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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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 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…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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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 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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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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