Narratives of Hope provides an opportunity for communities to creatively express the challenges they have faced, the hopes they hold for their future, and the insights they have gained.

Narratives of Hope

ACU recognises that a major attribute of many who face multiple challenges is their resilience. Whether it is overcoming past or continuing injustices, adapting and resettling into a new and vastly different country and culture, or persevering despite physical barriers, they bring valuable attributes that can only enhance us as a nation. Despite this, their voices are often left out of the discussions and decision-making processes that impact further on their lives. In response, we acknowledge the importance of building public understanding and cultural awareness of the hopes participants hold for their futures in Australia.

Narratives of Hope is underpinned by ACU’s commitment to projects that focus both on enhancing the dignity and wellbeing of the vulnerable in the community, as well as broadening our staff and students’ world views, and building their capacity for meaningful engagement. Narratives of Hope provides a unique opportunity for participants to be mentored by ACU staff and students to tell their stories either through speaking publicly, art, photography, music, or digital mediums. Each year these stories are presented at a community celebration at ACU.

It is also recognised that learning is reciprocal and that community participants are also learning partners. Through the process of listening, relationship building and story-telling, ACU staff and students are also given an opportunity to broaden and enhance their own knowledge and understanding of peoples whose voices are often silent.

The program aims to:

  • mentor youth and adults who belong to communities that face multiple challenges due to such factors as age, ability, culture, religion, ethnicity to share their stories of hope and resilience;
  • build on educational aspirations of youth from low SES communities;
  • create a resource that will build cultural awareness, support inclusion and challenge public perceptions;
  • document and publish important community, family and personal messages;
  • provide a community engagement experience that is inclusive of both ACU staff and students, and connects them on a personal level to individuals in the community;
  • draw on cross faculty wisdom and talents, and collaboration;
  • raise public awareness, both at ACU and in the community, about the challenges that the vulnerable in our community experience, the resilience they show, and the hopes they have for their future.

The program is designed to foster both skill development and hope-filled learning through various workshops and through the positive relationships forged between all participants. ACU mentors/learning partners are critical to its success as they provide one-on-one support and a friendly ear so that community participants can:

  • increase their sense of belonging and being valued through workshops and sharing;
  • creatively and confidently communicate their thoughts to an audience with the support of their mentors;
  • further develop their literacy, communication, technology and reflection skills by attending workshops with mentors;
  • become effective and confident advocates for themselves, and/or their communities;
  • build on aspirations for their future.

This program is delivered in partnership by Campus MinistryClemente Australia, Multicultural Australia and the ACU Faculty of Health Sciences.


Past Narratives

Watch video stories from previous years of Narratives of Hope.




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