The Dungala Kaiela Writing Awards is a new project run
through the Shepparton Library branch of the Goulburn Valley Regional Library
Corporation (GVRLC), to encourage Indigenous people of the region to write well
and develop good standards of literacy.
There are awards for children, youth and adults; and for stories and
poems. Several Indigenous community
organisations have also come aboard as sponsors of the event. An Awards ceremony event is planned for
NAIDOC week 2012.
The idea for this project grew out of a conversation, just
last year, after a get-together of Indigenous women who gather periodically at
the Shepparton Library to talk about their writing. The conversation was between Sharon Atkinson-Briggs
who is running a Yorta Yorta Language project with the Dungala Kaiela
Institute, Kella Robinson who is the Woonghi Indigenous Project Officer with
the GVRLC, and Jackie Yowell, who had also attended the writers’ group. They
were discussing ways to encourage more local Indigenous women – and the
community generally – to write, to express themselves, to set down their
The group found that the existing regional mainstream
competition had yet to succeed in engaging participation from the Indigenous
community. They then asked the question,
what if this community ran their own competition, with their own judges and
criteria? With the commitment of
sponsorship of $2000 from the ACF sub fund Fairer Futures, the women decided to
try it. Shepparton Library stepped up,
with the programs manager Jan Sutton and librarian Libby Woodhouse working hard
at the administration needed to back Kella (who is only part-time). Together
they soon marshalled a team of volunteers, advisers and judges to make the
Writing Awards a reality. The idea quickly won the support and additional
sponsorship from several local Indigenous organisations
All the people involved are looking forward to celebrating
the presentation event for the inaugural Dungala Kaiela Writing Awards 2012, as
part of NAIDOC week at Shepparton Library on 13 July 2012. With similar
commitment and enthusiasm, the group hopes to improve the Awards and run them
again next year.
is hoped these Awards will become a regular event – annual or biennial.
Sydney, the Centre for Policy Development, www.cpd.org.au has grown out of the policy
development work of online magazine, New
The Centre has been established as a public interest think tank
dedicated to seeking out creative, viable ideas and innovative research to contribute
to Australia’s policy debates.
The Centre provides the opportunity for a diverse
community of thinkers to work towards solutions to Australia’s most urgent
environmental, health, social and economic challenges.
Sustainable Economy Program is one of a number of programs at the Centre which
seeks provide an alternative to systemic short-term decision making in both the
public and private sectors.
Australia has tremendous opportunity to leverage
its abundant natural resources and workplace skills to build a fair,
sustainable and prosperous economy –
one that provides a secure future for all
Australians. The Sustainable Economy Program aims to identify options for
Australia to make a rapid transition to an environmentally and socially
Based on the Centre’s research, Australia is not doing enough to build a
diverse economic structure that can thrive in a resource- and
future. Our poor resource productivity and dependence on
commodities is a potential vulnerability in a world of volatile prices and
rapid capital flows.
The Greening Our
Economy program at the Centre, which is supported by Australian Communities
Foundation donors, will identify policies and conditions
to tip the economic
playing field towards activities that support the transition to a fair,
sustainable and prosperous economy.
Greening Our Economy
will identify how to create the policies and conditions for Australia to build
a sustainable competitive advantage. Results of the work
will be released in
stages, focusing first on those economic sectors with the most potential for
policies to be reshaped to support sustainable economic development.
Sustainable Economy team are also working to ‘dig up’ evidence about how
Australia’s land-based economy can benefit from policies to preserve the
environment and resources that sustain them.
Homework Club provides free one-on-one tutoring to students from Prep to Year
12. The Club operates every Wednesday
night, serving more than 50 students and involving more than 80 volunteer
tutors on a regular basis.
The Club aims to encourage
the involvement of a diverse range of students who live on or near the
Collingwood Housing estate, as well as volunteers from a broad variety of
More than 40 new
volunteers joined the program in 2011 while the program has also enhanced
education for the 40 regular students, with families remarking on students'
increased confidence and ability in tackling their studies. The program has also promoted strong
connections and relationships between the students, their families and tutors.
