ACU recognises that a major attribute of many who face multiple challenges is their resilience. Whether it is overcoming past or continuing injustices, adapting and resettling into a new and vastly different country and culture, or persevering despite physical barriers, they bring valuable attributes that can only enhance us as a nation. Despite this, their voices are often left out of the discussions and decision-making processes that impact further on their lives. In response, ACU acknowledges the importance of building public understanding and cultural awareness of the hopes participants hold for their futures in Australia.
Overview of Narratives of Hope:
Narratives of Hope, is a community engagement initiative between The Institute for Advancing Community and Engagement, and Equity Pathways and in collaboration with ACU library, and the Schools of Nursing, Psychology and Arts. This project is underpinned by ACU’s commitment to projects that focus both on enhancing the dignity and wellbeing of the vulnerable in the community, as well as broadening our staff and students’ world views, and building their capacity for meaningful engagement. Narratives of Hope provides a unique opportunity for participants to be mentored by ACU staff and students to tell their stories either through speaking publically, art, photography, music, or digital mediums. Each year these stories are presented at a community celebration at ACU.
- to mentor youth and adults who belong to communities that face multiple challenges due to such factors as age, ability, culture, religion, ethnicity to share their stories of hope and resilience;
- to build on educational aspirations of youth from Low SES or disadvantaged communities;
- to create a resource that will build cultural awareness, support inclusion and challenge public perceptions
- to document and publish important community, family and personal messages
- to provide a community engagement experience that is inclusive of both ACU staff and students, and connects them on a personal level to individuals in the community;
- to draw on cross faculty wisdom and talents, and collaboration;
- and to raise public awareness, both at ACU and in the community, about the challenges that the vulnerable in our community experience, the resilience they show, and the hopes they have for their future.
The program is designed to foster both skill development and hope-filled learning through various workshops and through the positive relationships forged between all participants. ACU mentors/learning partners are critical to its success as they provide one-on-one support and a friendly ear so that community participants can:
- Increase participants’ sense of belonging and being valued through workshops and sharing.
- Creatively and confidently communicate their thoughts to an audience with the support of their mentors;
- further develop their literacy, communication, technology and reflection skills by attending workshops with mentors;
- become effective and confident advocates for themselves, and/or their communities with the support of ACU;
- and build on their aspirations for their future by promoting positive relationships with ACU staff and students..
ACU is committed to:
- promoting social inclusion, equity and community participation
- actively providing opportunities for disadvantaged communities to participate in community life
- raising awareness and knowledge about within the wider community
- celebrating the contribution of refugees and asylum seekers, including their many cultures and faiths
- collaborating with our partners, community groups and local agencies to strengthen operations or capacity and enhance local coordination
- raising issues or advocating for appropriate supports and resources to meet the needs of refugees and asylum seekers.