Be The Change

Domestic and family violence and abuse is still considered a private domain when it is a public issue. Weave’s Be The Change campaign was created to raise awareness of this issue and educate and empower our communities to be involved, to be vocal, to be true, to be supportive, to be non-judgemental and to be an advocate.

At Weave, we believe we all have a responsibility to create a society where domestic and family violence and abuse is never tolerated or accepted. We are committed to continuing to advocate for systemic change and being part of breaking the cycle of violence. 

Each year, during during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, we focus on different aspects of domestic and family violence and abuse with our Be The Change Campaign. These portraits are of 6 men who are connected to Weave and who embody the values of our ‘Be The Change’ campaign – Be Vocal, Be True, Be Supportive, Be Non-Judgemental, Be an Advocate. Read their stories below.

Our hope is that more men will feel empowered to be involved in conversations about this issue and to take action if someone in their life is experiencing domestic violence and abuse. 

We encourage you to reflect on which ‘Be The Change’ values resonate the most with you. How will you commit to being true, being supportive, being non-judgemental, being vocal, being involved and being an advocate? 

Join us, and Be The Change.

Matt | Be Supportive, Be Non-Judgemental, Be Involved. 

Matt Lonegran started a removalist company Moving Against Domestic Violence (Movers) in 2015 and has been supporting Weave clients experiencing domestic violence who have to move to a safer housing option. 

One phone call from a friend was all it took for Matt to open his eyes to the issues of domestic violence and the need for practical help. “A friend called me and asked if I still had my transport business. I said no but I could hook him up. He said not for him but for a friend of his who was in a domestic violence situation and needed to get out urgently. I dropped everything called a mate with a truck and got her out. It all started from there.

Men don’t speak about these topics until they’re invited. Given the chance to have a voice, men will. I feel comfortable talking to men in my life about these issues. What we try and do at Movers is allow men to get involved in making a change. We talk about a safe escape, a sustainable escape. So a safe escape is get the families out, and a sustainable escape is starting to look at helping them stay out. Our Board is all men attempting to drive change how we can, in a practical way.” – Matt

Portrait by Tristan Stefan Edouard.

#BeTheChange

Kobie Dee | Be True. Be an Advocate. 

Kobie, and his daughter Kallie, pictured at home. 

Kobie is a 23 year old Gomeroi man who has been connected to Weave since he was 10 years old. He is a talented music artist with an innate gift for story-telling and connecting with young people. As an artist, he is deeply connected to his community through performance and community work. 

“I’ve been involved with Weave for a long time and I’m now a Weave Advocate. I started out on the Kool Kids program and I have been connected ever since. Weave is a big part of my life and I feel grateful for all the support I have received over the years, and the access to opportunities that have changed my life.

I’m on a journey to becoming a better man and a better father. Some of my friends and I are part of a Cultural Healing Group, and together we’re constantly having conversations about what our responsibility is to our community and younger generations. 

We’ve all experienced trauma in our lives, for me, it’s important to be actively working towards breaking cycles of trauma, especially as I’m a young dad raising my daughter. 

Being true really resonates with me because once I started being true to myself I was able to start being true to others and stand up for what I believe in. Leading by example by actually “being the change” Is the best form of advocacy to stop violence and abuse.” – Kobie

Portrait by Tristan Stefan Edouard

#BeTheChange

Dimitri | Be Vocal.

Dimitri is an experienced carpenter and tradesman who provides support to Weave clients by providing home security upgrades that allow women and children to safely remain in their own homes. A home security upgrade could include installing a custom security door or securing windows and building a safe room. Dimitri’s skill set is broad and allows us to create tailored security upgrades best suited to each unique set of circumstances that our clients face. 

Dimitri has been working with Weave’s Domestic and Family Violence Program for 11 years and brings expertise and sensitivity to each and every situation.

“Be Vocal. It’s important to speak up. Men can be advocates by speaking out and supporting organisations like Weave, which is fantastic. You’re more of a man if you speak out than if you don’t say anything.” – Dimitri

Portrait by Tristan Stefan Edouard

#BeTheChange

Kuyan | Be Vocal.

Kuyan and his younger brother Luis, pictured at the Royal National Park. 

Kuyan is a Wiradjuri man, from Cowra NSW who works as a caseworker at Youth Justice in Sydney. 

