About our projects
One of the ways in which the field of narrative practice continues to diversify is through projects developed through collaborations, invitations and challenges. Many of these projects involve ‘cross-cultural inventions’ and partnerships.
In these extraordinary times, narrative practitioners in different parts of the world are responding in diverse ways. On this page you will find narrative responses to the pandemic that have originated in Australia, Turkey, China, Brazil and Rwanda. We welcome your participation in these.
Messages of welcome to newcomers to Adelaide from a group of young Syrians and friends who came to Australia as refugees. Here they share their tips for making a new life in Adelaide as well as conveying what they would most like to show newcomers about this land and country. Curtis Falla & Tileah Drahm-Butler also provide a First Nations welcome.
Over the last decade, Muslim narrative practitioners from Palestine, Australia, Singapore, Turkey and elsewhere have made, and are continuing to make, diverse contributions to the field of narrative therapy and community work. A number of these contributions are described here.
When we witness discrimination or harassment how can we respond? In this project a group of young women respond to the story ‘We try not to take people’s hate into our hearts’ from the Muslim Women’s Association. We would welcome your stories of bystander action.
Gender relations are in the news! #MeToo and other campaigns for gender justice are bringing to light the pervasive continuing sexual harassment and male domination in so many domains of professional and personal life. This project hopes to engage with the current trends of exciting thinking and action in relation to gender-diversity and intersectionality and what challenges and opportunities these pose for the field of narrative practice.
The videos, songs and stories included here bring together important tips from young people about ways of tackling problems, overcoming bullying, surviving the ocean of depression, and much more! You will find here survival strategies for when life is full of dramas, special skills in not taking people’s hate into your heart, and stories about what young people have learnt from journeys they have undertaken. We invite you to share these videos and stories and send messages back to the young people who created them!
The Uluru Statement of the Heart ends with the words: ‘We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.’ We invite you to send a message about why it’s important to you that as a nation we take up the invitation from the First Nations peoples of this land that has been generously and profoundly offered.
We would like to invite narrative practitioners into a project of sharing stories of how we are trying to avoid misgendering others. Misgendering — referring to someone by the pronouns or honorifics of a gender that is not theirs — is a daily event for most trans people. How are we — as practitioners, as organisations, as friends, partners, siblings — trying to avoid misgendering others? No doubt this will be really different depending on our contexts.
These are troubling times in relation to displaced peoples and asylum seekers. One in every 113 people in the world currently cannot go home. That’s over 65 million displaced people. More people have been driven from their homes due to wars and persecution now than at any time since United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ records began. We are trying to find local ways to respond to this crisis and we are seeking collaborators.
The Tree of Life narrative approach was co-developed by Ncazelo Ncube (REPSSI) and David Denborough (Dulwich Centre Foundation) to assist colleagues who work with children affected by HIV/AIDS in southern Africa. This approach has proved so successful and popular that it is now being used with children, young people, and adults in a wide range of countries across Africa, and also in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Nepal, the USA, and elsewhere.
In recent months, the attention of Australians has been drawn to the abuses and injustices occurring within three different types of detention centres. Dulwich Centre has a long history of questioning the inevitability of prisons and detention and abuses within prisons. We are appalled at continuing detention abuses and how, as Australians, we are implicated in them. We welcome contact with anyone, whether in Australia or elsewhere, who is questioning the inevitability of detention and prisons and is seeking to create meaningful alternatives.
The significant challenges and injustices facing Australian Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities have received much attention. However, the wide range of ways Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people are responding to these problems have received far less – community actions to reduce harm from alcohol and violence, practices of remembrance and honouring, local child protection initiatives, rich healing traditions, among many others. Dulwich Centre Foundation facilitates the telling, documentation and sharing of ‘healing stories’ between Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities. This work is led by Aunty Barbara Wingard.
The Team of Life uses sporting metaphors to enable young people to deal with traumatic experience without having to speak directly about it. It was originally developed to assist colleagues respond to former child soldiers and is now being engaged in diverse contexts.
How can young people from diverse backgrounds share their tips for surviving tough times? And how can narrative practices be used in ways to diminish racism and anti-Muslim sentiment?
The counsellors and assistant lawyers of Ibuka (‘Remember’), who are themselves survivors of the 1994 genocide, have engaged with narrative practices. Their work offers profound challenges and invitations …
Dulwich Centre Foundation is excited to be present the work of Mt Elgon Self-Help Community Project, based in rural Uganda, which uses narrative practices to spark and sustain local social action and environmental and economic projects.
Dulwich Centre Foundation is currently developing ways of responding to the children of parents with mental health difficulties, and has collected stories in order to develop a resource to support workers in this area.
The Preventing Prisoner Rape Project is a national project here in Australia aiming to: raise awareness about the issue of rape in prisons; reach out and support prison rape survivors; support those workers both inside and outside prisons who are trying to deal with this issue of sexual violence in detention.
Relationships between young people and their parents/grandparents often become strained after experiences of migration. We’re developing ways of working that provide opportunities for ‘inter-generational honouring’. This project saw the invention of the ‘Kite of Life’ which is now also being used to respond to vulnerable children in Sri Lanka
The Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture (TRC) provides psychosocial services to survivors of torture and organised violence in the West Bank in Palestine. Over the last ten years, the TRC and Dulwich Centre have collaborated to develop forms of narrative practice resonant and relevant in this context.
This project, initiated by Salome Raheim, invites practitioners to consider diverse realms of privilege and dominance. We invite you to get involved … use the exercises provided here in your workplace or with friends … and/or develop your own.
Healing and justice can often not be separated. And yet attempts for ‘justice’ sometimes lead to the opposite of ‘healing’ and similarly, some approaches to ‘healing’ undermine ‘justice’. How can we seek ‘narrative justice’? And how can narrative practices assist those working to address human rights abuses?
This program, ‘Solid families: Strong in heart and spirit’, is to our knowledge the first parenting support program based on Aboriginal values. It was initiated by Aboriginal mothers in Roebourne, Western Australia, and developed through a cross-cultural partnership. We hope this narrative program based on a Tree of Life metaphor enables people from Aboriginal and other cultural backgrounds to build on what they know and value about families and children.
A unique project recently took place at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. It utilised sporting metaphors and the Team of Life narrative approach to assist young people and their families. When adulthood approaches for young people who have attended hospital over many years throughout their childhood due to serious and chronic health conditions, the transition can be complex. The ‘It takes a team’ project involved a partnership between the Transition Support Service and Dulwich Centre Foundation.
Join the campaign to update the lyrics of our national anthem. Would you like this revised anthem to become our Australian official anthem? If so, we welcome your involvement in having this version sung and performed in your local community. No matter how small your action we’d then like to hear about it. In the comments section please tell us the story of how you talked about this with friends, in your workplace, had it sung in your child’s school, at your sporting event and so on. Thanks!