In February 2018, I will be working with Josiah Jordan and Lee Joachim to present the very first *Ignite* workshop in Shepparton at the Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative RAC.

This is very exciting for me as it brings together many threads in my life – media arts, education, sustainability behaviour change and love of Country. The workshop focuses on skills sharing and storytelling around the theme of energy – our energy in regards to our bodies and wellbeing as well as the practical aspects of energy use so we can better manage the cost and consumption of energy.

It is designed to be inter-generational so participants can work together to explore stories, learning and sharing their knowledge. Through sharing skills in a range of emerging technologies including augmented and virtual reality, the goal is to open up educational and behaviour change pathways for the group.

The workshop is the practical element of my Research Masters of Science at the Institute of Applied Ecology, where my focus is on behaviour change in the area of household energy efficiency. I am exploring the use of creativity to encourage positive changes and increased consumer wellbeing that is holistic and takes into account environment, connecting to nature and respect for Country.

The workshop facilitators bring a diverse range of knowledge and skills to the table. Lee Joachim is the CEO of RAC and has developed the Galnyan Yakurrumja Service to better manage how people access health services in a way that is culturally appropriate and more effective. The Galnyan Yakurrumja Service operates on the concept that human health and wellbeing is an ecosystem which has multiple factors.

β€œThe Rumbalara Galnyan Yakurrumja is our respectful way of working to deliver integrated holistic care, advocacy and education to our community. It is based on a traditional understanding of Eco Systems and coordinated by Woongi Dana Advanced Skills Aboriginal Health Practitioners:

  • Galnyan Yakurrumja – I Respect
  • Woongi Dana – Doing it Our Way
  • Ecosystem – Human ecosystems refers to the integration of multiple factors including economics, socio-political organization, psychological factors, and physical factors related to the individual and the environment which influence sense of self and wellbeing (Joachim 2017).”

This work with Lee also connects with our Way of the Turtle project which started in 2014.

Josiah Jordan and I have worked together since the beginning of 2017 on the DNA Music project which is gradually expanding as a story world in virtual reality. He will bring his knowledge of the technologies to the fore as well as experience working with disadvantaged youth in the USA. In his capacity as the one of the directors of Lobaki and with the VR Academy, he has led the education of VR and AR technologies. The Lobaki website says:

Here at Lobaki, social entrepreneurship is the core tenant of our organization. We have partnered with a non-profit to create a VR Academy in an area of the country, Clarksdale, Mississippi, that was unlikely to see one for a decade, if ever, and we have established our for-profit VR Production Studio in the same town to provide graduates of the VR Academy a local opportunity to put their learned skills and capabilities to work. We are providing underprivileged and underserved high school and community college students the opportunities to learn and work with the very latest technology on the planet. These students are getting direct exposure to the latest technology advancements, and provided with a pathway to pursue a career in tech related businesses. Lobaki is helping them find their place in the VR development world, which may be right here in their hometown of Clarksdale, but could be anywhere in the world where this technology is being developed and used. The VR Academy is teaching the tools and techniques used by VR Production Studios world-wide. With the help of local partnerships, these students will also learn what it means to be an entrepreneur themselves and could go on to create their own businesses here in Clarksdale.

And then there is me πŸ™‚ My role is to bring this beast together, to manage the process and to gather research and data on the effectiveness of the program as we plan to improve on the delivery over time. It is also my role to identify where improvements in household energy efficiency could be made at the practical level and to share ways to enable behaviour change to improve use and consumption of energy.

I am really excited about this work and the potential it offers. Watch this space!

Joachim, L., (2017), Galnyan Yakurrumja Service, SCANZ CBR 2017, University of Canberra.

Lobaki website

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