“‘Be vocal’ resonates with me as it highlights the important role of men being vocal in our peer groups and wider communities and talking about domestic violence. It’s rare for it to come up as a topic of conversation, but an important part of raising awareness and creating change is feeling confident to speak to your mates about these issues. 

Talking to a perpetrator about behaviour you deem as wrong is always difficult, especially when it’s someone close to you, but we have to call it out. 

Throughout my life, it’s been important to understand what it means to be an Aboriginal man. A strong part of our culture is respect for mother earth and through that respect for women and mothers. The respect for mother earth is at the very core, and that respect passes on to the women we come in contact with in our lives, whether that’s our mum, our grandmothers or any women that we have any type of relationship with. Whether it’s someone we have a passing contact with or someone we have a close relationship with. 

In my life I’ve been privileged to have different men who have been mentors to me and invested in me and I’ve learnt alot from them. I think it’s important to recognise the role and responsibility we have in sharing with men around us, particularly young people. For me that’s through my work and through being a big brother. 

Our mum is a domestic violence caseworker and a strong advocate for women, and my little brother and I feel grateful that awareness of these issues and conversations about this has always been around us.” – Kuyan

Portrait by Tristan Stefan Edouard

#BeTheChange

Shannon | Be Involved. Be Vocal.

Shannon specialises in the installation of premium security cameras and security lighting for women and children who are experiencing domestic and family violence. Through Weave’s Domestic and Family Violence Program, we work with women to provide home security upgrades, that allow women and children to safely remain in their own homes. 

Shannon’s calm, compassionate and respectful nature creates a sense of ease for each client that we work with which is invaluable in these sensitive situations. 

“Domestic violence is a big issue in society and since having the opportunity to work with Weave, I’ve realised it’s an even bigger issue than what I thought. It’s rewarding to be able to make a difference, big or small. Being supportive and being involved is important. It’s not a general topic that comes up between men, unfortunately. Men can advocate for positive change in this area by speaking out more openly and educating themselves and each other about this issue.” – Shannon

Portrait by Tristan Stefan Edouard

#BeTheChange

Uncle Dean, Aboriginal Community Cultural Leader | Be Supportive. Be Vocal.

“I’ve supported Weave through cultural programs for a number of years now. I recently did a camp with 9 young men from Weave who asked to come and do this cultural stuff and now I’m a Board Member for Weave. I see Weave as a really good organisation who are doing good things in the community so I’ll keep on supporting them. 

We look a lot at self and what we need to do as an individual to become better people and one of our first lessons is about respecting women. If we can learn that stuff pretty early we can make a change and make a difference in what we do. 

Domestic violence is not a topic a lot of men talk about. It’s a closed door thing, a lot of it happens out of sight out of mind. 

I think one of the barriers for men and being able to make change, is for them to deal with their own emotions, to be able to talk and not feel as though they’re being weak because they show emotion. Even to shed a tear is a strength because it shows you that you’re showing those emotions. It’s about men speaking about this stuff, and looking at their experiences, what they’ve seen and what they’ve lived. Once you’ve lived something you tend to never forget it, and then that living research can help others.” – Uncle Dean 

Portrait by Tristan Stefan Edouard

#BeTheChange


Always Was, Always Will Be

Weave always has and always will stand on Aboriginal land alongside our Aboriginal communities.

Weave Youth & Community Services stands on the land of the Gadigal and Bidjigal people. Over our 44 year history, numerous Aboriginal community members, clients, staff and Board Members have guided our work as an organisation and taught us how to walk alongside them. We honour the resilience and strength of First Nations people and recognise their ongoing fight for self-determination.

As a non-Aboriginal controlled organisation we are committed to standing alongside our Aboriginal staff, clients and communities in their ongoing fight against systemic oppression and injustice. We recognise our role in supporting this fight, through supporting our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and communities in their individual and collective healing journeys.

‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ is a short film produced by Weave in partnership with local grassroots organisations Tribal Warrior and Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service. The film was produced alongside Weave’s Aboriginal staff, and features clients and community members who share stories of connection to land and place on Gadigal and Bidjigal land.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers please be advised this video may contain footage of people who have passed away.

