Invitation for Presenters

Thank you to all the amazing people, communities and organisations that have submitted Abstracts to present at WCDC 2023, we were overwhelmed by the quality and diversity of submissions.

Submissions have now CLOSED and the team are busy reviewing all of the submissions received.

The conference will feature both submitted and invited sessions that address the conference theme ‘Community, Connection, Culture’. We strongly encourage sessions that are from, or about, “the edge” and invite community representatives, practitioners, policy makers and academics at all levels to share knowledge, expertise and experiences.

All presenters will be expected to join us in person in Darwin. Plenaries and some sessions may be recorded and shared during the course of the conference.

As a geographic and political-economic entity: community-led and self-determined; valuing the local and affinity to place; the/a commons
As an idea and a set of ‘principles’: social justice and equity; diversity of people and stories (inclusive diversity); friendliness, knowing each other, familiar, belonging
As a verb/process and relational ‘undertaking’: mutuality and reciprocity; collaboration, working as a collective, achieving stronger/better together, being allies; neighbouring, learning from each other, saying hello, having fun, healing
Culture as the praxis of meaning-giving: deep listening, restoring and healing; the presence of the past, the cycle of life and regenerative/generative meanings; everyday practice with a sense of the sacred and compassionate; local knowledge, spirit and wisdom

The diversity of cultures: first nations people locally and globally; cultural diversity to be embraced, celebrated, learned from; manifesting the culture of the marginalised and decentring that of the mainstream/elite

Changing destructive ‘cultures’: cultures of co-operation, collaboration, solidarity and sharing; questioning and changing cultural practices; learning from and embracing each other’s cultures
Understanding ‘connection’ as a verb: belonging and purpose, collaboration, bridging and bonding, coming together as equals and learning from one another; relating in ‘interdependent autonomy’; resilience is relational and thrives on togetherness, love, respect, understanding and listening
Contexts that connect: creating and maintaining a sense of place; creating and identifying opportunities to come together; equal footings in safe environments; transform vulnerable-making living contexts
Addressing what’s in the way of connection: power imbalances; levelling the playing field; from competitive to reciprocal and mutual modes of relating; sharing as the antidote to self-centredness and narcissism; personal and social identity are mutually generative

If you are accepted to present at the conference, you will receive detailed guidance about how to prepare your presentation, workshop, poster, film or arts response prior to the conference. 

We look forward to welcoming a wide range of presenters, and encourage a focus on practice, pedagogy and/or policy in ways that are diverse, reflective and participatory.

Preference will be given to sessions featuring First Nations communities and presenters and we are particularly interested in sessions that reflect the Shared International Standards for Community Development Practice.

A summary of the key points for the various formats is below:

Visual Arts Presentation

Presentations will be limited to 60 minutes and may be shorter.

Visual Arts presentations are a wonderful gift to a conference. They bring vibrancy and offer innovative ways to share your story, practice or project. We encourage you to explore your knowledge and experiences from, or of, “the edge” through visual arts. 

Oral Presentations

All oral presentations will be allocated 15 minutes per presentation, excluding questions. The maximum audience for each oral presentation will be 70 people.

The focus of this conference is on creating spaces for dialogue, engagement with new ideas and making meaningful connections.  Our priority is that presentations create discussion, feed curiosity and challenge current thinking . Oral presentations will be in a series of parallel sessions throughout the conference. Each session will be one hour and have a maximum of two presentations so that at least half of each session is dedicated to facilitated discussion.

We encourage presenters to consider using alternatives to PowerPoint. Please ensure that the content focuses on:

  • analysing the actual or potential impact/outcomes of the work, and
  • Identifying or reflecting on ways in which the work is relevant for community development globally.

All workshop rooms will be set up cabaret style and have standard IT including a Data Projector.

Practice Workshops

Workshops will be allocated 60 minutes, including discussion time. The maximum number of participants for each workshop will be 40 people.

Practice workshops are an opportunity to share methods and/or outcomes of completed or on-going work with a wide audience. Workshops must be participatory and allow for an exchange of practice and learning between participants.  We encourage creative and interactive workshops and aim to support requests for specific requirements as much as possible.

All workshop rooms will be set up cabaret style and have standard IT including a Data Projector. We do, however, encourage all presenters to consider using alternatives to PowerPoint presentations.

Poster Presentation

A1 size (85cm x 60cm) and is clearly legible 

Poster presentations are a creative way to present your research, practice, or project to an audience in a visual format. The presenter/s will be required to stand by the poster display and interact with conference delegates from 9.00am to 10.00am each morning and during all breaks. You will have the choice of a 1 day or full conference poster session.

Please ensure that your poster is the correct size and is clearly legible to people standing a metre or so in front of the poster. Remember to include your bio, email, and a photo of yourself with your poster, so if someone reads your poster when you are not with it, they will be able to connect with you during the conference.

Film Screenings

All film screenings will be allocated up to 60 minutes, including discussion time.

We invite you to share your Community Development related films during WCDC2023. All screenings must allow time for facilitated conversations post screening.  All film screening rooms will be set up theatre style and have standard IT including a Data Projector.


Pecha Kucha – opt to deliver your oral presentation Pecha Kucha style – 20 slides for 20 seconds each. It’s short and sharp! Hosted sessions will include discussion time. See if this style is for you here: 

Story / Poetry Slam – This is a live facilitated storytelling event. Storytellers (slammers) have 5 minutes each to tell a story or recite a poem, based on the conference themes and or principles.. No notes are allowed: stories and poems must be told and not read.

Human Library – got a story you’d like to share? Sign up to be a human book for 20  minutes! We’ll provide you with some guidance to develop your story. See if this style if for you here: 

Be Creative and suggest another style of session….we are open to your creativity.