Communities of Practice

Twenty-five years ago, Robyn Cockburn invited Veronica Thompson, Val Little and myself for lunch to ‘talk shop’ every month or so. We met in local coffee shops, shared insights and worked on projects together. When I asked, they all clearly remember our lunches and to this day I have enduring relationships with Robyn and Veronica who have continued to work in the field and still have on file some challenging Community Development resources that Val shared with me.

Since then, I have nearly always been connected with a professional development group. To name a few: peer mentoring community development group, ‘gals doing the business’ lunches and the Global TetraMap Masters Network. I start them and join them because they are fun, help me solve problems, save me time, keep me abreast of what’s happening in the field, build my networks. I could go on, but you get the picture. I know too, that in contributing to these groups, I will learn more than sitting in my own head and I am grateful to every single person who ever joined or invited me.

Today, this process is called a Community of Practice. For the fancy diagram and explanation you can Aunty Google it or here’s a place to start: In simple terms, it means a group of connected people (the community) getting together to share and learn (practice) about a topic or shared issue (domain)

Twenty-five years ago, I also joined what I consider to be another professional Community of Practice - my local NZRA committee. Sometimes it seems like work to join a committee, but I can definitively say I have learnt more from being a part of this group than I have ever contributed. In addition, here’s a few Communities of Practice our team at NZRA National Office have started or joined if you’re interested:

· Wellington Communications Managers group – Sarah

· FIRST (Females in Recreation and Sport Triumph) –

· Sport NZ CEO Leadership Programme cohort –

· Association of Administrative Professionals New Zealand – Harmoney

Imagine this…

…. Community Recreation Practice Groups across the country, linked together by NZRA (and others) to share national and international great practice. You decide whether the meetings are face-to-face or on-line, formal or informal, short term or long term. Meet with like-minded people, share research and new insights, hear about great case studies and solve problems together.

Contact us to find out what we’ve already done about this, be linked to a group or just chat about the idea.

Esther Bukholt

021 0290 7864

Community Recreation is “… a process by which communities identify their own recreation issues, interests and needs and are actively involved in developing outcomes and taking action in ways that support their well-being and celebrate their identity.” NZRA Community Recreation Strategy, 2008 /Site/community/guidelines/community-recreation.aspx


MoST Content Management V3.0.8333