2021 Annual Workshop

The annual SDN Workshop was held 23-28 April in Armidale. The venue was in the beautiful Hannas Arcade, Beardy Street.

Details here

Registered online and paid deposit online? Pay your Workshop fee Balance here

SDN is a network of like-minded people interested in the challenges of our time, and keen to share knowledge, experiences and concerns. 
SDN Workshops are about personal, social and community development, based on an open space approach - no fixed agenda, no experts, no hierarchy. Whoever comes is ‘meant to be there’!
Participants have the opportunity (no pressure) to present to the group about whatever they want, any issue of importance from global to local, personal to political – in a trusting and supportive atmosphere over four days of convivial in-depth conversations and stimulating discussion.
The workshops provide a forum for big and small ideas, our life stories and personal growth. It’s a chance to share thoughts on creating a good life, share concerns and problems, our journeys to interesting places, insights and personal stories, where we’re at in life right now. 
The exchanges made possible in this forum are invaluable and set us up better equipped for going forward.

SDN Newsletter February 2021

Lynne Hosking - poem about the Pilliga

The SDN belongs to you – without you there is no SDN. And email newsletters are now back in vogue according to a recent episode of ABC RN’s Download This Show, so what are we waiting for?!

The April 2020 Social Developers' Network Newsletter is attached for download.

SDN Regional Workshop, NSW Mid North Coast, September 2020

Participants at the Falls Forest workshop in September 2020
Participants at the Falls Forest workshop in September 2020

Participant Reflections

Two of us sang some guitar songs and one led a meditation session. Some of the comments from participants:

“Brilliant, stimulating, the informality is good, it’s a safe space for people to have an opinion”.

“This is my first experience of speaking intimately with Aboriginal people. I’m amazed at how complex Aboriginal society is”.

“It’s thought-provoking. I live alone so this is good. Could we include other groups like conservatives who may not agree with us?”

“I have so appreciated having Gary and Ray here”.

“Our views are part of us”.

Workshop Summary Report

Previous attempts to hold an SDN workshop on the mid north coast had failed – it was too hot and humid in summer on the coast, we couldn’t seem to get enough people interested, suitable venues were hard to find… Then, just as the Covid-19 crisis had eased enough for small groups to get together, we found a venue that would be suitable - The Falls Forest Retreat.

Seven people attended, plus the SDN Coordinator, a total of 8. Small but workable. The Falls has motel-style units with private rooms for sleeping, a large kitchen and a distinctive sunken meeting space reflecting the 1970s architecture. Outside, there are tables under a pergola and a short walk through sub-tropical rainforest to an impressive waterfall.

Some of the topics covered during our discussions:

  • How do we live in a world in crisis? The ancient philosophers and their teaching on virtues.
  • Neo-liberalism and the corona virus. Yuval Noah Harari TED talk.
  • Jess Hill’s book – See What You Made Me Do – Power, Control and Domestic Abuse. Presentation and discussion.
  • Psychopathic world leaders, wildlife trade and life story including migration from Holland and service in the Vietnam war.
  • Life story, ex tempore. Gary is a veteran Aboriginal activist – freedom rides, tent embassy.
  • Thunghutti language essentials – ‘Irri-urri-arri’.

This was the first SDN workshop held on the NSW mid north coast. It was a success, reflecting in many ways what an SDN workshop is about – a coming together of people to enjoy honest and open discussion of topics of interest and learn from others in an atmosphere of positive creativity, shared trust and support.

SDN Newsletter April 2020

Participants at the 2020 SDN workshop near Melbourne

The April 2020 Social Developers' Network Newsletter is attached for download.

This issue includes - Invitations to share our ideas, and to join an SDN Zoom meeting; and quite a few articles. All in all a Bumper Issue.

Social Development Inspiration

Links to websites and articles that may inspire your social development mind.
  • Ecoliteracy: Learning from living systems

    This wildlife bridge (ecoduct) provides a safe crossing path for wildlife amidst the danger of highways.

    We need to reintegrate our economic activities, the way we meet our needs and how we produce and share value, with the basic rules of ecology. Our design and technology need to be aligned with the way that life and living systems are structured and how they maintain their vital functions in support of individuals and the whole system.

  • Survival Of The Nicest? A Theory Of Our Origins Says Cooperation Not Competition Is Instinctive

    Cooperation Not Competition Is Instinctive

    'As worker-owned cooperatives continue to gain prominence around the world, we may ultimately witness the downfall of Carnegie’s “law of competition” and a return to the collaborative environments that the human species has long called home.'

  • Restorative Justice FAQ

    Restorative Justice

    Why Me provides a succinct outline of common questions and answers about Restorative Justice.

What is Social Development?


Social Development is the Intersection between Community Development and Personal Development.

Many citizens in Australia and elsewhere give generously of their time and energy to contribute to the wellbeing of the local community and the wider society. Some seek a group where ideas and plans can be discussed in an open way, and where constructive feedback and support can be provided.

The Social Developers' Network

SDN Logo

The Social Developers' Network (SDN) is a non-profit, free association of people with a commitment to personal and social development.

Social Developers meet at national and regional workshops, to contribute and share knowledge and experiences.

Our purpose is to be creative and action-oriented: we constantly seek explanations which emerge from action in the world. We are equally interested both in individual people and in the wider social and ecological systems on which our collective wellbeing depends.

What are SDN Workshops?

Image of arms forming a circle

SDN Workshops are real and relevant, on a personal and social level, for those engaging actively and sincerely in the issues of our times.

The vital and central component of SDN membership is participation in recurrent workshops. Participants each discuss a wide range of self-chosen topics, covering everything from personal, through philosophical, professional, operational and practical issues.

Benefits of Involvement with SDN

SDN on Social Media

Social Media Messages

Facebook Page

SDN has a Facebook Page. Please like our page.

Facebook Group

SDN has a public group - Social Developers Online Connection. This group is for anyone who has attended an SDN Workshop in the past, and also for people who have an interest in Social Development. We welcome your engagement.

Role and Objects of the Social Developers’ Network (SDN)

The SDN is a non-profit unincorporated association whose primary task is the support and training for citizens engaged in constructive volunteer initiatives beneficial to the community. The SDN is a support platform only, and does itself not engage in any kind of active lobbying, projects, or public policy initiatives. The SDN does not hold any political agenda, and welcomes people from all political, racial, and social identities. The SDN is predominately a receptive space for those engaged in community initiatives to come together to discuss, reflect, learn and rejuvenate through a uniquely designed process of interaction. Read More