Supported by the Department of Social Services and Multicultural NSW, We Are All Sydney (WAAS) is a free-of-charge community leadership training program developed and presented by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies for Sydney residents from diverse communities.
“This program is not just about words. It is cultivating a new generation of leaders who are creating the complex partnerships we need in NSW to improve our society” – Multicultural NSW CEO Joseph La Posta at the 2019 We Are All Sydney graduation dinner.
The aim of the three-month program is to equip emerging leaders from diverse communities with knowledge and skills in:
- Sydney demographics
- Cultural humility
- Leadership styles
- Coalition building
- Ethics and community values
- Organisational management and budgeting
- Conflict resolution
- Communications and media
- Public speaking
Graduates have an opportunity to be mentored and to be placed as observers in Jewish organisations after completion of the study sessions. These optional programs provide graduates the opportunity to:
- Explore their own leadership style in a professional environment
- Observe how theory is applied to practice in the community services
- Expand their professional networks and form peer relationships
- Enhance their professional skills related to the community services sector
- Enhance employment prospects with experience in the workforce and a reference from their supervisor
- Engage in dialogue about community issues that matter to them
- Be a part of a multicultural and multi-faith professional learning environment
Sessions are held during the day and facilitated by experts from the Jewish and other NGO communities, with a learning program that is active, reflective, practical and outcomes-focused.
The program brings together emerging leaders from Sydney’s diverse ethnic, faith and NGO communities and organisations. Graduates of the program have come from many backgrounds, including Aboriginal, Afghan, African-American, Anglo, Assyrian, Australian South Sea Islander, Burmese, Chinese, Christian, Cook Islander, Ethiopian, Filipino, Ghanaian, Greek, Hindu, Indian, Iranian, Iraqi, Italian, Jewish, Kachin Burmese, Kenyan, LGBTIQ+, Muslim, Pakistani, Rwandan, Samoan, Senegalese, Sierra Leonean, Sikh, Sri Lankan, Syrian, Vietnamese and Zimbabwean. The 2020 cohort includes leaders from the Anglo, Assyrian, Australian South Sea Islander, Cambodian, Catholic, Chinese, Cook Islander, Egyptian, Filipino, Greek, Hindu, Indian, Indonesian, Iraqi, Kurdish, Muslim, Nepalese, Pakistani, Papua New Guinean, Sudanese, Vietnamese and Jewish communities.
“Stronger, more connected community leaders can only build a stronger, more connected Sydney and this is the intended legacy of the program. Perhaps the most famous saying of one of the most famous rabbis, Rabbi Hillel, was ‘If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, then what am I?’ The Jewish community sees it as both a moral duty and a logical undertaking to try to give back, and strengthen the social fabric of this city. It is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do, for the benefit of all” Lynda Ben-Menashe, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Community Relations & Policy Manager.