Social Justice Project Development
Social Justice Project development is an imperative tenet of a lived education, of transformational education – a lived experience from where theoretical frameworks can be coupled with.
Examples of profound social justice projects that we learn from but which at the same time deliver immediate benefits to vulnerable people include:
Sisters Inside is an independent community organisation, which exists to advocate for the human rights of women in the criminal justice system, and to address gaps in the services available to them. Sisters Inside works alongside women in prison in determining the best way to fulfil these roles.
Wheelchairs for Kids:
Wheelchairs for Kids is a registered charity based in Perth, Western Australia. No-one at Wheelchairs is remunerated. More than 150 retiree volunteers develop, build and assemble rough terrain children’s wheelchairs. The wheelchairs are built in accordance to World Health Organisation guidelines for rough terrain use. They have increased tensile strength, puncture proof tyres and should last with minimal maintenance for the duration of a childhood. Wheelchairs for Kids has donated more than 35,000 rough terrain children’s wheelchairs to 71 countries.
Wheelchairs for Kids is managed by the Rotary Club of Scarborough, Western Australia and is supported by Rotary Clubs and the Christian Brothers – providing up to 3,500 adjustable size, rough terrain wheelchairs per year free to children right around the world.
Homeless Friendly Precincts:
Homeless Friendly Precincts are in the least a few hundred square metres of showers, laundries, small storage facilities, a treatment area, safe space, even an area where services can attend; something as simple as a rostered barber.
Thus far the concept of homeless friendly precincts is about showers, laundries, storage, access to treatment daily, a meeting and safe space but it can be whatever more the shires want it to be. Some shires have suggested food halls, dining areas, computer facilities, learning environments and various forms of shelter.
The Yiriman Project is sponsored by the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre (KALACC). The program is currently based out of Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia. The Project is an intergenerational, ‘on-Country’ cultural program, conceived and developed directly by Elders from four Kimberley language groups – Nyikina, Mangala, Karajarri and Walmajarri – and whose aim is to ‘build stories in young people’.
The concept for the Yiriman Project arose out of the concern by Elders for their young people, who were facing increasingly serious issues such as self-harm, substance abuse and the loss of cultural identity. Believing in the power of their own Culture and of Country to heal their own young people, the Elders began taking young people out on to Country, travelling over Country by foot, camel or vehicle, teaching and speaking in language, visiting ancestral sites, storytelling, engaging in traditional song and dance.
Beyond the transfer of knowledge and skills, Yiriman trips provide a safe and effective space for relationship to others and to Country to develop, and for communication and decision making to occur by Cultural means.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference
The inaugural conference was crafted by a small number of people, and included suicide prevention researcher Gerry Georgatos, in order to provide an authentic space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices. The conference will be held in Alice Springs from May 4 to May 6 and hopefully inspire Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from communities from right across the continent to become researchers, counsellors, mentors and leaders, to take over the sector, to couple lived experiences with further knowledge, to bring together peoples in stronger networks and to support them.
The conference will have only Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander keynote speakers, facilitators and every presentation requires at least one (in two) of the presenters to be an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.