What’s in store

Curious about what skills you’ll pick up at PowerUp? Listed below are the keynote plenaries, practical skills workshops and seminars you’ll attend over the course of the weekend. Don’t worry about remembering it all, you’ll receive your very own personalised timetable at the beginning of the PowerUp weekend.


Over the course of the weekend, attendees will attend all the plenaries listed below.


The PowerUp Plan

We’ll start the weekend off with a bang with MCs Julian Morrow, Charles Firth and Ben Jenkins from comedy team The Chaser. We’ll then get stuck into GetUp’s vision for Australia and the plan to scale up our power by embracing an entirely new model of organising for our movement. Becky Bond, Senior Advisor on the Bernie Sanders’ Election Campaign, will take us through the Big Organising model she helped to pioneer in the U.S., and how it transformed the political status quo.

The Persuasion Project

GetUp has a secret weapon that political influence and money can’t buy. It’s a community calling program that’s already ousted two MPs, reduced the margins of others to a sliver, and persuaded marginal Coalition MPs to come out against a billion dollar loan to coal miner Adani. Learn the history, strategy and inspirational stories behind this game-changing tactic and how we can radically redefine the politically possible.


State of the Nation & the World

You’ve read the news and heard the sound bites, but what’s really at the root of the shifts we’re seeing around the world? ACTU Secretary Sally McManus will lead a discussion with GetUp Campaign Directors about what’s on the line and how GetUp members are positioned to play a pivotal role in moving Australia in the right (or left) direction.

Action Group Breakout

This is a chance to break away with other members from your electorate and make a plan for post-PowerUp. With the help of a coordinating local member, you’ll discuss GetUp’s national plan within your local context, and how to start or join an Action Group to take action with moving forward.

Just the Beginning

PowerUp is just the beginning. In the weekend’s closing plenary, we’ll walk through concrete next steps upon returning to our electorates, how to start and join local Action Groups, and the role of local organising looking towards a 2018 federal election. There will be an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve learnt and the connections we’ve made, and celebrate the incredible community we’re building.

Skills Workshop

Over the course of the weekend, attendees will attend all four of the workshops listed below.

Strategy and Power

Achieving change on the issues we care about doesn’t happen by accident. It takes planning and strategic decision-making so that when we act together, we have the greatest possible impact. This workshop dives into the key elements of successful campaigns, helps you make sense of GetUp’s current and future campaign plans and provides you with skills to make strategic campaign decisions in your local context.

Powerful Conversations

One-to-one conversations are the backbone of a successful campaign – whether that’s through door-knocking, stalls, phone calls, or with family and friends. In this workshop you will be introduced to a framework for persuasive conversations to help you engage with people’s values and concerns, shift their perspective and move them to action. This fun session will get you ready to take part in GetUp's core tactic of phone conversations.

Building an Inclusive Group

GetUp is fighting for a fair and inclusive Australia. To achieve this, we need to build a GetUp movement where everyone is welcome. In this workshop we’ll explore the values that drive our work and how we can bring them to life in groups. Together we’ll define group norms and principles to set our groups up well so they continue to grow in numbers and effectiveness.

Making Meetings Magic

Meetings are where people work together to make collective decisions and plan for action – it’s where the magic happens. This workshop will cover the basics of effective meetings; the role of facilitator; and some key tools facilitators and participants can use to keep meetings on track with healthy dynamics. As we build an amazing people powered network there’s going to be a lot of meetings, so let’s get them right!


Over the course of the weekend, attendees will attend one of the two seminars listed below.

Behind the Scenes: People-Powered Campaigns

A panel of Australia’s most exciting community organisers will share the strategies behind campaigns that have redefined what’s possible on issues ranging from coal seam gas, climate change and electoral organising. This seminar will focus on the tactics, structures and tools that underpin successful grassroots campaigns — in particular, the power of persuasive conversations and effective local groups — and the diversity of people in frontline communities fighting for our issues.

Building Your Action Group

You’ll explore the plan to build a national network of GetUp Action Groups in a seminar facilitated by members who’ve been leading the first pilot groups over the last 6 months. You’ll learn about the systems, processes and tactics they’ve pioneered and the challenges and opportunities involved in establishing a local Action Group. These Action Group leaders will talk you through how groups can function effectively, stay impact-focused and operate under a national strategy.

Saturday Night Social

Keen for a drink and wind-down after the first day of PowerUp? Join us at The Pavilions, located just a few metres behind Sir John Clancy Auditorium at 6-8pm, straight after the closing plenary on Saturday. There will be a special address, drinks and nibbles, and ample time to socialise before heading home for some much needed rest for day two.