GV Board Elections 2020 Volunteers’ Rep. Candidate: Kevin Rennie

Kevin Rennie. Photo by Jer Clarke (CC-BY-NC)

Kevin is a retired secondary teacher currently living in Melbourne, Australia. A unionist and a member of the Australian Labor Party member since 1972, he spent several years teaching in the Northern Territory, in Katherine, followed, and in Maningrida, an aboriginal community in Arnhem Land. Kevin joined GV in December 2008 and contributes primarily as an author for the South East Asia and Oceania newsroom team.

All candidates in the 2020 board elections have been asked to answer the set of questions listed below. Feel free to ask Kevin additional questions in the comments area below this post!

What appeals to you most about the prospect of serving on the GV board?

The opportunity to work with our amazing community to reach out to a world deeply in need of independent voices.

What talents, skills, connections, and expertise can you offer Global Voices in your role as board representative?

As a teacher/learner I’m a problem solver, a team-worker and people person.

My skills include online writing, video-making and investigative research. I’m a bit tech savvy without being a geek.

My broad network embraces progressive activists and communities such as those defending human rights, the environment and our digital freedoms. It includes journalists and cartoonists from both new and old media. I have ongoing connections with communities involved with indigenous and refugee rights. Regularly represent GV at conferences, workshops and public events.

My passion for finding better ways is tempered with calmness and resourcefulness. I have gained extensive knowledge of our organisation over the last 11 years. My background with GV is outlined here. https://community.globalvoices.org/2017/03/gv-board-elections-2017-kevin-rennie/

As you look ahead to the next three years, what, in your opinion, should be GV’s overarching priorities as an organization?

The implementation of the review is a pressing area, in particular the identification of priority areas for your stories. We need to improve communication and sharing between authors and translators. It is imperative that we spread the word about our unique multi-lingual community and our stories. We must explore ways of finding the audience our work deserves, and making our many visitors regulars.

The audience during the last month on our English site has been 75% more than the previous monthly average for the past year and 50% greater than our pageviews since GV’s launch. We need to learn lessons from our unique special coverage of the COVID – 19 crisis and explore innovative ways of engaging our public. Lingua will play a vital role during and after the pandemic in reaching the widest audience.

It is important that we continue to cover a breadth of stories in addition to the crises of today.

What aspect of GV’s work interests you the most?

The newsroom is at the heart of my GV contributions. I have been increasingly active with Advox, which links with my human rights work.

Our use of social media has also been an ongoing interest.

What would you like to get out of this board service experience, both professionally and personally?

Professional insights into the complexity of the organisation’s operations. Camaraderie – mateship as we say down under.

How will you fit board service into your personal and other professional work commitments?

I’m a full-time citizen journalist.

What methods would you use to engage and listen to the community in order to represent them effectively at board level?

The GV Council and our google groups, email and online media are just some of the means of gathering GVers’ needs and suggestions and report back. Our community blog is an underused resource. Theme, topic or issue based groups could also enhance our work. We should also consider a virtual summit to share ideas and experiences.

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