WHAT WE DO
In this era of physical disconnect, people more than ever are in need of virtual connection.
TechConnects aims to support marginalised community members in need of tech devices to access online programs, support services and to connect with family and friends during social isolation.
These community members are not just experiencing the difficulties of physical isolation, but they’re unable to access the virtual connection that has given so many of us a sense of community during this time.
TechConnects is calling for donations from people with new or used tablets and pairing them with people who don’t have access to the technology to enable them to be part of online programs supported by not-for-profit organisations.
WHY WE DO IT
In the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people have turned to technology to stay connected with friends and families, access current news and information, work from home, continue their education, order necessities online or find comfort in art, music and films.
The ability of technology to virtually connect us in this time of physical isolation has become the tie that currently binds us. In this era of social distancing, video conferencing, Facetime, Skype and Zoom have been a lifeline for many over these past months.
So, what of those of us who do not have access to this technology, who do not have a smartphone, tablet or laptop? Who do not have the means to acquire these and are not eligible for government initiatives?
They are not just experiencing the difficulties of physical isolation, but they are unable to access the virtual connection that has given so many of us a sense of community and connection during this time. Add to this the impact of both physical and virtual isolation on people in our communities who are in particular need of connection and support networks, those who are most vulnerable.
HOW IT WORKS
My passion for both the creative industries and human rights has intersected throughout my career across film production, programming, festival curation and film distribution. As a documentary maker, I’m interested in the power of storytelling to create social change. My documentary ‘Murundak: Songs of Freedom’ – about Aboriginal protest music – received the United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Award. I have worked with a number of screen organisations including the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the Australian Film Institute, REAL: Life on Film and the Australian International Documentary Conference and continue to focus my lens on socio-political and cultural storytelling in the screen sector.
I am a Melbourne-based independent multi-disciplinary artist, youth worker and advocate for young people. I’m committed to social equity and justice throughout all facets of life, work and art-making, with strong-held beliefs in the power of collaboration, community and grassroots thinking and action, making and access. I am an Associate of Pacific Island Creative Arts Association (PICAA) Inc.; member of Pasefika Vittoria Choir; and Pacific Climate Warriors (Melbourne Seals). Currently, I am a freelance artist/creative and Youth Development Officer with Yarra Youth Services, Yarra Council.
Partner Liaison / Consultant
My passion for supporting young people of diverse backgrounds in their resettlement journeys, has been the guiding force in my professional life. Beginning my career as an English as an Additional Language teacher in a highly multicultural inner suburban high school, I then moved on to Foundation House (the Victorian Foundation for the Survivors of Torture), fulfilling various roles in student peer support, community engagement, and educational development. I have worked as a facilitator in the Foundation House Ucan2 program for over eight years. This role, bolstered by my Masters of Social Work studies, enables me to focus directly on supporting young people of refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds to enhance their sense of wellbeing, promote recovery from trauma, and build meaningful connections with self and others.
My work is all about the human experience and our relationship with the environment. I tend to lean on darker themes; they tend to be the ones that I find more thought-provoking. This is probably more obvious in my personal work where I am afforded more freedom to explore these ideas. What interests me most about illustration is its storytelling capability. I love exploring the literal and abstract stories being illuminated by different works. Illustration is a powerful language and communication tool.
TechConnects would like to thank all of our supporters who have helped to launch this initiative: Uncle Collin Hunter – Acknowledgement of Country, Carina Loren – MarComms Consultant, Mitch Hatten – Web Designer, Simone Porter – Business Consultant, Emily O’Brian – Tagg and Tester, Anna Jeffries – Tech Advisor.