Out of the Box Award
Sometimes it takes a fresh, creative approach to address social issues. The Out of the Box Award recognises the impact that innovative projects have on well-being in Greater Western Sydney
Below are our nominees for the 2017 ZEST Award for Out of the Box Award:
Stories in the Garden – Winner
Prosper (Project Australia) supports disadvantaged children and their families at home, at school and in the community. Prosper’s unique ‘Stories in the Garden’ initiative leverages existing partnerships in Western Sydney to deliver interactive storytelling performances to disadvantaged children and families across the region.
Activities are held in community-garden settings providing children with outdoor play opportunities and are accompanied by a community-building picnic or BBQ. Acting as a valuable soft-entry point for those who would otherwise not seek assistance from services, this place-based delivery model connects families with existing community services while the performances provide opportunities for participants to engage in literacy-building arts.
Team Colyton – Highly Commended
The Penrith Neighbourhood Renewal Program has spearheaded a bold new practice in addressing place based disadvantage by empowering residents to lead a collaboration with other stakeholders to deliver their vision for a thriving neighbourhood.
Team Colyton exemplifies out of the box thinking. Inspired by collective impact, the project seeks to empower residents to identify and achieve desired outcomes for their neighbourhood. By working outside of the funding structures bound to state policies, the project can focus on whatever is of greatest concern to local residents.
The Refugee Yoga Project – Highly Commended
The Refugee Yoga Project uses an innovative approach to healing trauma, offering refugees weekly yoga classes. In 2016, 187 yoga classes were conducted with over 100 refugees across five Western Sydney locations. The classes bring together the yoga teacher, psychologist and interpreter and offer short videos with translation in Arabic, Nepali and Tamil so that practice can continue at home.
Co-founder Danielle Begg is a Policy Officer at STARTTS and a representative on the NSW Department of Multicultural Affairs Regional Advisory Council. She is a yoga teacher and holds a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons) from the University of Queensland and a Master of Science in Comparative Social Policy from The University of Oxford. Danielle is currently undertaking Harvard’s Medical School’s Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program.
From A Child’s Perspective
Cumberland Council manages 17 Children’s Services and each service is represented on our ecohub group- a group committed to environmental education and promoting sustainable practices. This year our ecohub group coordinated a photo exhibition in the council foyer.
The exhibition “From A Child’s Perspective” featured photos of nature taken by the children using cameras from each service’s nature basket. The photos were enlarged, framed and mounted respectfully on the walls. The exhibition celebrated the diversity of nature – the colours, the patterns, the textures, the seasons and the wonders as seen through the eyes of the children.
Justice 4 Refugees (J4R)
Established in 2016 and based at the Auburn Centre for Community, the Justice 4 Refugees (J4R) project is a judicial review referral service for asylum seekers arriving by boat who have been refused a protection visa by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
The service is run by Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS) and funded by Legal Aid. J4R@RACS connects clients who have limited resources to barristers to get an opinion as to whether the client may be successful on an application for judicial review – one of the very few options left open to these clients.
Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre Community Consultations
Inspired by the work of the Harwood Institute in the United States, in 2015 the Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre adopted the Harwood method of community consultation and the team undertook extensive training to refine their skill base and fully understanding the power of turning outward and community aspirations and concerns.
With this new expertise, the Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre team have conducted conversations with community groups including local public schools. This work is ongoing and has already achieved many positive outcomes for the community.
Productivity Bootcamp is an innovative program using a unique style of training to engage, motivate and arm young people with the skills and attitude necessary to be valuable and productive employees. The style of training mixes hands-on practical outdoor training with psychological techniques and strategies to change and shape the way young people view work.
Productivity Bootcamp has attracted a lot of government and industry attention due to its high success rate resulting in a partnership with TAFE to incorporate accredited training. It has also received strong support from the NSW Business Chamber in assisting the program to expand across the country.
Quest is an entrepreneurial training project highlighting the technical and innovation boom in Sydney and its role in affecting social change in the refugee and newly arrived migrant communities.
Quest provides young refugees with an engaging and exciting insight into the start-up and innovation world, while opening doors for them to contribute to the local economy, mingle with colleagues of mixed backgrounds, and engage in an enriching and inspiring environment. The ultimate objective of Quest is to introduce refugee and migrant youth to Sydney’s start-up community and provide a platform for cross-pollination of knowledge and experiences of participants.
Rosie’s Place is a unique community based counselling and support service for children, young people and families who have been subjected to violence and abuse in Outer Western Sydney. In 2016, Rosie’s Place serviced 526 clients and delivered 1000+ hours of training and curriculum development.
Families dealing with complex trauma resulting from past and current experiences may be vulnerable and have trouble in maintaining their ongoing safety well-being. Children and young people have a right to live in an environment that is free from violence and abuse and right to access all support available within their community.
The Aspire Role Models program (ARM)
The Aspire Role Models program (ARM) aims to raise aspirations and improve the self-esteem and of young students in the Greater Western Sydney region while fostering positive attitudes towards citizenship, social cohesion and civic participation.
Engaging local students in an empowering environment to inspire continued positive participation and growth, the ARM program includes a Role Model project, the Hidaya Leadership Program, the Stand Tall, Speak Out spoken word poetry initiative, the Write It Out writing initiative, the EQUIP Debating Upskilling initiative and an Art Therapy and Mentorship program. While each project is unique they all work with multiple communities to create harmony and diversity through shared learning experiences
The information on this website was supplied by the Award Nominators.
The ZEST team takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided.
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