Celebrating the wins: Narratives of Hope spotlight

The Brisbane Campus hosted the second ‘Celebrating community engagement at ACU Brisbane’ event last Wednesday. This event, held in the beautiful Gaudete Centre, highlighted the tremendous community engagement work being undertaken across ACU Brisbane. Staff from the Associate Vice-Chancellor’s office, Library, Speech Pathology, Social Work, Nursing, Campus Ministry, Arts, International, National School of Allied Health, Career Development Service, Strategic Communications, Clemente and ACU Centre for Languages, were in attendance and contributed to the rich discussions around growth in 2020. The event also welcomed ACU’s Community Engagement Officers from the Ballarat, Canberra, Melbourne and North Sydney campuses.

A new focus of the celebration, was to cast a spotlight on specific projects and programs which underpin the values and principles of community engagement. Lecturer, Keith Skelton, from the School of Midwifery, Nursing and Paramedicine used this opportunity, to showcase the collaborative story-sharing program, ‘Narratives of Hope’ (NOH).

Lead by Keith, NOH is an ACU initiative which provides an opportunity for participants to share their personal stories of hope and resilience through the mediums of art, photography, music, or other digital communications. Keith said, “The personal stories told within Narratives of Hope provide a reference point for our own lives and our society. Speaking personally, I know that this reflects the thoughts of many people involved in the NOH project, hearing their stories changes you and makes you a better person. The storytellers are truly people to be admired.”

The program commenced in 2015 and promotes the collaboration of students and staff who mentor participants in shaping their stories. Stories in 2019 will highlight those living with mental health issues, people living with a disability, and people from refugee backgrounds.

"Giving a voice to these stories and breaking down the barriers in knowledge and understanding of these groups, is the overall aim of the program," he said.

Staff are strongly encouraged to attend the upcoming NOH presentation event on Friday, 29 November 2019 from 10am – 1pm in Room 212.G.22AB.

Some key outcomes from the celebration event included; a suggestion to provide greater flexibility for staff community engagement opportunities, introducing promotional videos to incentivise students and staff to undertake community engagement, and a presentation on the definition of community engagement at ACU. Staff were also keen to see students involved in the upcoming celebration events. Attendees will soon be sent a calendar invitation for the first celebration event of 2020, which is scheduled for mid-February. If you would like to be involved next year, please email acuengagement@acu.edu.au.

Celebrating community engagement in Brisbane

Image above L-R: Jen Azordegan (ACU Engagement National), Matthew Pink (ACU Engagement National), Kimberley Fort (ACU Engagement Brisbane), Duncan Cook (Arts), Laura Miller (National School of Allied Health), Ann Edwards (Speech Pathology), Adam Burns (Campus Ministry), Janine Quine (Clemente), Keith Skelton (Nursing), Colleen Tracey (Campus Ministry), Aileen Conradi (AVC Brisbane), Fr Harry Chan (Campus Ministry), Georgina Bible (Strategic Communications), Professor Jim Nyland (AVC Brisbane), Dayle Foreman (Social Work), Kelly Dann (Library), Freya Bruce (Library), Donna Cook (ACU Centre for Languages), Nicola Tait (ACU Engagement Canberra), Lisa Carzino (ACU Engagement Melbourne), Miranda Bush (ACU Engagement North Sydney), Eleanor Duggan (ACU Engagement Melbourne), Bree Seamer (ACU Engagement Ballarat), and Kate D'Orazio (ACU International)

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