19 November 2019

My voice being seen so it can be heard.

Life Without Barriers was the proud sponsor of CREATE Foundation’s 2019 Voices in Action Youth Conference which was held last week at the Melbourne Zoo.

With the important theme of 'Nothing About Us, Without Us', the conference provided an opportunity for young people, carers, professionals and leaders across the foster care sector to come together and unite on making positive changes in the out-of-home care system.

This year, we were thrilled to have Life Without Barriers’ Living Arts team members Phil Allen, Juju Haifawi and Nick Dallwitz running workshops for attendees throughout the conference. Living Arts has been running in South Australia for many years and provides a platform for vulnerable children and adults to heal, grow and forge connections with family and community through creative endeavours.

Guiding these workshops was the Palawa phrase ‘Mina mongtone toienook boorack pueellakanny’ which translates to ‘My voice being seen so it can be heard’. By combining art with the written words of the young people and others attending the conference, a seemingly endless story line on canvas was created. The canvas was progressively rolled, like a scroll, during the conference so that everyone was given the opportunity to draw, animate, decorate or paint an image representing themselves and their story, as well as providing accompanying text to express their individual need to be heard.

Over the three days of the conference, around 30 young people in foster care participated in having their voice being seen so it could be heard. Some of those young people came every day, dropping in and out, while others came in for shorter periods. The popularity of the Living Arts workshops highlighted the importance of using expressive mediums, such as visual art, to uplift and share the perspective of people whose experiences are often overlooked.

The workshops culminated in an absolutely stunning collective art piece!

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