Author Archives: Stacey Irving

A huge thanks to our dedicated volunteers!

NVW_2013_SG_hi_res

Over the last year we have had over 20 volunteers donate their time and skills to Aware, allowing us to achieve some amazing outcomes. This week Australia celebrates National Volunteer Week and Aware would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our volunteers for helping Aware grow in 2012 and 2013.

With the help and commitment of our volunteers Aware launched two new and ongoing projects in 2012 – Wool for Women and Creative Sparks.

Aware now works to strengthen the sustainable livelihoods of an inspiring group of Cambodian women, with our project Wool for Women, and we are continuing to build our relationship with partner organisation Dorsu.

Creative Sparks has been a successful introduction to working in the Australian context and has allowed us to engage with many more Melbourne based volunteers whilst enabling Aware to broaden its partnership base locally and see the smiles on the faces of many new participants.

The growing size of our volunteer base has increased our fundraising capacity to nearly double our revenue over the last two years. Tireless fundraising efforts allow us to run the programs that we do, the value of fundraising support cannot be overstated.

Our new volunteer board members have been working hard to develop a (soon to be finished) 3-year strategic plan. The first steering document of its type for Aware, this will allow us to grow sustainably in the years to come.

We have also been lucky enough in the last year to be offered the probono help of many professionals to help us work on branding, marketing, communications, fundraising, internet presence and data management.

Thanks to everyone who has volunteered their time to Aware over the last year. We are a small organisation with limited resources and your flexibility, adaptability and capacity to work within constraints is admirable.

It’s been a pleasure to work with you all and your support is greatly appreciated. Aware is looking forward to continue working with its volunteer base in the future to deliver arts based projects to help deliver sustainable and positive change.

To learn more about Aware and to find out how to volunteer please visit awareglobal.org

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Rewarding Volunteer Opportunities

Great news, Aware is recruiting for two new volunteers!!!
We are in need of a Fundraising Manager to plan an take responsibility for our fundraising efforts moving forward. The role will include using a wide range of fundraising techniques as we build our financial sustainability.
And, a Volunteer Program Assistant who will work towards strengthening our volunteer program to ensure that the organisation can continue to grow. The role will include developing induction packs and volunteer professional development workshops.
Applications for both positions close at 5pm on May 29th, please forward CV and cover letter to information.aware@gmail.com
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Comedy for the Cause

Comedian Matthew Grantham has kindly offered up one of his shows at the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival to Aware to raise money.

Matt Grantham
in
Poli-Waffle

Tickets $15, available here.

Fad Gallery, 14 Corrs Lane, Melbourne
7.20pm, Tuesday April 9th

*Please print ticket and present at the door.

– All proceeds go towards our projects in Australia and overseas.

comedy fest

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Could you be our design volunteer?

Exciting news.… we are upgrading our style with a new look website and marketing material.

Even more exiting… you could help us do it!

If you are a designer (or know someone who is) with an interest in volunteering for a good cause –  your work could have a real impact on what we do.

If you would like to know more about the project please contact information.aware@gmail.com

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Creative Sparks Round Two

In August and September, 2012, Aware worked in partnership with the New Hope Foundation to deliver Creative Sparks, an art project with children from refugee backgrounds aged 5 – 10 years. This March we will be conducting a 5 week project focusing on participants aged 12-15, with the aim of increasing access to expressive outlets and building self-esteem. We wanted to share with you some comments about our Karen participants written by our friends at New Hope Foundation. 

Project participants are from the Karen community. The Karen people are from the Karen State in Southern Burma, yet some of the participants in the program were born in refugee camps on the Thai Burma border or even in Australia. Karen people have been fleeing Burma since the mid 1980s due to Burmese military oppression and killings of the Karen people. Consequently an estimated one million people from different ethnic groups in Burma have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries, and an estimated 600,000 people have been internally displaced.

The Karen people have predominantly settled in Australia through the Australian Governments humanitarian settlement program. A growing population of the Karen community live in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. The New Hope Foundation provides settlement support to newly arrived refugees and migrants during their first five years in Australia.

The Karen people are warm and humble. They are proactive and open and a joy to work with.

busy setting up                                                                           Creative Sparks Round One: 2012

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Aware is… board member Gemma

 

gemma
Gemma joined Aware because she believes strongly in helping to provide opportunities and new skills for women. She’s been involved in development work only just this year since joining the Aware board and is really enjoying helping out. A part from this she is also the Fundraising Director at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and is really passionate about teaching young people about how they can create their own action on climate change. She also really loves penguins.

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Aware is… Claire, Board Member

Hi there! My name is Claire and I am one of AWARE’s Board Members. I have the fun job of hearing all about what AWARE has been up to and helping to plot more great creative community initiatives.

What’s your day job?

At the moment I am finishing post-graduate studies in International and Community Development and deciding what my next day job should be. In a past life I worked for a Melbourne based human rights organisation and a women’s community development organisation on the Thailand Burma border. Before that I was an arts, culture and community development project managing, policy writing and researching bureaucrat.

What sparked your interest in Aware?

In short, it was AWARE Director Stacey! Her initiative, drive and enthusiasm are inspiring and contagious. Stacey really is being the change she wants to see in the world. I am glad to be involved in such a vibrant organisation and the good and interesting work it does in utilising creativity and partnership to support like minded people and organisations.

Highlights so far?

It has been great to meet a group of likeminded people at AWARE and work together on future plans for AWARE. I am looking forward being part of AWARE’s evolution and growth and hope you are too!

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Aware is… Clancy, board member

 

 

 

 

Working on advocacy programs with displaced communities in the Solomon Islands and favela communities in Brazil,Clancy has seen the power of self expression as a tool to bring about change for marginalised communities. He currently works at Oxfam campaigning for food justice and poverty alleviation and teaches sustainability at RMIT University.  In his free time he plays guitar, gardens and dreams about surfing big waves with his long board.

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Aware is… Damien, Board Member

Hi everyone! My name is Damien and I’m the Secretary on the Board of Directors.

For my day job, I am a research scientist in the field of weather and climate. At the moment I am studying for my PhD, looking at the climate of West Antarctica. Prior to my PhD, I was lucky enough to work for an AusAID funded program that assisted National Weather Services in Pacific island nations make better use of climate data. My time spent in developing island nations reinforced to me the importance of the work that Aware does with disadvantaged communities, both in Australia and abroad.
There are a lot of aid organisations out there, so I often get asked why I chose to get involved with Aware. Quite simply, it is because of the focus on creating positive change. Instead of simply providing disadvantaged communities with material goods, Aware aims to increase the self esteem and life skills of every participant in its programs. That’s not to say that material goods aren’t important, however through enhanced skills and self esteem communities develop the capacity to improve their situation for themselves, as opposed to relying on material aid.
In other words, Aware’s art-based programs are creating long term, sustainable change in a fun and innovative way. That’s why I’m proud to be on the Board of Directors, and that’s why I find our volunteers and participants so inspiring.

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Crafty Fundraising

What better way to fundraise for next year’s Wool for Women than holding crochet lessons here in Melbourne.

Over the last five weeks volunteers Stacey, Louella and Rita have hosted crochet lessons in Northcote’s Open Studio.

Many hours were spent enjoying live music, delicious crepes and mulled wine while learning the relaxing (well maybe not in the beginning) skill of crochet.

Thanks so much to the great group of participants who braved Melbourne’s winter evenings to come along!

All proceeds from the lessons will go towards 2013’s Aware – Dorsu projects, empowering women through creativity.

We hope to run similar classes in the future, email information.aware@gmail.com for details!

Crafty fundraising in Melbourne fo fund future projects with Dorsu

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