An Introduction to Co-operatives and Mutuals

28 March 2023 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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Mutual mindset: An introduction to co-operatives and mutuals course

Mutual mindset: An introduction to co-operatives and mutuals

Do you have new employees unfamiliar with co-operative and mutual structures and their purpose? Or do you have directors and executives looking to deepen their knowledge of the sector? This is a 2-hour online program designed to provide a general introduction to the co-ops and mutual industry in Australia and globally.

This course is suitable for anyone new to co-operatives and mutuals and those looking for a refresher and information on the live sector. It can be tailored to your existing induction training program, or your employees can take one of our online classes throughout the year.

It is facilitated by well-known co-operative development expert Antony McMullen and includes live interaction and two guest speakers.

About this course

The key objective is to educate and inspire people working in the sector to understand more about the unique role and contribution of co-operatives and mutuals to help them in their role in their CME, whether frontline staff, management or directors. It will help build a meaningful connection between the employee and the wider CME sector, as well as strengthen the relationship with their individual employer.

This is achieved through a deeper understanding of the fundamental principles which underpin CMEs as businesses that put purpose, people, and communities at the heart of the enterprise.

It is delivered in a live, interactive webinar structure with a unique live Q&A with two sector leaders. Knowledge is delivered in a fun and accessible format.

By undertaking the course, your employees will learn:

  1. About the co-operative and mutual business model and how it is different to other kinds of business structures.
  2. About the purpose of co-ops and mutuals and how they are structured to benefit members.
  3. Some real examples of co-ops and mutuals through case studies.
  4. How co-ops and mutuals are started here and around the world.
  5. Why working for a co-op or mutual matters – in live conversations with two senior co-op or mutual business leaders.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course, attendees will be able to demonstrate their understanding of:

  • The size, scale and impact of the co-op and mutual sector in Australia.
  • The unique nature and fundamental concepts of co-operative and mutual businesses.
  • Similarities and differences from other business models, including shareholder-owned businesses.
  • The origins and development of co-operatives and mutuals in Australia and overseas (including mutual ADIs, Friendly Societies and agricultural and retail co-ops).
  • The seven global co-operative principles and the three mutual values.
  • Why co-operatives and mutuals matter to a sustainable economy and society.

Length: 2 hours

Delivery mode: Online

Professional development: 2 CPD points are awarded

Guest speakers

Kristy Walters, Chairperson, Haystacks Solar Garden Co-operative

Kristy is a Director at Community Power Agency, Australia’s leading organisation supporting regional areas to achieve the best outcomes from renewable energy development through building the capacity of communities, training industry and providing expertise to all levels of government.

She developed her excellent skills in facilitation, collaboration, project management and organising from her background in community campaigns on climate change, leading environmental education programs and managing the governance and operations of three co-operatives and several non-profits.

Kristy is passionate about ensuring the transition to renewables is as fair and fast as possible while ensuring communities have a seat at the decision-making table. She holds a degree in Environmental Management (sustainable development focus) and has experience working in social enterprises, local government, cooperatives and the private sector. Kristy is the chairperson of the Haystacks Solar Garden Cooperative – Australia’s first large-scale solar garden – and has been instrumental in its set-up.

Liz Thomas, Managing Director, Common Equity Housing Limited (CEHL)

Liz is the Managing Director of CEHL, the largest provider of co-operative housing in Australia.

Her background spans a broad range of roles in the private, public and community sectors and extensive executive and non-executive Board Director experience. In 2012, Liz shifted her professional focus to delivering innovate affordable housing solutions to end homelessness and housing insecurity.

Liz embraces her role at CEHL as an important opportunity to deliver affordable housing that is more than just housing – that also offers security of tenure and creates a community that encourages and supports the active participation of co-op members.


  • BCCM Member (1-9 registrations) – $230 plus GST and booking fee
  • BCCM Member (10+ registrations) – $179 plus GST and booking fee
  • Non-BCCM Members – $454 plus GST and booking fee


Book online.

Email the BCCM education team if you require additional information.



The material presented by the BCCM is distributed as an information source only and is subject to change without notice.

The BCCM and course presenters make no statements, representations, or warranties about the accuracy, completeness or reliability of, and you should not rely on, any information contained in this presentation. You should make your own inquiries and obtain advice specific to your particular circumstances.

Despite our best efforts, to the extent permitted by law, BCCM and course presenters disclaim all responsibility and all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses (including direct and indirect losses), damages and costs you may incur as a result of the information presented being inaccurate or incomplete in any way, and for any reason; or being subject to update in legislation.


28 March 2023
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm




By Delivery
By Audience
CEOs, Leadership, Employees
By Member
By Topics
Introduction to CMEs

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