Monthly Archives: May 2012

Aware is…Anna K., Project Manager

Over the next couple of weeks, we want you to get to know the fabulous volunteers that make Aware tick. We’ve profiled all of our volunteers, and we can’t wait for you to get to them!

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What’s your role at Aware?
I am working on Aware’s first locally based project, Avenue, which
aims to provide a safe space in Melbourne’s CBD for homeless and disadvantaged young people to access creative programs.

What’s your day job?
I work in community engagement at a government agency. I design and implement strategies and programs to ensure that the people affected by the decisions of our government get to participate in the decision-making process.

What sparked your interest in volunteering for Aware?
Definitely the enthusiasm and energy of Stacey, Aware’s founder. There are many barriers to grassroots organisations making a real difference but Stacey’s commitment and perseverance has enabled fantastic results for Aware’s program partners and the people Aware’s projects aim to support.

What are you looking forward too?
I’m looking forward to seeing Aware expand its programs and impact both in Australia and overseas, with Avenue as well as our new Wool for Women project in Cambodia.

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Categories: About AWARE, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Aware is…Kat, Grant Writer

Over the next couple of weeks, we want you to get to know the fabulous volunteers that make Aware tick. We’ve profiled all of our volunteers, and we can’t wait for you to get to them!

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What’s your role at Aware?

My name is Kat, and I have just started volunteering for Aware. I’ll be writing grant proposals to try and help get some of the new Melbourne-based programs off the ground, as well as occasionally contributing to the blog

What’s your day job?

Last year, I started a Masters of Integrative and Transformative Studies at Oases Graduate School in Hawthorn. The subjects I get to complete are very diverse, but many people are completing projects that are similar in a lot of ways to Aware. I have just finished up an administration job, and am taking a few weeks off to catch up with uni work before I find something new.

What sparked your interest in volunteering for Aware?

I heard of Aware through Stacey, and was immediately interested. I have a strong belief in a holistic approach to combating problems of self-esteem and belonging; Aware does this so simply and effectively. I am very excited to have been invited to come along for the ride.

What has been some of the highlights for you in volunteering for Aware?

I’ve been struck by the drive and passion of Stacey and the other volunteers, and I have relished the reminder that if you work hard enough and want something bad enough, you can make it work. I hope to have some of my own stories to share in the future, but at the moment this feeling of possibility, however corny that sounds, is a massive highlight for me.

Categories: About AWARE, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Aware is…Louella, Program Manager

Over the next couple of weeks, we want you to get to know the fabulous volunteers that make Aware tick. We’ve profiled all of our volunteers, and we can’t wait for you to get to know them

What’s your role at Aware?

Hello,  I’m Louella and I am assisting AWARE in designing an art program for refugee children in Melbourne. Soon, I’ll be assisting AWARE in delivering its Wool for Women program in Kampot, Cambodia.

I have only been involved with AWARE since March this year and am incredibly humbled to be involved with such a lovely bunch of people so dedicated to bringing about positive change in the lives of others.

What’s your day job?

International Development Student, perpetual daydreamer, and barista.

 What sparked your interest in volunteering for Aware?

Several things really! Firstly, I have been searching for an engaging, challenging, and rewarding volunteer position for several months. By engaging I mean one which didn’t involve filing paperwork and answering the telephone – I needed something a little more practical and hands on! Secondly, Stacey (Aware’s director) and I met at uni and were both looking for the same thing: to work on projects that engage and empower refugee children in some way in Melbourne. Thirdly, I really really love the idea Aware represents in designing engaging programs using art as a tool to enrich the lives of disadvantaged youth.

What have been some of the highlights of volunteering at Aware thus far?

Learning to crochet for our Cambodia trip obviously! But how can I pick just one? Meeting like minded people has been lovely, seeing the dedication of Aware’s volunteers, and Stacey has been motivating and inspiring.

Going to Cambodia will be an amazing experience and I can’t wait to be involved in what will surely be just one of many field trips for Aware!

This post was written by Aware volunteer, Louella.