Film by Benny Edwards

www.bennyedwards.com.au

Weave’s Aboriginal staff group

From left to right: Lauren Vosota, Daniel Daylight, Regan Mitchell, Beau Foster and Karlie Stewart

Photo by Tristan Stefan Edouard

“Our culture is the thing that’s going to save us and that culture is the traditional culture and it’s also contemporary Aboriginal Redfern culture of self determination, of community control, of activism. It kind of goes along with Always Was Always Will Be, this will always be Aboriginal land because we’re not going away without a fight, despite the many years and the many Government policies that were put in place to strip us of our culture they haven’t been successful. We always have been and always will be Aboriginal people.”

– Daniel Daylight

Weave's Aboriginal Healing Framework

Weave is committed to working in culturally safe and responsive ways and as part of that commitment we have supported our Aboriginal staff group to develop and document our Aboriginal Healing Framework. This framework guides the ongoing development and implementation of healing-centred practice for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and their communities, with the intention of creating genuine and sustainable healing outcomes.

Weave acknowledges and stands with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their ongoing fight against systemic oppression and injustice. We recognise that the social, economic, political, emotional, psychological and physical health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is dependent upon the dismantling of the systems that continue to impact their communities. We recognise our role in supporting this fight, through supporting our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and communities in their individual and collective healing journeys by providing holistic, trauma-informed and strengths-based practice grounded in and guided by our Aboriginal Healing Framework.

In their ongoing fight, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have demonstrated their inherent resilience and strength, standing strong in the face of great adversity and exercising self-determination to fight for and demand justice. Weave acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ strengths and solutions already lie within their communities, and we will continue walking alongside our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients to support them on their individual and collective healing journeys.

Weave’s Aboriginal Healing Framework Summary Document

To find out more, please contact Daniel Daylight, Program Manager of Weave’s Creating Futures Justice Program on daniel@weave.org.au.

Our Aboriginal Healing Framework was developed by Weave caseworker, Karlie Stewart, guided by our Aboriginal staff – Daniel Daylight, Regan Mitchell, Lauren Vosota, Lauren Ella-Duncan and Beau Foster and Weave Board Member Jonathon Captain-Webb.

Karlie Stewart is a Wandi Wandian Woman from Yuin Country on the South Coast of New South Wales. She lived in Nowra throughout her childhood and spent time around the Nowra, Wreck Bay and Jerrinja Aboriginal communities with her family. Since the age of 10, Karlie has lived on Bidjigal land and has strong connections to the La Perouse Aboriginal community. In early 2019, Karlie graduated with an Honours in Social Work from the University of New South Wales and has since worked as a Child, Youth and Family caseworker at Weave Youth and Community Services. She has been part of the Healing Foundation’s Interim Youth Advisory Group and is passionate about healing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities, particularly from intergenerational trauma as a result of historic and current government interventions.

Karlie has been painting since she was young as a way to connect to her saltwater home on the South Coast. She created the artwork that features in Weave’s Aboriginal Healing Framework.



What You Don't See

“Young people are not the leaders of the future but are the leaders of now.” - Jahin

Visit the What You Don't See website

What You Don’t See is a partnership between young people, City of Sydney, Weave Youth and Community Services, Koori Radio, National Art School (NAS) and the Community Media and Training Organisation (CMTO) that was originally created for the City of Sydney’s Youth Fest 2020 to be showcased as a multimedia exhibition at 107 Projects in Redfern. Due to COVID-19 limitations, What You Don’t See has been completed as an online exhibition and digital campaign.

"We are paving the way for the future generation." - April

The project features portraits and audio interviews that capture the stories of 17 young people from NSW, with a focus on the rights of young people. Koori Radio, The National Art School and CTMO ran workshops with the Weave Youth Advocates and other young people from the local community to teach them how to facilitate interviews, tell stories from a strengths-based lens, use audio and editing equipment and develop skills in creative direction, photography, curation and editing.

The project focuses on storytelling and portrait taking and provides a space for young people to discover confidence in themselves, their abilities and their voice. Throughout the project, the young people involved in the project have felt seen, heard and valued through shared vulnerability, respect, support and a whole lot of creativity.

The intimate stories shared within this project shone light on issues such as displacement, gendered violence, mental health, racism and discrimination. They provide an insight into these young people’s achievements in the face of adversity and their hopes and dreams for a future where their rights are respected.

Please honour the courage of these young people and take your time to listen to the insightful, vulnerable and powerful stories at www.whatyoudontsee.org, where you will find a collection of portraits and audio interviews.


Healthy, Strong & Well

An initiative of our #WeaveSurvivalTips campaign, encouraging young people to share what they do to feel #HealthyStrongWell.

