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Our Race Community

Empowering Voices through Ethical Storytelling

Empowering Voices through Ethical Storytelling

Our project, Empowering Voices through Ethical Storytelling, is dedicated to empowering marginalised communities, specifically First Nations and refugee/migrant comm...





01/01/2024 > 31/12/2024


  • Social inclusion and justice


  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Peoples
  • Asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and people from CALD backgrounds


Our project, Empowering Voices through Ethical Storytelling, is dedicated to empowering marginalised communities, specifically First Nations and refugee/migrant communities in Australia.

The project is a collaboration with grassroots community groups and small to medium advocacy organisations to implement the Transformational Ethical Story Telling (T.E.S.T) Principles into their policies, processes, and practices.

This project has two components:
1. Working with community organisations sharing community narratives and supporting them to address the challenges they encounter through the application of the T.E.S.T. Framework.
2. Supporting community members who find themselves sharing stories in environments that lack cultural and emotional safety, and are at risk of re-traumatisation.

Our comprehensive approach combines ethical storytelling education, advocacy support, and for-purpose legal expertise. It includes workshops, collaborative consulting, legal contract development, and certification opportunities for 20 small to medium-sized advocacy organisations. Additionally, participants will benefit from a dynamic Community of Practice, enabling them to learn from peers and the project team while actively contributing to the evaluation and improvement of the T.E.S.T. Framework and Certification.

Grassroots community groups will play a pivotal role in shaping the evaluation process and enhancing the T.E.S.T. Framework and Certification. Simultaneously, they will engage with the Our Race Community team through workshops and an Expert Reference Group. In this collaborative environment, they will co-create Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs), which serves as a tool where community members can tell their stories their way. This project will amplify marginalised voices, promote inclusivity and empowerment.

Although sharing stories is important, there are also many risks. These risks are further compounded by power differentials and a legal system which prioritises who writes and records stories. The safety and ethics of storytelling are rarely considered, even in storytelling programs for communities who are often requested to share stories that are highly sensitive.

Key groups who have traditionally had their stories commodified and extracted include First Nations Peoples, people from refugee and migrant backgrounds and young people.


By achieving the below outcomes, we will create a more inclusive and compassionate society where voices of marginalised groups are amplified with dignity and respect.

- Empowered Story Holders: Participants from grassroots community groups will acquire ethical storytelling knowledge and skills, fostering self-confidence and empowering them to advocate for and share their experiences safely and effectively.
- MoUs: We will establish MoUs as an instrument to demonstrate and promote ethical storytelling, ensuring that the rights, needs and interests of Story Holders are heard, protected and respected.
- Community Resilience: Through the sharing of stories on their own terms, communities will achieve self-determination and increase intercultural dialogues and connections.
- Ethical Storytelling Advocacy: Community organisations participating in the T.E.S.T Certification Program will gain the knowledge and skills needed to responsibly share sensitive stories, thereby enhancing their advocacy efforts.
- Certified Ethical Story Caretakers: At the end of the program, organisations will receive certification, demonstrating their commitment and application of ethical storytelling.
- Improved Advocacy Impact: Certified organisations will be better equipped to advocate for policy changes, raise awareness effectively, develop better resources and deliver services more efficiently, ultimately improving outcomes for marginalised groups.
- T.E.S.T. Framework and Certification 2.0: Using an action research relational methodology, we will undertake an evaluation of the framework and certification processes to bolster the strength and credibility of our work. This will pave the way for scalability and meaningful impact.

Profile of Our Race Community

Our Race Community

Our Race Community is an anti-racism storytelling charity which delves deep into storytelling practices. We believe that everyone is a storyteller and the most important part is to see the strength in their own story and tell their story on their own terms. Consequently, Our Race Community does not provide storytelling formulas. Instead we work with Story Holders to harness the strength of their stories and knowledge, navigating the complex power dynamics and history of story extraction to better advocate for the creative control and ownership of their stories.

As a team led by Story Holders who have felt the negative impacts of having our personal and community stories exploited, we have spent the last seven years delivering education programs, developing resources and our Transformational Ethical Story Telling (T.E.S.T.) Framework to disrupt who traditionally and currently curates, controls and owns community stories.

Our work is guided by the Transformational Ethical Story Telling (T.E.S.T.) Framework which has been developed in collaboration with key partners through community engagement, research and practice.
The T.E.S.T. Framework is a set of anti-oppressive principles which aims to flip the storytelling balance of power, where each person’s rights and needs - regardless of their race, ethnicity, language, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, health, ability, economic status or background – must be respected.

Key outcomes of T.E.S.T. are:
- Respect for Story Holders: Through this approach we finally move away from one dimensional deficit stories and inspiration stories, and towards a more real, authentic and nuanced way of sharing stories.
- Authenticity and Representation: Ethical storytelling promotes authenticity and representation, ensuring that the stories we share are rooted in real nuanced experiences and perspectives.
- Inclusivity and Collaboration: Our approach empowers Story Holders to become advocates for their own communities, resulting in a more inclusive and interconnected storytelling environment.
- Organisational Transformation: We prioritise the worldviews and experiences of Story Holders, where their expertise informs organisational policies, processes and practices.


TOTAL BUDGET: $722,000
Funding sourceAmount
Government grants (unconfirmed)$75,000
Individual donations & fundraiser (confirmed)$50,000
Trading income (confirmed)$150,000
Funding gap (unconfirmed)$70,000
Other philanthropic foundations/trusts$376,999
Expense itemAmount
5.5 FTE Staff$660,000
Admin & accounting$32,000
Travel costs$722,000

Support Empowering Voices through Ethical Storytelling

Got a question about this project or ready to contribute? Contact us.


As a broker of change, we invite social change initiatives to apply for funding. Eligible proposals are shared with our giving community via our Granting Opportunities directory.