Roots of Change is a storytelling platform dedicated to the Alumni community of The Funding Network Australia. Here we share their stories of ingenuity, courage, determination, spirit, growth and the impact these grassroots organisations have had, as a direct result of funds and support received from The Funding Network community.

Treehouse Theatre

Treehouse Theatre


Providing drama therapy and trauma recovery programs for young refugees attending high schools in Western Sydney.

Treehouse Theatre's programs begin with young refugees sharing stories in group counselling sessions and culminates in riveting 90-minute performances of some 30 true-life refugee vignettes at major Sydney theatres.

2015 Pitch
Funds raised: $38,260

The Funding Network facilitated $38,260 for Treehouse Theatre in June 2015. These funds were applied towards subsidising the continuing operations of the organisation, including several therapeutic drama projects - some of which are ongoing - and to establish important fundraising systems.

The impact...

“I want to shout, ‘Wake up, everybody! Wake up from this heart of darkness.’”

Simon is a confident young man with a great talent for poetry. He is also a young ex-refugee from Syria. Simon’s 1000-year-old village in Syria was bombed before he fled to Australia. His young cousin died.

In her pitch to The Funding Network last year, Catherine Maguire-Donvito described the work of Treehouse Theatre as "engaging young refugees in crisis; transforming them by performing their personal stories”. What is unique about Treehouse Theatre is this practice of ex-refugees telling the story of their own, often traumatic, lived experiences to an audience. Treehouse performances are more than pieces of art - they are drama therapy for their performers. Young refugees are at real risk of never recovering from trauma and Treehouse Theatre gives them a safe space to work through emotions and experiences.

37 young refugees took part in the programs supported by TFN funds and approximately 4300 people attended these Treehouse Theatre performances. TFN funds also allowed Treehouse to book two new and larger venues for performances - the Concourse at Chatswood and the Joan at Penrith - which will enable the organisation to reduce their dependence on donations and help young refugees reach many more people with their unique and self-empowering stories.


Read their Impact Report

Learn more about Treehouse Theatre.



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