If you are interested in equity in leadership, fast fashion and environmental sustainability, look no further than an exhibition at Port Macquarie Library.
The free exhibition, titled Use Your Outside Voice!, features a collection of stories crafted by participants in the first-ever Picture Justice Australia program, which was run over five days in Charles Sturt's Design Lab in 2019.
The exhibition highlights issues important to the participants including environmental sustainability, improving social connections, fast fashion and equity in leadership.
Mel Streater participated in the program where they learnt about community, citizenry and processes of democracy, and skills such as design thinking, ethical interviewing and photography.
She also worked alongside Jess Green and Dr Willhemina Wahlin as co-curator and co-designer for the exhibition Use Your Outside Voice!
"For me, the key benefit of the program was understanding the power of the individual voice," Mel said.
She said through the program they learnt practical avenues for shining light on issues of concern and communicating their interests - be that through a creative arts project, voting, writing letters to members of parliament, creating petitions, peacefully protesting, sharing news articles on social media - the list goes on.
CSU Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Criminal Justice student Emily Hollingworth took part in the program and focused on women in leadership.
"I absolutely loved the program," Emily said.
"I learnt about design aspects and I also learnt about working as a team for one common goal."
She said the program empowered individuals to make positive change in the world.
"Given the tools, when the opportunity arises, we know how to handle that opportunity," Emily said.
Dr Wahlin, one of the curators for the exhibition and lecturer in design at Charles Sturt, said they were so excited to be sharing the stories from these young changemakers with the community.
"Our young people are so passionate about what they believe in, so it's important they are given more opportunities to have a voice in our community," she said.
The Picture Justice Australia program focused on the theme of community, citizenry and processes of democracy and featured a series of workshops led by a team of experts from the fields of civic education, photography, design, and education.
"We embedded design thinking in a really unique way, weaving it into workshops in civics, ethical interviewing, photography for storytelling, narrative development and story editing," Dr Wahlin said.
"The aim was to not only provide the participants with a range of skills and knowledge, but to also give them the confidence, through these skills, to become more active citizens."
The exhibition is on show at Port Macquarie Library until Friday, January 31.
The Picture Justice Australia program is a joint research project by Charles Sturt University, Swinburne University of Technology and The Whitlam Institute, and is supported by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, PROOF: Media for Social Justice and the Posify Group.
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