greater sense of professional commitment; and 
  • enhancement of the standing and reputation of facilitation as a way of working or a calling or a profession.  

AFN has a high degree of overlap of membership with the Oceania Region of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) - formerly IAF Australia & New Zealand.

Click here for a pdf of the IAF Statement of Values and Code of Ethics


There are several ways in which facilitators can connect with AFN and be supported in their practice.  These include:
  • the AFN email list [this is how you 'join' AFN] 
  • AFN local and regional networking sessions 
  • the annual AFN Conference
  • shared resources

AFN email list:

This is how you 'join' AFN.  Moderated by Bob Dick
, the list provides an interactive and responsive vehicle where subscribers can:

  • raise issues and queries 
  • make suggestions; and 
  • post advice of forthcoming events
relating to:
  • facilitation, community engagement, planning and related areas; and 
  • the role, integrity and accreditation of facilitators.
To subscribe to AFN send a plain text email to the list, with the Subject = subscribe.
Alternatively, visit
and follow the instructions.
This is also where you need to head if you wish to unsubscribe from the list.

For enquiries about the list which cannot be satisfied by visiting the page above, please contact the moderator. 

It is possible to read the archive (of posts to the AFN list). You must log in with your subscription details to do so.

AFN local and regional network sessions

Many areas have regular network sessions.  Here is a sample:
Further contact details will be added to this page over time.  
Please advise if you have
additional network contacts.  

Annual AFN Conference

This is where professional and voluntary facilitators, supporters and students gather to ‘sharpen the saw’, reflect, discuss, debate, learn, share, meet, mix, create and recreate. 

Visit the AFN Conferences page to find:
  • information about the forthcoming conference(s)  - the Conference Website is
  • a record of past conferences (with links still available to some) 
  • material posted following conferences e.g. evaluations, proceedings etc.  
For information on other IAF affiliated conferences see the Links to Events page. 

Shared Resources

The rich and varied experience and expertise available through AFN leads at times to pooling of information and other resources.  This arises from threads of exchange on the email list, from local networking sessions, or from individual subscribers.  This kind of shared material is accessed through the Resources: Reviews & Links page.

“How can the AFN develop an indigenous-informed practice?” 
This was the challenge laid down by Carol Vale, an Indigenous facilitator, at the AFN conference in 2014 in Alice Springs.
It began a series of discussions out of which a set of questions was developed.  These questions were introduced at the 2016 AFN conference held at Whaingaroa, New Zealand, and published in time for the 2017 AFN conference held on the traditional lands of the Dharawal people at Stanwell Tops in New South Wales, Australia.
They are provided here for the benefit of all facilitators working with and between cultures in Australia and New Zealand.

Towards an indigenous-informed facilitation practice:
Questions we can ask ourselves as facilitators working with and between cultures.
Download PDF A5 backed Brochure format 
Download PDF A1 Poster format

Indigenous informed practice

Another challenge picked up at the AFN Conference in 2014 in Alice Springs was compilation of 'A brief history of AFN'. 
This is to be an evolving product that draws on AFN subscribers. 
In the run-up to the 21st AFN Conference, Joan Firkins (as narrator) has worked with a small group to draw together the initial compilation of recollections and thoughts, and further inputs are strongly encouraged. 

Download PDF 'A brief history of AFN'  (revised May 2021)


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Reviews & Links

Last updated: 3 January 2023
Email for feedback or enquiries [This is not for subscribing/unsubscribing - see 'AFN email list' above]