Capturing people’s stories: engaging through art with people in the parks
Crossroads (a St Patricks Community Support Centre program) in partnership with the Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Service in WA, successfully applied for a PIR Innovation and Collaboration Grant to undertake an art project. Many of the Indigenous clients in the parks around Perth and Fremantle come from regional and remote communities across WA. It was this sense of displacement, disconnection from family, community, the need to restore meaning, and a sense of identity to the lives of the people in the parks that become the catalyst for the Capturing People’s Stories; Engaging through Art with People in the Parks Project. Using the art as a tool to cultural connection to engage, facilitate, empower with opportunity, accessibility, collaboration, health promotion and harm reduction to complex barriers experienced by the people in the parks.
Project aims were to:
- Challenge community perceptions around Indigenous disadvantage;
- Explore ways to engage effectively with Aboriginal people with complex needs who have disengaged from services;
- Give a positive voice and restore a sense of meaning to a cohort of people who are disempowered and whose views are often not heard.
The project was a great engagement strategy whereby people who participated, reduced their alcohol intake and anti social behaviour (i.e. alcohol and drug use, homelessness, grief and loss, transgenerational trauma tri morbidity). The project allowed for the AADS workers to build rapport with people who may not have looked at addressing their AOD use or accessing inner city services due to stigma and shame, more so as they were from different regions in the state and often felt they were not accepted.