Mutual mindset: An Introduction to Co-operatives and Mutuals

28 November 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 speaker

Brian Bennett

Brian Bennett, Manager, The Australian Mutuals Foundation (AMF)

Brian has been the Manager of The Australian Mutuals Foundation (AMF) since July 2016. AMF supports the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU) in Asia with its international Credit Union/Mutual/ Cooperative development work.

Brian has had a 50-year career working with Credit Unions/ Mutual and Co-operatives in Australia. Brian’s last position was CEO of Encompass Credit Union (now Australian Mutual Bank) for eleven years to 2016. Brian has considerable experience working as a CEO and an Executive Manager and has worked in the areas of finance, lending, IT, compliance and risk, and strategic development. He has served on numerous boards and committees within the credit union industry in Australia.

Brian is very passionate about Credit Unions/Mutuals/ Co-operatives, their people and their work in Australia and developing countries. He has participated and presented as a speaker at Asian Credit Unions (ACCU) conferences and Pacific Credit Unions (Oceanic) conferences in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Bali, Nepal, Myanmar and Thailand, and has attended WOCCU conferences as appropriate.

Brian has been instrumental in raising funds for international credit union development projects in Laos, Timor Leste, Myanmar and Bhutan. He helped establish the Australian Mutuals Foundation (AMF) and encouraged their support of ACCU’s international development work.

Tom Reddington

Tom Reddington, Co-founder and National Director of Cooperative Power

CoPower is an electricity cooperative which offers affordable and clean electricity to households across Australia. Over 4,000 households have switched to CoPower to take the power back from huge energy corporations for the benefit of people and the planet. Every customer member has an equal say on where 100% of revenue goes. So, your energy bill builds the world you want to live in

Tom co-founded CoPower in 2017 when managing a national climate justice program for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.  CoPower grew out of discussions between the climate and trade union movements on the intersecting crises of dangrious global warming, growing inequality, precarious work, and the corporatisation of life. The cooperative seeks to bring diverse communities together to fight for climate action, help address the cost-of-living crisis and take back the commons.

Tom also works in the international trade union movement where his work has a focus on supporting workers on the frontline of dangrious global heating fight for a just and equitable transition.  Tom has over 10 years’ experience in the labour and climate movements in Australia and around world including helping establish the Earthworker solar hot water factory Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, working to prevent child labour in West Africa, and coordinating Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA’s climate justice and just transition program across the Asia and Pacific region.

Tom holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in International Studies and post graduate Diploma in Teaching.


  • 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 November 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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