Author Archives: Lily

Ever wondered how to get involved with Aware?

Aware is currently recruiting for two exciting Melbourne based volunteer roles for our Creative Sparks project beginning in March.
Project Summary
Creative Sparks works with children and youth from refugee backgrounds recently settled in Melbourne. The aim of the project is to provide participants with a creative avenue to express themselves and build self-confidence in a safe space. In conjunction with New Hope Foundation, Creative Sparks runs artistic workshops with participants in the Werribee area.
Click for the position descriptions for the Co-facilitator / Monitoring and Evaluation Officer AND Co-facilitator / Communication and Marketing Officer, two positions that are integral to the success of the project. 
Applications close Feb 18th 5pm (expected start date Feb 25th)
Please send CV and cover letter to stacey.aware@gmail.com
Looking forward to a great start to Creative Sparks for 2013!
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Categories: About AWARE, Australia, Projects | Leave a comment

Aware is…board member Lily!

 

What’s your day job?

I’m a climate change campaigner with a focus in online engagement. You may have seen my around these parts as an AWARE volunteer where I helped with AWARE’s social media strategy and also with this blog!

What sparked your interest in Aware?

Many organisations focus on delivering basic needs to impoverished communities which is really important work, but what I liked about AWARE is the focus on supplying a voice to disenfranchised communities. That voice can be through poetry, painting, drawing, dance, sewing, acting, or however an individual expresses themselves – what drew me to AWARE was the ability to give and give recognition to disempowered people’s own voices.

Highlights so far?

So far my favourite part about being on the AWARE board is working with the rest of the board and director, Stacey; we dream about what AWARE can achieve. I’ve loved helping the organisation develop a more concrete vision and we’re beginning to outline goals for the next few years, which is just so exciting.

But the biggest highlight has been seeing the artwork that children in the Creative Sparks program create.

Categories: About AWARE, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Stacey wins Anti-Poverty Award!

Last Friday, I received the Encouragement Award in the Connections Uniting Care 2012 Anti-Poverty Awards on behalf of Stacey – Aware’s director.

I was so honoured to go up on that stage to receive the award for all the amazing work Aware does to fight poverty in disenfranchised communities.

As well as being a huge honour, by winning the Encouragement Award Aware received $1000 to continue our good work.

Thank you to Connections Uniting Care for sponsoring the Awards and a big congratulations to the other winners: Laura from Enterprise Learning Projects, Sarah from Footprints Enterprise, and St Dominic’s Priory College.

Written by Aware board member, Lily

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AWARE at the Melbourne Marathon!

This Sunday six runners will be taking to the streets of Melbourne to fundraise for Aware… It’s the Melbourne Marathon.
A total of 93.4 km will be ran in an attempt to raise much needed funds for our growing project base in Australia & overseas.
We’d like to thank our team for sweating it out for the cause and wish them luck…
Good luck Henry for the 42km
Good luck Kiera for the 20km
Good luck Kat for the 10km
Good luck amber for the 10km
Good luck Brett for the 5.7
Good luck stace for the 5.7
We’d love your support to get our runners through every grueling km, sponsoring them is a great way to keep up their spirits and motivation and to contribute to awards work.
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Creative Sparks

 

Last week we began our first ever Australian project and we are so excited.  Aware will, in conjunction with New Hope Foundation, be facilitating art workshops with children from refugee backgrounds in Melbourne’s outer west. The aim is to increase self-confidence through storytelling and building awareness about social issues facing recently arrived communities in Melbourne.

We are lucky to have studying art therapist Kristy Heffernan on board to run the workshops, with the help of Aware’s Director Stacey and volunteer Louella. Employing the theories of art therapy in a safe, fun and relaxed space is set to be an amazing experience!

 

Let’s meet Kristy!

What you are studying?

I am currently studying Transpersonal Art Therapy at Phoenix Institute. Art therapy is a therapeutic process in which people can engage with themselves, their lives, and their experiences without the need for constant dialogue like mainstream psychotherapy. Although talking can be a large part of art therapy, the creative process is in itself, the critical part of the healing experience for the participant. By expressing through creativity a person can access and express ‘unspoken’ ideas, memories and feelings in a gentle and safe way, with an experienced therapist present.

Why you wanted to volunteer with Aware?

