Justice for all

"Social justice" is a term in my school reference from the end of Year 12

At the time I was the Chair of the School Board at Lake Tuggeranong College and had lent support to promote various concerns that included seeing condom-vending machines installed in toilets. It's interesting in hindsight that the assistant principal who wrote the reference identified that quality as it has continued to be part of my activities in various communities from lobbying and campaigning through to informing my creative practices.

Over the last decade I've been based in the town of Leeton and put some of my energy toward raising concerns for the benefit of everyone, as well as demonstrating a passion for teaching. I have volunteered my time to campaign for improved services based on the need for equality, particularly in health services and education.

As part of a small group I drew attention to the shortcomings of the local hospital, which is often without a doctor on duty. This included generating media interest and also chairing a public meeting that drew an audience of over 100 people to the neighbouring town of Yanco, as well as elected representatives from the three levels of government. That led me to volunteer my time during elections to support candidates addressing issues of public health, as well as distributing materials to improve funding for public education after the Gonski Review.

There have been various opportunities to share my knowledge and experience with the community. One of my first initiatives while working as a Corporate Communications Manager for Leeton Shire Council was to develop digital capacity in the community, including workshops to assist businesses in getting online (some tourism operators didn't have email at that time) and also demonstrating digital media techniques through workshops. The latter included showing photo-manipulation to children as a school holiday activity at the library and led to developing workshops supported by the regional arts board in using free software for editing digital media.

My skills in developing communications have been part of working in various roles to support community groups and, in turn, has led me to be a founding member of Red Earth Ecology. This organisation provides support to curate exhibitions that raise environmental concerns, as well as being a way to promote the benefits of engaging with art. As a not-for-profit we have used the funds generated through our activities to sponsor a photography competition currently exhibiting, and the Ngurambang exhibition at Griffith Regional Art Gallery last year included a series of presentations to high school students about historical and environmental themes including colonialism and geology.

My experience in producing exhibitions led me to work as a curator in a community museum, where I have found opportunities to engage locals and improve the representation of First Nations history through displays about topics such as Murray Cod and pandemics. I am currently assisting with a projection-based public outcome with the Bioluminescence Project that will focus on the environment through manipulating digital media.

Finally, I think it shows that my interests have aligned in my role as Community Representative for the Griffith Base Hospital Arts Working Group. In this position I have agitated for various outcomes, such as ensuring communities throughout the region have been consulted and that local artists can be considered commissions, gain experience and contribute to the permanent displays.  

This is a statement prepared for a recent application and I thought I may as well post it here as well.