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What Maddie does to feel #HealthyStrongWell

Mental health is a difficult subject, purely because everyone goes through something in their lives that can dramatically change their state of mind, and that is different for everyone.

The struggles that I’ve been through have taught me that having strong mental wellbeing is about dealing with your issues head-on, having the ability to turn negatives into positives and being aware of yourself and others.

When I was younger I used sport as a way to release my anger and stress, I played basketball all day and I really felt better. I am a little older now and I deal with tough times differently. I found communication either with friends or family really helped lift some weight off my shoulders, and taking time out of my day to reflect on how grateful I am to be here. Exercise is still really important, it puts me in a great mindset.

– Maddie, 17 years old

What Connor does to feel #HealthyStrongWell

To me, positive wellbeing looks like someone who is happy in all aspects of their life and surrounds themselves with positive people.

When I’m going through tough times I communicate with people that are supportive, play basketball and stay strong and connected to my culture.

– Connor, 17 years old

What Ash does to feel #HealthyStrongWell

I stay healthy well and strong by living an active lifestyle.

Sometimes it’s hard to have time to yourself when being a mum but whether it’s going to the gym, going for a run, working out at home, or by being involved in the community.

I model to my son that to be there for others you need be there for yourself and by doing so I am able to be a better me and a better Mum.

– Ash

What Dushan does to feel #HealthyStrongWell

I like to stay mentally and physically healthy by eating well and eating regularly, lots of my friends don’t eat all day and then eat junk food I also play sports with my friends including basketball and soccer and I like going to the gym. Having a routine helps me deal with stress.

Having reliable and trustworthy friends that won’t turn their back on you and that will help you out when you are in trouble is important.

Everyone experiences being down and for me, it helps if I distract myself and try to think about other things.

– Dushan, 18 years old

A project of the Inner City Youth Mental Health Coalition


Cool To Be Kind

#CoolToBeKind was developed to promote kindness and positivity, and teach kids how to be kind to themselves, kind to others and kind to the environment.

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Our Kool Kids know it’s #CoolToBeKind

A Campaign Focused on Kindness

The campaign evolved from our Social Issues Strategy, seeking to understand better ways of supporting kids and young people to tackle bullying. Through a structured process that put the community at the heart of the thinking, the idea of a kindness campaign emerged.

We noticed that there were lots of campaigns and projects out there that focused on what to do if you’re being bullied, what to do if you see someone being bullied, and how not to be a bully. But there was nothing to teach and encourage kids the alternate way of being.

Our Kool Kids know it’s #CoolToBeKind

It's Cool To Be Kind

Cool to be Kind features a series of activities that highlight what it means to be:

  • Kind to self
  • Kind to others
  • Kind to the environment

This has become an overarching framework that informs our program delivery and organisational culture.

We have developed activities to stimulate ideas and encourage people to engage in kindness in their daily lives.


#WeaveSurvivalTips

#WeaveSurvivalTips is a campaign that celebrates our unique ways of coping and surviving, focusing on the small things that make a big difference in surviving tough times.

 

Launched in 2014, #WeaveSurvivalTips aims to shift the focus on mental wellbeing so we can start talking and celebrating people's strengths and resilience.

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#WeaveSurvivalTips celebrates our strengths, our resilience and our unique ways of getting through tough times.

What do you do to get through tough times?

We All Go Through Tough Times

#WeaveSurvivalTips acknowledges it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what your background is, we all go through tough and challenging times.

Our goal is to create a space where people feel safe and encouraged to share their Survival tips and engage in activities and conversations that enhance mental wellbeing. Together, we are creating a resource of Survival Tips that is accessible and constantly expanding, and where people can identify and connect with other people’s experiences and tools for getting through tough times.

Download your #WeaveSurvivalTips card and join us to share your tips on social media.

#WeaveSurvivalTips video workshops with filmmaker Benny Edwards saw a group of local young people capture footage, record interviews and edit short pieces about the campaign and what they do to get through hard times.

What Do You Do To Get Through Tough Times?

We believe that asking “what do you do to get through tough times?” is a positive way of shifting the focus from problem centred thinking to a strengths-based, resilience-focused frame, and we have experienced the power of this shift when people are so willing to share and contribute when they are asked to reflect on their strengths and what works for them.

Download your #WeaveSurvivalTips card and join us to share your tips on social media.