Now, more than ever, we need to re-humanise the world we live in! But how do we reinvigorate as sense of connection and community into the things that we do?
As an anthropologist, that is the very question I am here to answer.
As part of my ongoing commitment to bring academic knowledge into more accessible public spaces, I have recently started my own social enterprise (habitus.org) so that I can move more permanently into a consulting, program development and facilitation role.
I am passionate about community engagement and I really love writing about that process to help deepen my understanding of how to bring about change in positive and productive ways. I see enormous opportunity in training young people, parents, schools and communities to use creative programs and personal storytelling to understand and support each other. I believe these to be the essential ingredients to navigating the challenges we all face as human beings.
Apart from teaching Anthropology at the University of NSW, Macquarie University and the University of Western Sydney, I have been teaching subjects in the School of Education at the University of Wollongong. Those subjects include: Social Justice; Student Engagement; the Sociology of Education; Educational Research Methods; and Teaching for Change. Combined with extensive experience in ethnographic methods, I have been compelled to champion the value of design thinking and human-centred research in schools.
Using these insights, I engage in a whole school and community approach to provide Rites of Passage (ROP), Personal Development Programs and Socially Responsible Mentoring to encourage healthy parenting, build strong relationships in my community and help young people find their place in the world.
Capitalising on a long history in childcare, youth work, mentoring and education, I currently help students, teachers and parents to develop their social skills, confidence and adaptability through a range of fun activities including team building, problem solving, outdoor connections, drama, music, and martial arts. I locate these activities within an anthropological framework that explores human creativity, diversity and cooperation as a key feature of human evolution. Basically, it is in these essentially human capabilities that we find the secret that enabled us to remain resilient, adapt to change and grow as a species.
The goal for me is to get people doing things together. The sociability of this alone engenders creativity. That creative orientation further engenders sociability. It is within this diverse creative/social space (that is physical, intellectual, emotional, social, tonal, experimental, ecologically situated and above all experiential) that there lies the potential to imagine future possibilities that are collaborative, inclusive and multi-faceted. By doing things together, and doing them in ways that embrace our humanity, we can achieve something truly amazing!