Emergence and Evolution

Reflecting on how the pandemic impacted our practice

Locally and across the world, the pandemic has severely impacted our systems, structures, communities and economy on many levels. The adaptability, innovation and commitment of our social service community and health agencies has been significant and at the heart of this, are the skills, knowledge, and strength of our frontline workers and the supervisors and leaders that support them.

The impact is yet to be fully understood and learnt from however, while we are in this moment, there is an opportunity to connect with our staff and reflect on what has happened and how the pandemic has impacted our practice and service provision.

WHISE collaborated with partners to create Emergence and Evolution to encourage and provide forums for stakeholders and workers in our region to understand how the pandemic has impacted the sector.

What is Emergence and Evolution?

Emergence and Evolution is a mini-conference model that is designed to be delivered through existing partnerships and networks at the local level to unpack how the delivery of services has changed due to the pandemic. It recognises that firstly, a uniquely Victorian experience has occurred in 2020-2021 that has changed the way the sector works and that workers need the time and space to reflect on this to learn and grow.

The conference seeks to provide managers, supervisors, and workers with the opportunity to answer four key questions:

  • How did COVID-19 change the way you work? Your practice?
  • What did you learn?
  • What would you keep? What would you let go of?
  • What does the sector as a whole need to let go of, restart and/or amplify for the future?

The event can be held online or in person and the focus is on hearing the voices of those in community and social services as they talk through their lived experience. Delivery of this experience can occur through:

  • Participation and presentation at an upcoming online conference – presenting directly, in an interview format with the host, or being on a panel sharing views
  • Writing answers to the questions and having them read out by a supporter or the host.
  • Participants recording their thoughts and responses to camera, for sharing.

Pilot – City of Casey

Emergence and Evolution was first held on the 24 November, 2021 in partnership with the City of Casey.

See below the recording of this event.

The Host of the event was Andrea Minca, City of Casey’s Community Partnerships Coordinator and facilitated by WHISE CEO, Kit McMahon. In her role as facilitator of the City of Casey Relief and Recovery Network, Andrea opened the event with some remarks on the impact that the pandemic has had on services in our community. You can read Andrea's speech

Resources and Support Materials

WHISE is keen to see similar events held in other regions and with that in mind, a set of templates and resources have been produced for other interested networks and partnerships to download and adapt to their needs.

The resources are:

Branding Resources


  • PowerPoint template to assist in briefing potential partners, participants and presenters
  • Social Media tiles in PDF for promotion (PDF so that dates can be entered etc and then the completed doc can be saved as JPEG)
  • Zoom Backgrounds

Conference Model Resources


  • Branded stakeholder brief
  • DRAFT Conference Program two-hour model
  • EOI for Participation to present
  • Flyer DRAFT
  • Scoping Document
  • Stakeholder Brief in Word format

Queries and Questions?

WHISE would appreciate knowing if the Emergence and Evolution Conference material is used and for any questions or feedback, please contact us at whise@whise.org.au