The program develops strong bonds between students and
tutors, improved learning outcomes and involvement of families in social
activities including tenpin bowling and a visit to AAMI Park to watch Melbourne
Heart play. Strong partnerships are also formed with other community
organisations and the Club Committee were keynote speakers at the Centre for
Multicultural Youth 2011 Conference for learning support programs.
Volunteer capacity is
enhanced through professional development evenings where keynote speakers from
educational organisations, including the Australian Council for Educational
Research, presented on effective teaching strategies.
Collingwood Homework Club is run as an entirely volunteer
run program which ensures that costs remain low. Recent funding from Australian Communities
Foundation has been used to refresh its
resources of books and materials, in particular the purchase of educational
books, games and bilingual books for the use of parents with their children.
The Eric Dubsky Memorial Award was established in 2010 to
assist a financially disadvantaged student enrolled with Monash University’s
Faculty of Engineering undergraduate programs and participating in the
Eric Dubsky was an electrical engineer who emigrated to
Australia from Nazi occupied Austria shortly before the outbreak of World War
II in 1939.
Initially with his father and then as chairman and managing
director he developed a small manufacturing company, Vulcan Electrics Pty Ltd,
into one of the top 100 companies in Australia – Vulcan Industries Australia
Ltd. Vulcan produced a range of innovative domestic and commercial products and
had 2000 employees. Eric employed engineering students as trainees with the
company, many of whom became leaders with Vulcan and other engineering
companies. This award continues his legacy by providing young engineers with
the opportunity to develop into future leaders of Australian industry.
Eric has both a son and grandson who are Monash engineers
and so his family thought it appropriate to offer the award through Monash
The recipient of the Award this year is Nicholas Bonett .
The Aboriginal Astronomy Project is a collaboration of
researchers who are studying the astronomical knowledge and traditions of
Indigenous Australians. It is based in the Department of Indigenous Studies (Warawara) at Macquarie University and is part of the Research Centre for Astronomy, Astrophysics & Astrophotonics. The project maintains close ties with Sydney
When the British first occupied Australia in 1788, many of
the Aboriginal people that they drove from their land probably knew the
Southern sky better than the most accomplished British navigators. But nobody
thought to ask.
The southern sky is striking compared to that of the Northern
hemisphere. For those living in Australia before the advent of streetlights,
the night sky would be an important and integral part of their understanding of
the world. Naturally, they would notice that particular stars or patterns seen
only at certain times of the year and furthermore, since many chose to travel
in the cool of the night, they would quickly find that stars are useful for
Since Aboriginal cultures stretch
back unbroken for 50,000 years or more, it has been suggested that Aboriginal
Australians were the world's first astronomers. This argument rests upon two
hypotheses: one is that the Aboriginal people were practicing astronomy, and
the second is that these practices stretch back 50,000 years. This project aims to answer the questions:
· Are there cultures in which the astronomy
is a central feature rather than lying on the periphery?
· Is there evidence that the complex motions
of the sky have been recorded either verbally or in rock art or stone
· Is there evidence that transient phenomena
such as supernovae, comets, meteors were recorded?
In 2009, four young Aboriginal volunteers undertook a ten
week Australian Volunteers International community development project in Tamil
Nadu, South India. As part of the project they ran a range of education
programs, from creating libraries and teaching classes on the school’s first
computer, to giving hygiene lessons and building toilets. In doing this work,
they gained a unique insight into the lives of young people in a developing
community. The experiences of the four volunteers participating in the program
were documented by a film-crew, with the aim of growing community awareness of
this community-based, youth-led program in a “story-telling” format in a way
that is accessible to Aboriginal communities.
This project will support young Aboriginal people with
leadership potential but limited resources to take part in a similar volunteer program
in Aboriginal communities, based on the Australian Volunteers International
model and local models of youth-led community development.
This pilot project will provide young Aboriginal people the
opportunity to work as volunteers with Aboriginal communities to improve the
lives of those communities, and better their own lives and skills in the
process. The particular work that they will do will depend on the needs identified
by their host community. This grant will support the program in Oodnadatta,
Volunteering provides young Aboriginal people with increased
skills, experience and capacity to work in collaboration with other supporters/workers
in the community. The young people also have potential to become catalysts for
change in their own communities as a result of their volunteering opportunities.
