Developing a community where all young people are empowered, have a chance to share their opinions and have their human rights maintained.
YACWA's "Home Is Where My Heart Is" project empowers homeless young people to tell their story though photographs and to raise community awareness of their experiences.
Funds raised: $20,000
YACWA presented their work to the TFN audience in March 2015 and received $20,000 funding along with pro-bono support.
How do you make invisible homelessness visible? The Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia (YACWA) is dedicated to this task. YACWA’s ‘Home Is Where My Heart Is’ program uses photography to allow homeless young people to tell their stories through professional mentoring, art production and the exhibition of their own photography. The medium of photography enables them to do this without having to verbalise often-traumatic personal histories.
The funds facilitated were used to mentor and exhibit the work of eight homeless young people, and to employ a staff member to work on project development into 2016. Each young person in the program was partnered with a photographer for a two-month period and produced professional quality images that were exhibited to public audiences.
YACWA was also able to access greater opportunities for advocacy after presenting to TFN, including a morning tea with the Commissioner of Children and Young People (CCYP) at which young people in the program could speak directly to decision-makers, and exhibition preview sessions with state and federal politicians. The organisation also established new stakeholder relationships including with the Perth Centre for Photography, and the State Library of Western Australia.
In 2016, YACWA aim to increase the reach and diversity of their participants, including developing further into regional Western Australia. Staff will travel to Broome in May 2016 to grow relationships with services in the Kimberley. YACWA is on track to increase the number of participants in their 2016 exhibition to ten young people. Of course, the more photographs there are, the more stories are told, and the more homeless young people can be understood and included in the wider community. As Craig Comrie said in his pitch to the TFN audience, “We will only make progress in this area if we know and understand the stories of these young people.” Their photos are their stories.
Enjoy this recap of 'Home Is Where My Heart Is' 2015. (All of the images appearing in this video have been produced by young participants in the project: the soundtrack is by Zal Kanga-Parabia)...
Read their Impact Report