At ACF, we believe that a strong and diverse movement of people taking action together is essential to achieve our goals and create thriving communities and ecosystems.

Every year we make time to reflect on how our grassroots movement is functioning. This is where your voice comes in – to help us think about what’s working well, what isn’t, and where ACF can lend a hand to get wonderful folk from all walks of life involved and represented in the movement.  

Take the 2022 Group Health survey now!


What is Group Health and why does it matter?

We define group health as “the conditions that enable groups to effectively function and achieve impact”. We measure group health because we believe that group health is the single biggest indicator of whether a group will be impactful and achieve their and ACF’s people power objectives.

The annual Group Health Report gives a useful snapshot of how ACF community groups around Australia are functioning: are they working together effectively, do they feel well supported and where (if anywhere) can ACF support with training, tools or additional resources.

How is Group Health measured?

We measure group health based partly on Google’s re:Work principles on team health. We also sought expert advice from Holly Hammond to have principles included in our measurement specific to social movements. Extensive research found healthy teams weren’t a collection of the best-qualified or most highly-skilled. Rather, the best functioning teams were ones where team-members felt safe to suggest new ideas, admit to mistakes, work through issues together and had a clear idea of how their work contributed to overarching goals and strategies.

Google found the number one influence on team health was psychological safety, followed by dependability, structure & clarity, meaning of work and impact of work. Based on other research around social movements (including Hahrie Han’s work), ACF also measures group growth & retention, diversity, leadership development, sustainability of the work and network density.

You can read more about each of these indicators of group health here.

What’s new this year?

We want to take the opportunity to understand from community members how well supported they feel from ACF, ask some big strategic questions and seek feedback on future training opportunities.
When you complete the Group Health survey it will prompt release of the link to the Part 2 survey. This survey takes only 5 minutes! Your feedback is valuable and will help us to make decisions about future support and strategy.

How is the information collected and stored?

There is no obligation to provide sensitive information in completing the survey, however, if you agree to provide any information you agree that ACF will collect that information and store it in accordance with ACF’s Privacy Policy. Only our 2022 Group Health Coordinator, Kate Hardy will see your feedback at an identifiable level, as well as possible future Group Health Coordinators doing a similar role. ACF staff will see the reports produced with de-identified information.

Sensitive identifiable information will be deleted after 18 months.

How is this information used?

Each year we track local and national trends in Group Health to better understand the strengths and areas for growth within our Community.

The 2022 Group Health Coordinator Fellow, Kate Hardy is responsible for analysing and reporting of Group Health data. This model serves as an objective voice to both ACF groups and Organisers. In her volunteer capacity, Kate is someone to whom you can speak honestly and openly with. Feel free to contact Kate Hardy.

The Group Health reports produced are tailored to specific audiences:

  1. Individual Community group reports may be received if there are more than 5 responses to the survey from your group (this is to maintain anonymity of group members) and your group has been active for at least 6 months (the survey is retrospective, so having time and experience working together as a group is important).
  2. National level report to give an overarching summary of all ACF Community groups health and what action we’re taking as a result of their feedback. These recommendations drive where we put our energy and how we move forward to better support our ACF Community. Have a read of the 2021 Group Health Report.
Where can I find more information?

Thanks to all of the campaigners, organisers, grassroots leaders and volunteers involved in our movement, we have learned a lot about what keeps groups healthy and impactful. If you’re keen to learn more, check out the resources for improving your group health.

Nature teaches us that seasonality is part of life; there are periods of harvest and abundance just as there are times to prepare for wet weather and bunkering down. We understand that adapting to the seasonal fluctuations of your group and group needs might mean you might need extra support from us.

It can be particularly helpful having someone external to your group to help support during rough patches or periods of flux within a group. For this reason, the Group Health Coordinator is a defined person as part of the Fellowship Program at ACF who can support with this. Contact Kate Hardy.