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A “Free University” project: building community one conversation at a time

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A "Free University" project: building community one conversation at a time

On the Sunshine Coast, a group committed to community engagement and exploring important justice issues of concern has created the Naamba Free University project. A free university is a space created by a community for the sharing of knowledge and to respond to the needs and dynamics of its participants. It acts as an alternative to the formalised education sector, providing hopeful inquiry about being in the world and with each other. 

We will share our motivation for the project, the justice topics we have covered so far, and the facilitated processes that have enabled participants to build relationships and learn. Drawing on a tried and tested community development method much utilised in South-East Queensland, we will also share how we are building the network that is ‘hosting’ each event. 


Dr Tina Lathouras

Dr Tina Lathouras is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of the Sunshine Coast. She teaches Community Development and Social Action courses, and engages in research and community work practice working to weave links between these spaces so that one informs the other. Through this dialogue, she seeks to promote better teaching, research and practice responding to community issues. 

Peter Hogg

Peter Hogg is a social worker and community development practitioner at Nambour Community Centre. Peter works directly with community members to facilitate connection, relationship and participatory action. He integrates his inclusive approach into his work with some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our communities, reflecting his belief that community-driven responses are crucial for a just society. 

This session is run as part of the Carnegie Community Engagement Network offerings.

*Please note that this session is free.

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