Came to be my own personal breakthroughs.

O​‌‍‍‍‌‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‍‌‌‌‌‌‌​verview: Bringing It All Together – Practice Story Analysis
Aim: Students will bring a critical eye to their own learning and thinking about community practice. The analysis of the practice story will be an opportunity for students to critically unpack their learning as it relates to the central place community practice has in addressing contemporary issues for human service work. The aim of this assessment is for students to explore through the practice story community practice the use of theory, the practice approach that is taken, and relevent frameworks use to shape practice.
Task: For this task, students will need to write a 1500-word analytical report. A template will be provided to assist in the structuring and formatting of this written work. Students will select a practice story (from a list provided) to unpack their learning and thinking. This task requires students to critically discuss how the community-building practice approach has been used in relation to their chosen practice story? Students are required to use relevant literature, frameworks, and course material to support this work. Students will need to be clear and concise in their approach to this assessment.
Word limit: 1500
Weight: 40%/40 Marks.
Critical analysis of the context of the practice (the people, the place, and use of power). The student has demonstrated their critical understanding of how structural inequalities in the socio-political-cultural structures have shaped the community building and developmental practice approach in the practice story. (10%)
Clear articulation of how the developmental practice method has been used in the practice story. The student has drawn on relevant literature and course material to articulate their understanding of community practice explored within the practice story. (10%)
Use of the practice frameworks: (refer to Framework document located in L@G) to critically analyse the community practice approach. Student can articulate to the listener their thinking and learning about community development practice from the practice story. (10%)
Presentation and Structure.: Scholarship, written expressions, logic, range, quality of resources, and referencing. Adheres to academic conventions for writing and referencing as prescribed by the Health Group. Reference is made here to the Griffith Health Writing & Reference Guide. (10%)
Selected reading –
Seccombe, A (2015) ‘Dubais on Country Camp’ Case Study, pp 1-5. Unpublished case study. Dubais on Country Camp_1_ _2_.pdf Dubais on Country Camp_1_ _2_.pdf – Alternative Formats
Dubais on Country Camp
Widjabul jogun
Ngali ngah ngih gala jogun
Ngali ganj garima gala jogun
Wana jangma mala gunu gala jogun
Ngali ganj wana jangah gala jogun
Ngali ngah ngih gala jogun
Bunjulung jugun
Ngali garima mala jugun
Wana janma mala gunu gala jugun
Ngali wana janja mala jugun
Ngali na mala jugun
We belong this country
We look after this country
Don’t do wrong around here this country
We don’t harm this country here
We belong to it this country
Bundjalung Elders
‘Bundjalung Country’ was first written by Elders from Baryulgil, part of the
Bundjalung nation. It was translated into Wi-abul language by Widjabul Elders.
Amber Seccombe
Aboriginal Community Worker
Nimbin is a complex, diverse and (literally) colourful community. The township
sits nestled on the Eastern edge of a lush, ancient caldera in the country of the
Wi-abul/Widjabul people of the Bundjalung nation. The Wi-abul/Widjabul
people and their families are the original custodians of the area and, in
communion with their Ancestors and spiritual beings, continue to maintain and
cultivate cultural responsibilities connected to Country. As an Indigenous
community/support worker, Nimbin is an interesting and eclectic environment
to work in and I can see the intersection between many cultures in Nimbin. I
work within an environment where community development principles and
methods underpin the majority of projects undertaken within the town, whether
it is creating a fund-raiser for a family in need or creating a communal hub with a
community garden at its heart. There is a constant movement of action based on
the private concerns of individuals to public, community-based action. In many
cases the shortcomings or gaps in local services and organisations are revealed
with the community formulating and putting into action their own solutions. In
other words, the Nimbin community is brimming with people who are
passionate, outspoken and willing to volunteer their energy to get change
happening, from the local, right through to the global level.
Despite this I still find that the local Indigenous community to be the least
advocated for group in the community. In general, I have found that the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community are more likely to be overpoliced, living rough (homeless), over represented in the legal system, suffering
from ill-health and poverty, have less support around mental health issues,
struggle to have support around education for their family and, from my
experience, more likely to suffer from anxiety related health issues. The reasons
for this are too complex to discuss in this case study but it gives you an idea of
the underlying issues that need to be taken into consideration as a community
worker in Nimbin.
I have spent over four years developing close and lasting ties with the local mob
and I find that the most culturally healthy way of working within the community
is very closely aligned with community development values and principles, in
fact, this is the only way I would consider working with the community. Creating
intimate and lasting relationships is paramount. It is essential as a worker I hold
my agenda lightly, as many Indigenous people experience marginalisation and
paternal behaviour not only from the services and organisations they access but
also from various people within the community. All actions I take are supported
by connectivity, egalitarian decision making processes, respect for
cultural/spiritual systems and beliefs, social justice and equity, self
determination, and, most importantly, deep listening.
To date, I find that the most common undercurrent in my conversation with mob
whether they be young, an Elder, male or ‘dubai’ (woman) is the constant longing
to further revitalise culture and spend time healing on Country, particularly on
sites and places of cultural significance. The unspoken or underlying concern is
that children need to have an opportunity to continue ‘remembering’ and
recreating cultural ties to country, language and community and that the process
of this also supports the healing and reconnection to both inner and outer ‘spirit’
for everyone. This is a constant rhythm that intersperses other conversations
and as a worker it is impossible to ignore. It was this, and the existence of
appropriate funding that birthed the Dubais (women) on Country Camp project.
