International House has been successful for the third year in a row in gaining a grant of $10,000 through Davis Projects for Peace.
Davis Projects for Peace is an organisation founded by Kathryn Wasserman Davis, an American philanthropist who decided on her 100th birthday in 2007 to assist young people in their efforts to promote peace and new ideas around peace in the world.
In an endeavour to foster the peaceful prospects that the organisation is based upon, International House has partnered with the South Coast Writers' Centre, based in Wollongong, to carry out this year's project.
Titled 'Celebrating the Voice', the project is focused on developing a better understanding of Indigenous culture and contemporary issues, especially through Indigenous literature.
On 18 May International House hosted a panel event, and were joined by John Muk Muk Burke - author of Bridge of Triangles and 1993 Unaipon Award winner, Aunty Barbara Nicholson - senior Aboriginal woman of the Wadi Wadi nation and published poet, and Canadian Dogrib Dene and internationally renowned storyteller Richard Van Camp, to discuss the topic 'Why are we writing?'.
The guests shared their personal works with the residents and offered insight into their own experiences as a writer, and why writing was important to them.
The project, headed by student leaders of International House Swati Dharmaraj, Shane Smith and Taneile Kitchingman and South Coast Writers' Director Ali Smith, is ongoing, and later in the year a series of creative writing workshops will be held for Illawarra Aboriginal communities.
These workshops aim to develop pathways for members of the local Indigenous community to participate in future workshops and events held by the South Coast Writers' Centre, providing opportunities for community members to develop their writing and storytelling skills.
"In line with our community vision and mission of 'Global Wellbeing', it is hoped that the project will help in the growth and fortification of the relationship between International House residents and the Indigenous community in the Illawarra.
"Hosting this project at a venue which is home to students from more than 30 nations, we hope that the experience will benefit not only the students we have this year, but the family and friends they will pass their knowledge to upon returning home at the end of their stay at International House," Manager of International House, Alison Hemsley said.
Source: University Of Wollongong http://media.uow.edu.au/news/UOW080099.html