Social Leadership and Collaborative Engagement for Communities under Stress

Paul Porteous

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reflects on the experience of the Arab-Australian communities in addressing complex conflicts facing local communities under stress. Key to progress was a community-led collaborative engagement focused on learning and adaptation rather than consultative processes. A key discovery was how grant funding based on competitive models exacerbated conflict as organisations scrambled for resources. An obsession with ‘what’s in it for me and my organisation?’ overwhelmed the potential for community groups to work collaboratively. Instead, shifting the question to ‘how does it build community?’ generated new perspectives and mindsets based on joint learning and partnerships to form the basis of a practical Collaborative Community Model. The article concludes that linking peacebuilding and social leadership approaches helps communities go beyond just solving problems to instead increase their problem-solving capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-39
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Peacebuilding and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2018


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