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    Place-based community engagement: Creating a Collaborative Vision for the Future through Community-Led Research and Action

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    Place-based community engagement: Creating a Collaborative Vision for the Future through Community-Led Research and Action

    Join us for an hour as Amber Loomis and Anusha Muller share how they embed community-led and asset-based approaches into their practice. 

    The session will highlight a suburb level theory of change, developed through participatory methods and supported by the Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion. This theory of change is a tool to advocate for community priorities, actions, and resources. In 2023, there are 6 community-led projects supported through this work and two research projects focused on community-identified priorities. The session will discuss how our work has extended into one of these community-identified priorities areas– how inclusive and accessible spaces contribute to a sense of belonging and help our community thrive. 

    Through this, we have listened to 100 stories across local community. Community members have reported this work has helped them to feel connected to community and made them feel like they have a say about what happens in community. We will also highlight our intentional focus on equity, ensuring that the lived experiences of marginalised community members are placed at the centre of this work. 

    In this session we will share preliminary findings gleaned through collaborative sensemaking with local community members. The session will also discuss how community-led action has enriched relationships with local community, becoming an integral part of our work. Ultimately, this case study will share learnings from our community-led practice as a way to re-imagine how the tertiary sector can contribute to public good. 

    Located on the lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, in the heart of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) locality provides abundant opportunities and challenges for its local community. As a significant power holder, one place where the university can enact greater social good is within our own precinct – the locality within which UTS already has a footprint. 

    The Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion within UTS has a history of working in the local community and building reciprocal connections to generate positive impact. In pursuit of recognising local residents as experts in what’s needed for our shared neighbourhood to thrive, we continue to work alongside local communities in suburbs within our precinct: Glebe, Haymarket, Pyrmont, and Ultimo. These suburbs are vibrant places home to rich cultural diversity as well as complex social needs and experiences. Across these areas, the community includes a significant proportion (32.7%) of low income households that live in social housing, households experiencing housing stress (20%), high rates of unemployment, and people sleeping rough (2016 Census, City of Sydney LGA; 2019 City of Sydney Community Wellbeing Indicators; 2021 Census; 2022 City of Sydney count). 

    About the presenters

    Amber Loomis is a proud trans, genderqueer, bi+ advocate with experience in advocacy, grassroots organising and community-led research. Amber’s background includes work in policy, health care advocacy for refugees and asylum seekers in the United States, and domestic, family, sexual violence prevention/response. They currently work with the Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion facilitating place-based community engagement. Outside of their work at UTS, they are a community organiser with Sydney Bi+ Network. Amber is passionate about using anti-oppressive, strengths-based approaches, and healing justice frameworks to help build a world where communities can thrive. 

    Anusha has extensive experience in the human rights and social justice sector, with roles spanning across media, campaigning, and project management. Anusha began her career working for Lord Mayor Clover Moore, where she was focused on advocating social housing and marginalised communities. Since then, she was worked as a climate campaigner for GetUp! And was most recently working in strategic communications at the Australian Human Rights Commission. Anusha is passionate about racial justice, climate justice and using her skills for social good. 

    About the Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion

    The Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion is the gateway for partners to engage with the university's resources and expertise to maximise social impact. We work with community organisations, not-for-profits, social purpose businesses, and individuals.

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

    *Please note that this session is free.

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