The role of the Independent Facilitator explained

A Community Cooperative is made up of multiple individuals, with differing views, experiences, communication styles, and opinions. As such, its super important that you have an independent and impartial person there to help facilitate the meetings. We call this person the Independent Facilitator.

The Independent Facilitator is important in helping keep the group fair and equitable, as well as allowing everyone to have an opportunity to be heard. If there was no Facilitator at a group meeting, there may be 1 or 2 people who take over the group and others may not feel comfortable to participate, also the meeting can go off track and stray from its original purpose or agenda.

Enliven Community’s Independent Facilitators all have extensive knowledge and experience, either from having worked in the Disability sector for several years or being individuals with their own disabilities and experiences within a Community Cooperative. Their role is to be an independent, impartial person who facilitates conversations that empower participants of the Cooperative to exercise choice and control around their supports.

All Cooperatives have a Lead Facilitator. Depending on the number of members in the Cooperative, there may a second Facilitator. We call this person the Co facilitator. For any Cooperatives with more than 5 people, the Co facilitator is needed to ensure all topics are covered and captured appropriately throughout the discussion.

Below are some key differences between the Lead and Co Facilitator, and how the facilitator role varies from that of Support Coordinators.

Lead Facilitator:

  • Map the Cooperative journey for individual members and the collective.
  • Create capacity building opportunities for participants. Deliver a clear program of skills development.
  • Develop the participants’ collective view on how key issues will be managed, and deliver this message to the relevant provider, if requested by the Cooperative to do so.
  • Arrange all sessions directly with participants and where necessary, their support providers.
  • Engage with Participants stakeholders, including Plan nominee, Legal Guardian, SDA provider, SOSP and Coordinator of Supports, as required.
  • Main point of contact for participants regarding any systemic issues that may impact the Cooperative.
  • Facilitate all meetings – Promote open discussions; encourage and support active participation by planning and managing the environment.
  • Ensure the effective delivery and follow up of all Community Cooperative Meetings: Locate and engage an appropriate venue to conduct group facilitated sessions, keep meetings on track, communicate meeting outcomes with participants.


  • Assist with time keeping at group meetings.
  • Take notes and document any observations during the meeting.
  • Assist with answering questions the group may have.
  • Assist with the set-up / pack down of the room and activities.
  • Document any questions asked and add to relevant FAQ document.

If you’d like to know more about the Enliven Community and our Facilitators, check out the About Us section or contact us at

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