When I was contacted by Aware I jumped at the opportunity to work with them. As an art therapist I was really drawn to the humanist, compassionate approach of aware within their projects. I also realized the great potential of using art with children from refugee backgrounds, as it allows for interaction and expression that transcends language barriers.

A little bit about the project?

I want to allow a space for the kids to feel free to express themselves and play. We will be using numerous mediums to explore their own experiences as a child in their community. We will concentrate on identity, creating opportunities for the children to tell their stories through their art. The children will be encouraged to show their interests, dreams and personalities through paint, pencil, pastel, collage, stickers and clay.   

What you expect the outcomes to be for the participants?

Fun! I want the children to have a lot of fun whilst getting the opportunity to explore a number of different mediums in art. I also hope to nurture feelings of pride and confidence in their own creativity and for them to feel safe in being themselves.

Categories: Australia, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Sapphires – an AWARE fundraiser

On Sunday night, more than 70 people gathered to watch The Sapphires at Westgarth Cinemas in Melbourne.

The Sapphires is based on a true story about a four aborginal women who form a soul group and go to Vietnam to sing for the American troops.

You can check out the trailer here:

Nearly a thousand dollars was raised to help support our new program in Melbourne (stay tuned to find out more!) and our continued work in Kenya and Cambodia.

Thank you so much for coming and enjoying this great film with us!

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Will we see you Sunday?

 

On Sunday August 12th, join us at AWARE’s next movie night! We’re screening The Sapphires at the Westgarth cinema.  Tickets are $25. Please preorder them here to make sure that you get a seat! The film starts at 6:30 – but if you come early you can peruse some great merchandise from Dorsu before the film.
Hope to see you Sunday!

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A Crafternoon in Cambodia

During my time in Cambodia running Wool for Women, I took some time out to get to know an amazing social enterprise in Batambang – Kinyei. Promoting sustainable travel they run socially responsible bike tours, have a café which serves the best coffee in town, and provide jobs and training to young people. They also have a space dedicated to exhibiting local art. With our mutual interest in working with young people and creativity, I couldn’t help but get involved.

Aware sponsored an afternoon of art and craft within the art space above Kinyei café. We spent hours drawing, cutting, pasting, stitching, creating and having fun. We made broaches, embroidered signs, made paper decorations, sketched and more. It was a lovely way to bring the community together in a safe and fun space. The craft materials that I left with the group have been used in a second workshop, organised by Kinyei staff, creating decorations to liven up the café.

The community of Kinyei – and in particular the young people – relish the chance to get creative and express themselves. In the future, Aware will assist Kinyei in running regular arts workshops, with the aim of building self-confidence in the youth of Batambang.

Check out Kinyei’s projects,

 

Written by volunteer, Stacey

Categories: Cambodia, Projects, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Guest post: Hanna Director of Dorsu

Aware’s visit to Dorsu was very valuable. We established project objectives, and achieved them much faster than planned, but the over-arching theme that recurred in many conversations was connection and creativity. The staff response to hosting volunteers was great. We knew that everyone would enjoy working together but I didn’t realise just how well it would happen. Learning crochet, laughing at having to be creative in finding ways to communicate and seeing all the new products really brought a light-heartedness to the work days. Watching the customer response to new products, and the excitement that generates in the store has been fantastic.
Supplies for the project, particularly wool, are not available in Cambodia so it was a wonderful surprise to see the volunteers arrive with cases full of donated goods. We greatly appreciate the support from Australia.
The partnership with Aware is exciting. It is vital for us to work with an organisation that values developing a long-term connection. Knowing that Aware have committed to returning for new training and continuing with supplies support is really important for Dorsu, we’re looking forward to more projects in the future.
<i>Written by Hanna, Director of Dorsu</i>
Categories: Cambodia, Projects | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Film Recommendation: Wasteland

Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of “catadores”—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint” the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives.

This documentary effectively explores issues of environment and sustainability, social exclusion, ‘development,’ and the ability of art to bring about change in the lives of marginilised people and raise awareness of such issues.

The film was a strong reminder of why we use forms of self-expression to empower communities. It is so encouraging to see a world famous artist working so closely with an important group within society that often gets forgotten. Not only was the art resulting from this project phenomenal, the stories of the catadores are unforgettable. I would recommend taking the time to watch Wasteland, as there are so many things that we can learn from it, about wider global issues, individual stories, the power of art and what can be achieved through it. One can’t help but be inspired.

Written by volunteer, Stacey

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

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