Webinar: Community organising in Australia

Former YCS leaders, Devett Kennedy and Chantelle Ogilvie will present the January 2024 ACI webinar on “Community Organising in Australia.”

They will share their experience of working with the Queensland Community Alliance and Sydney Alliance respectively.

Both of these alliances draw their inspiration from the US community organising tradition, in particular, the Saul Alinsky-inspired Industrial Areas Foundation, whose work was recently praised by Pope Francis as “atomic.”

Registration details below.


Devett Kennedy

Devett Kennedy (nee O’Brien) is the Lead Organiser of the Queensland Community Alliance. He has served in this role since 2018, after joining the Alliance in 2015 as an organiser.

Previously, he was also a member of and fulltime worker for the Australian Young Christian Students (YCS) movement. He also served as Secretary-General of the International Young Catholic Students.

From Paris to Whyalla to Woodridge, Devett has 20 years experience in developing ordinary citizens as transformative leaders in their own lives, their communities and the broader society through values-based social action.

Devett has been the organiser behind much of the Alliance’s most successful organising including funding better public transport in Logan, Establishment of community maternity hubs, and Concession fares for people seeking asylum.

He passionately believes that building habits of relational power, deep listening, public action, and strong organisation are our best hope of creating lasting democratic change.

Devett is active in the St Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Parish in Marsden, Queensland. 

Chantelle Ogilvie

Chantelle Ogilvie-Ellis is Co-Lead Organiser for the Sydney Alliance. She first joined the Alliance as a leader representing the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, where she served as Justice and Peace Promoter, supporting church communities to live out their social mission. In 2014 she took up a staff organiser role with the Alliance, as Community Organiser for the People Seeking Asylum Campaign, supporting a powerful, diverse team that helped to secure transport concessions, fee-free TAFE and access to early childhood education and care for people seeking asylum living in Sydney. In April 2023 she stepped into the role of Co-Lead Organiser, at the head of a team of organising staff working across a broad agenda including housing, energy, climate and cost of living, solidarity with First Nations, temporary migrants, and neurodiversity.

Chantelle has a Masters of Arts (Theology) and Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications). She was part of the inaugural Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship in 2006, has lectured and tutored in theology at a number of Catholic institutions, and has published articles on Catholic mission and identity, organisational change, and the spirituality of democratic participation.

Chantelle’s vocation in social justice began as Diocesan Coordinator for the Parramatta Young Christian Students from 2004 – 2006, after which she worked for the Australian Young Christian Workers and Young Christian Students as World Youth Day 2008 Coordinator, and served as National Adults Assistant on the AYCS National Team.

She has three children, is proudly Filipino-Australian and lives in Western Sydney, where she worships in the Diocese of Parramatta.


Tuesday 30 January 2024, 7pm AEDT




Queensland Community Alliance

Sydney Alliance

Industrial Areas Foundation

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