About AWARE

A huge thanks to our dedicated volunteers!

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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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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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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.

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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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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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In preparation for Wool for Womeen

Late tomorrow night, two AWARE volunteers are flying to Cambodia to teach women how to crochet. Volunteers Louella and Stacey have been testing out patterns and perfecting their skills.

I cannot wait to see the teddy’s, cardigans, hats, and broaches that they make through Wool for Women. This program focuses on bringing new skills to women through crocheting to help build up their arsenal of skills to ensure they can earn a decent livelihood. AWARE is partnering with Dorsu to help give women in Kampot, Cambodia the tools to work towards their ideal future.

Thanks to you, we received hundreds of dollars in donations and in kind gifts to bring wool and crochet hooks to Cambodia. Wool was arriving by the box!

Last weekend, Stacey and I took a trip to the Bendigo Woollen Mills to purchase even more wool! After a  long drive from Melbourne, we arrived at the mills to be greeted by every crafters favourite sight: skeins upon skeins of wool!

I’ll be bringing you live updates from their work in Cambodia!

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Aware is … Anna M., fundraiser

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!

What’s your role at Aware?

Hi, my name’s Anna and I am helping raise funds for a number of Aware’s projects, specifically organising market stalls to sell the wonderful bags, clothes, scarves and lots more made by the fabulous women at Dorsu Cambodia. We’re hoping to get out to a couple of markets in the next few of months so keep posted for the details.

What’s your day job?

I am studying a Masters of Social Work which is keeping me very busy at the moment but absolutely loving it.

What sparked your interest in volunteering for Aware?

I was inspired by Stacey’s passion for the amazing organisation she had created. Also, looking at the huge success of past programs, and hearing some ideas for the new Melbourne based programs I wanted to help out in some small way.

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

Hearing stories from some of the programs in Kenya and Honduras, meeting the other volunteers and just getting involved in some of Aware’s fundraising events, whether that’s been having a beer with Karma Kegs or coming along to film nights. It’s been great to see such support for a fantastic organisation.

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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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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.

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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!).

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