Categories: Cambodia, Projects, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Aware is…Lily – External Communications

Over the next couple of weeks, we want you to get to know the fabulous volunteers that make Aware tick. We’ve profiled all of our volunteers, and we can’t wait for you to get to know them.

What’s your role at Aware?

Hi my name’s Lily and I manage the Aware blog.  I have been involved in Aware off and on for the last two years, but have recently been volunteering more diligently for the last six months. I’ve helped to create Aware’s social media strategy and some goals for growth.  I’ve recently been invited to join the Aware board and am so excited to be able to help ensure that Aware can continue their good work for years!

What’s your day job?

I’m the online campaigner for a climate change organisation in Melbourne.

What sparked your interest in volunteering for Aware?

Working in the climate change sector, I’m deeply aware of  how people in developing countries are already effected by climate change and how their environment and livelihoods will be further compromised. Aware’s programs that encourage self-empowered and creativity are such powerful solutions to the Problem We Face (ie Climate Change).

What has been some of the highlights of volunteering at Aware thus far?

I’ve loved implementing our social media plan and seeing our following growing on facebook. I also cannot get enough of sharing all the wonderful programs and stories here on this blog!! I cannot wait to be able to go on a field trip with Aware and to be involved in a program on the ground (and write many a story about it too probably!).

Categories: About AWARE, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Aware is… Stacey – director and founder

Over the next couple of weeks, we want you to get to know the fabulous volunteers that make Aware tick. We’ve profiled all of our volunteers, and we can’t wait for you to get to know them.

What’s your role at Aware?
My name is Stacey and I have been directing Aware since 2008. Zina Shanahan and I founded Aware four years ago in the final year of our Bachelor of International Development course. We were keen to put our volunteer experience and knowledge into action. Our vision for Aware was twofold, to creative positive, participatory, and empowering change in the lives marginalised groups, and involving our community through information sharing and providing volunteer opportunities.

What’s your day job?
During the day I work as the sustainability and campaigns associate for a company in Melbourne. I’m also studying a Masters of International Urban and Environmental Management. However, my favorite part of the day comes in the evenings when I get to do my volunteer work for Aware. Having volunteered, worked and studied international development for many years, my approach to directing Aware is be creative, be flexible and above all… listen.

What sparked your interest in volunteering for Aware
Initially, my interest was in running programs with children in Africa, as we founded Aware shortly after I had returned from a trip to Africa in which I was involved in many small community projects, focusing on children’s education. Recognising the power of art and creativity in addressing underlying issues of self-worth and self-esteem as a tool for change, we have drawn from the work we fund in Kenya to design and implement similar programs around the world.

What has been some of the highlights for you in volunteering for Aware
Over the past four years I have supervised, supported and implemented various programs on behalf of Aware. Highlights for me have been traveling to Honduras in 2010 to implement an art program with orphaned girls, building a strong relationship with our partner organisation, RYWA, in Kenya and working with enthusiastic, creative and dedicated volunteers. I am very much looking forward to running programs with women this year, as well as working with young people in Melbourne.

Categories: About AWARE, Stories from Volunteers | 1 Comment

Sustainable Development – what does that even mean?

In a recent article in The Conversation about sustainable development raised some interesting points on government’s lack of initiative when it comes to implementing policy.

Basically the article’s conclusion is that without a united vision for a country or a world for generations to come sustainable development falls flat within policy creation.

The author, Mike Burbridge writes:

Let’s be clear: we are all the same. We care about improving our quality of life as we see it. But we all have different views about the time frames that encircle our decision making. Sustainable development doesn’t: it is blind when it comes to time. There is simply no question: sustainable development requires that we think about generations to come. It requires that decisions we take or policies we announce today take into account the effects on tomorrow’s generation

What does this have to do with Aware you ask?

Well, we’re offering up our vision for a sustainable future and sustainable development. We’re suggesting that encouraging self-empowerment through art, crafts, and education will create new visions for what sustainable communities could look like.

Categories: Are you aware? | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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