Following the success of the inaugural 2017 FebFest, IGL is proud to offer FebFest 2018. Responding to a high level of interest for making this an annual event, IGL is pleased to follow up with an enticing array of sessions for FebFest 2018.

Addressing the theme of “Challenging Situations in Groups”, presenters will focus on four aspects of group work that, if not handled skilfully, impact negatively on individual and group outcomes.

Places are limited so don’t miss out. Mark it in your diary and participate in this smorgasbord of group work learning and networking all in one day.


Four key presenters, each covering a specific topic, will come together to present an interactive and dynamic one day workshop. The sessions will focus on challenging situations that commonly arise within a group work setting.

Each presenter has 90-minutes to present a scenario or case study briefly outlining the key elements of the challenging situation and explore ways of facilitating it, including the use of an interactive experiential activity to demonstrate group leadership skills. Each session will conclude with the opportunity for processing and discussion in small groups.

At the conclusion of the day you are invited to join our celebration of group work by mingling with fellow group facilitators over wine and cheese.

Workshop Content

  • Introduction to the day
  • Session 1: Working with Mandated/involuntary Clients, focussing on the pre-group stage Irene Gaffney
  • Session 2: What Happens in the first two hours determines the next ten! Andrew King
  • Session 3: Reflecting on Difficult Roles in Groups Helen Cummins
  • Session 4: Managing Conflict in Groups Trevor Armitage
  • Wrap up
  • Wine and Cheese

Workshop Outcomes:

Participants will:

  • Explore aspects of pre-group planning which can assist in engaging resistant clients and how a pre-group interview can facilitate entry into a group.
  • Explore what needs to happen in the first session of the group to gain and retain group members’ involvement so that outcomes are maximised.
  • Identify dysfunctional roles in groups, explore the purpose behind them, reflect on our personal response to them, consider their impact on the individual and the group and engage in strategies to manage them
  • Examine models for managing conflict, identifying triggers, recognising early warning signals and exploring techniques for addressing these situations
  • Reinvigorate their passion and commitment to group work
  • Foster links with fellow group facilitators

When: Friday 23rd February, 2018

Time: Start: 9.15am for 9.30am Finish: 4.30pm, followed by wine and cheese

Where: CatholicCare Training Room, Mary Potter Building, 2C West St (corner Thomas St), Lewisham NSW

Cost: $210 (IGL members) or $260 (non IGL members) – (GST is not applicable)

Morning tea, lunch, wine and cheese are provided. Please email admin@igl.org.au if you have any special dietary requirements.

Irene Gaffney - Irene is a social worker and group work facilitator with over 25 years’ experience. She has facilitated groups in the areas of couple separation, parenting, varied relationship issues and domestic violence. Currently she facilitates couples courses, supervises counsellors and group work facilitators as well as university tutoring.

Andrew King - Andrew is a leading group work specialist in community services, counselling and health. A respected author of multiple text books and training programs, he has devoted a large part of his career to group work and working with men, fathering and domestic violence. As a research practitioner Andrew is known for his focus on generativity and sharing his knowledge using a strengths-based approach. Andrew is currently the Practice Specialist, Groupwork and Community Education Manager at Relationships Australia, NSW. He has published a range of articles on group work leadership in the Australian context and facilitates national and international training workshops. He regularly lectures on Group Processes in Counselling at Australian Catholic University in Sydney. 

Helen Cummins - Helen has worked as a Group Facilitator and Trainer since 1991. She develops and facilitates groups in the community sector and has conducted training in group work skills for TAFE, Sydney Lifeline and The Institute of Group Leaders, as well as for various non-government organisations. She also conducts training in team work, counselling and communication skills in the corporate sector.

Trevor Armitage - Trevor has been practising as a group therapist and psychotherapist since 2000. He is an educator and supervisor at both JNI and ACAP in Sydney. In his private practice he facilitates ongoing process groups for mental health workers as well as providing individual and couples counselling. He also provides supervision for mental health practitioners. He brings experience and learning from his own ongoing personal and professional development and is recognised as a highly skilled counsellor, educator, group therapist and trainer. His qualifications include a certificate in group leadership from the Institute of Group Leaders, a Masters of Counselling & Applied Psychotherapy and a Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Psychotherapy from Jansen Newman Institute. He is a registered clinical member of PACFA. He has published a chapter about his group work in the recently released publication "Groupwork in Australia, Vol 1".




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