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    Shaping Organisations and Communities: Advocacy and Change within Higher Education

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    Shaping Organisations and Communities: Advocacy and Change within Higher Education

    Dr Matthew Bunn and Associate Professor Hedda Haugen Askland (University of Newcastle)

    The role of advocacy and advocates is central in shaping inclusive, equitable and diverse communities, organisations and workplaces, including higher education settings. Advocates work across global and local spheres, speaking up for injustice, drawing our attention to struggles, vulnerability and unfairness, and driving positive change that aims to increase the welfare of individuals, local communities and the world. But, what is advocacy? Why is advocacy important? Who advocates and who is advocated for? Do we advocate for people or for issues? And, what is good advocacy practice?

    This interactive workshop, takes on these questions and interrogates the phenomenon, concept and practice of advocacy across a diverse range of equity themes. It builds on the workshop participants’ own experience, knowledge and insights into the role of advocacy in higher education, as well as the pitfalls and dangers embedded in advocacy, and the potential for advocacy to be co-opted by other agendas.

    Drawing on concepts and tools developed as part of our postgraduate course on advocacy and change in the University of Newcastle’s Graduate Certificate of Professional Equity and Inclusion (GCEPI), we invite practitioners from the field of higher education to explore how advocacy forms part of higher education settings in Australia.

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