As a worker I am always on the hunt for funding and resources that could match
the needs of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. After
several chats with a prominent artist within the Bundjalung community and the
secretary of the community centre I found out that there was a nice chunk of
funding available to the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
This funding was secured and managed by the secretary of the Nimbin
Community Centre, a passionate advocate for the local Indigenous community.
She agreed to work alongside us predominantly on budg​‌‍‍‍‌‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‍‌‌‌‌‌‌​eting and financial
support. The dominant prerequisite was that it was for kids from the local
Aboriginal community to return to and connect with country. Hmm, the funding
was for youth and I worked with the Elders? After some discussion with the
community and my lovely Coordinator, Rose, we decided that it would be
culturally inappropriate to consider having a camp without the Elders, the
storytellers and conveyers of culture. The answer was clear, the Elders would be
the ones to guide and lead this project and ensure that the return to Country was
guided by the appropriate cultural protocols.
The community was completely aware this funding was available but as most
have extended families and busy lives there was a suspension of activity and also
a lack of basic information around requirements, the amount of funding available
and other details. I educated myself around the funding details and structure so
that I was passing on the correct information and began to gently plant seeds in
my conversations with the woman that I had already built strong, healthy
relationships with. I knew already they were passionate about culture, always
telling personal or dreaming stories and expressing frustration around how tired
they were around trying to get things happening. Over months the seeds grew
into tiny seedlings, women started to talk to each other, gossiping about how
they would like to camp on Country with their kids and coming to me to specify
their needs and desires.
The women made it very clear that they considered the camp ‘women’s business’
and that the men needed to decide on their own campsite, as there was enough
funding to cover a men’s camp as well. My co-worker, Darren, talked to the
appropriate men within the Aboriginal community they agreed that this was the
best structure to establish the two camps, one for men, one for women. Once this
was established the women started to get excited and handed me flyers of a
campsite in Maclean that they felt was most appropriate and got excited about
planning a menu. One of the women was chosen to drive the bus and an Elder
softly started telling me childhood stories and experiences from her country. I
didn’t need to do too much, I became a practical resource to make calls, book the
bus and the camp ground but I took directives only from them, listening to subtle
cues to make sure they ‘owned’ the project and made my footsteps so light the
next breeze would surely sweep them away!
Usually I would accompany woman on their outings partially because I like
spending time with them and learning more about culture but also, I realised,
because I was used to subtly ‘overseeing’ projects. I realised that this camp was
none of my business, it was a private cultural/family matter and they truly
wanted to lead the project. I continued to pay attention to the underlying ‘cues’
in my conversations with the women and I discovered that many were
experienced in working with community, developing and coordinating
community programs and services and not only that, managed large families on a
limited budget, which gave them multiple skills in my eyes. I decided to hand
over the purse strings completely despite the potential risk. Deep in my heart I
knew that this step was a risk but if it went according to plan it could potentially
give them the confidence and pride to continue to initiate and manage their own
projects and deepen their trust in our commitment to supporting them to claim
self determined actions and outcomes. I had no investment in having my name
attached to this project and Rose, bless her, let me run things the way I felt to. We
waved them goodbye from the curb, wishing them luck and blessings as they
headed to off to their mothers and grandmothers spiritual country.
There were certainly challenges to the project but, in my experience, most of
these were simply logistical and external issues such as coordinating someone to
pick up the bus and remembering who to pick up! I found the biggest challenges
came to be my own personal breakthroughs. Letting go of even subtle control
throughout the process was a huge one for me, and the rewards for doing so was
amazing. I feel the women, in their quiet manner, accepted me deeply for trusting
them to take care of themselves. I learnt the power of being pretty much
completely detached from needing to be recognised as important or holding any
expectations, for them or myself. It was liberating and slightly scary to let go that
much but often I find in community development work, taking educated risks is
where the treasure truly lays. So I have run other projects that have been less
well received but they were all part of my experience and another thread in the
tapestry of my community development experience.
I consider the project as being successful due to the passion, joy and involvement
the ladies expressed. Nimbin can be a slow moving kind of place and with a
plethora of social issues, getting seeds (ideas) to saplings (action) in community
development work here is difficult. There were the usual family conflicts and
difficulties but that’s their business, I just got the funny stories about who fell in
the water whilst fishing and (fingers crossed) they are ready for their next
adventure anytime soon.
Amber Seccombe
Practice Story Analysis – TemplatePractice Story Analysis – Template
Please download the case study report template to use for this assessment. The template is formatted correctly according to APA 7 style and does not require any changes.
Instructions for use:
1. Complete the cover sheet
2. Address each section under the headings provided
3. Include your reference list at the end according to APA 7 style
4. Word limit is strictly between 1300 – 1500 words (this includes in-text referencing, and headings, but not the reference list)
2010HSV Practice Story Analysis
Student number:
Submission date:
Word count:
Chosen case study:
Chosen framework:
Consider the context of the case study. Who are the people? Where and why is place important? Critically think about who has the power. What are the structural barriers (think about disadvantage and inequality) in the case study that shape the practitioner’s community practice approach?
What elements of the community development theoretical method (micro mezzo, macro) did the practitioner draw on to shape their practice. Use course material and course literature to support your thinking and discussion. _____________________________________________________________________________________
What was achieved? What changed for people? What were the outcomes? Consider how the practitioner used the practice framework to shape how they worked alongside people. _____________________________________________________________________________________
What are your key learnings and why are they important to you? Articulate what you have learnt and why it is important. _____________________________________________________________________________________
Reference list
Reading –
(I will try and attach the reading and the templ​‌‍‍‍‌‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‍‌‌‌‌‌‌​ate if you need, just let me know – thank you!)