The Becoming Better Together Collective

Helping organizations create cultures of belonging & respect by weaving First Nations, African, & Queer cultures

Shantelle Thompson, Lilian Kikuvi & Gemma Saunders (The Becoming Better Together Collective) help organizations create cultures of belonging and respect. We do this by weaving the collective practices of our First Nations, African, and Queer cultural influences and the ancient principles of storytelling and conversation.

Our approach isn’t a 'new solution'. It is based on ancient approaches that have existed and been practiced for thousands of years – through brave conversations and storytelling.

Our promise is to shift people from mandate to movement by crafting moments of connection, belonging and collective change.

The Collective will meet you where you are at and deliver impact via our bespoke offerings:

- An all-staff event (or event series)
- A team workshop
- A leadership program

Across all offerings, we will:
- Understand your baseline. Where are you people at? What do they feel, know, do, experience, want, expect and understand?
- Co-design a solution based on our successful program framework. In the lead up, we coach your employees to share their stories with safety and belonging at the core.
- Deliver a 3-part, bespoke offering that will ignite individual agency and foster cultures of respect and belonging in the workplace.
- Generate organizational and individual action planning that spark accountability.
- Offer a bespoke toolkit that supports action and keeps the fire burning.
- Evaluate the experience AND the impact.

"Our first session .... kicked off on April 28th with resounding success. We partnered with the Becoming Better Together Collective and built a session that brought Aboriginal, Queer and African perspectives to two key outcomes:
1) How to share your story and perspective without fear of judgement
2) How to have better conversations so you can build stronger relationships at work with colleagues and stakeholders and truly have your mates’ backs.

We heard raw stories from our own team members and used techniques that had deep cultural roots such as yarning from Aboriginal culture. Our CEO .... said “This is a day that will be marked in our history as one of those pivotal moments that changed us. What a way to kick off Thrive.” -

"The better together program was an interesting experience in increasing my understanding of diversity, equitability, and inclusiveness, having never really given the concept much thought.

The exercises that were run in small groups, gave an opportunity to converse on topics that were not typically discussed in a workplace environment. I genuinely saw those groups derive a better understanding of each other’s personal situations and experience within the workplace, based on their culture, ethnicity, gender etc.

One takeaway I derived from the experience and implemented into my team was the “elephant, dead fish & vomit” exercise coined by the Air B&B business and articulated in the sessions. This is about giving your team the opportunity to address the elephant in the room, the problems that continue to rise to the surface and vent their frustrations and feelings.

The result of this I have seen is that the participating group feel as though they have a safe environment to discuss matters they usually internalise and create actions to address them."


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