The program brings together the knowledge, beliefs culture and practices which
already exist in the community with young people ready to take on a new
leadership role and new methods of community development.
As the University of Melbourne’s first social work academic based at
the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), Associate Professor Brigid Jordan
plays an integral role in providing leadership to clinicians and
researchers in the important emerging field of infant mental health.
Blaise Murphet reports.
One of the Australian Communities Foundation’s MacroMelbourne projects is the Hume and Whittlesea Community Shuttle Service. The Service aims to meet critical transport needs in the municipalities of Hume and Whittlesea through a program co-ordinating volunteer drivers and community vehicles. The service is targeting the elderly, people with disabilities, single mothers and young people and will assist people to get to medical appointments, employment, social and recreational activities where there is a lack of accessible public transport. The service is operated by LINK Community Transport and Hume City and City of Whittlesea Councils.
Funding for the service has been provided by Australian Communities Foundation donors, State and local government, local agencies and business, including Ford Australia who donated two vehicles and one individual’s extraordinary generosity towards the project.
A local Craigieburn resident (who wishes to remain anonymous) donated $100,000 to LINK Community Transport to purchase two new buses. One was specifically earmarked for the Craigieburn Community Transport Service and one would be for LINK’s broader community transport service. The donor is a long term Craigieburn resident and is passionate about supporting the Craigieburn community. He is also an avid car enthusiast, being a Ford man through and through. When he heard about Ford Australia supporting the Craigieburn service he decided to donate the money to purchase a new Ford Transit van to help expand the Craigieburn service. The vehicle has been ordered and will be modified to be wheelchair accessible. It will become part of the Craigieburn service in December, 2011.
Common Ground is a non-profit organisation founded in New York in 1990 and is now an international leader in developing services to reduce homelessness. The Common Ground model of supportive housing accommodation provides long-term, stable accommodation combined with on-site support services. The aim is to provide apartment buildings where tenants can have afford-able, safe and positive homes, which are not boarding houses but individual dwellings where the homeless might be integrated with other low-income workers.
On any night in inner city Brisbane more than 2000 people are homeless. Common Ground Queensland will provide a solution to end homelessness for the most vulnerable and chronically homeless in Queensland. Its vision is to complement existing services by working in partnership with community, government, business and philanthropy to create permanent homes integrated with support for individuals and families who are homeless in Queensland.
In 2010, Thérèse Rein launched Brisbane’s Common Ground.
SecondBite collects surplus fresh food from markets, growers, retailers, caterers and redistributes to agencies and people in need. In 2010, 148 agencies across Melbourne were supported by Secondbite including, the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, St Vincent de Paul in Collingwood, the Coolibah Centre at the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Fitzroy and St Mary’s House of Welcome, also in Fitzroy.
SecondBite’s services significantly improve the nutritional value and variety of food these agencies are able to provide for their meal programs and most importantly, reduce the costs of their program. SecondBite's deliveries of fruit, vegetables and meat saves St Mary's almost $1,000 a week, and helps provide healthy food to the people who access their services.
Redirecting surplus food to people in need is an excellent way to reduce food waste and help the environment. Any food collected that is not fit for redistribution for any reason goes to Carradene Farm in Melton or Bedford Farm in Bulla, and is fed to their farm animals.
Despite the winter rains and floods in 2011, the urgency to protect and restore the Murray River remains. Boom and bust cycles of drought and flood are a reminder of the kind of weather climate scientists have been telling us to expect. Water in the Murray needs to be secured now, so that when the next dry weather comes, the river stands a chance.
The Windsor Inquiry into the socio-economic impacts of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan was announced in the aftermath of the release of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority Guide last October. The findings of the Inquiry have been released with one of the recommendations being to suspend all ‘non-strategic water buybacks’.
In contrast, Environment Victoria believes that voluntary water buybacks must continue as they are the most effective and efficient way of returning water to the environment. The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists has also been critical of the Windsor report, which they say won’t save the Basin.
Environment Victoria is campaigning to have 7600 billion litres of water returned to the Murray-Darling Basin. They argue that any less will put rivers and the communities that depend on them in jeopardy. A healthy Murray-Darling basin would deliver almost $10 billion in environmental, social and economic benefits to Australians.
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