The Snap that Stigma Community Forum series is well underway, with two events in Sydney and Orange already completed. The Snap that Stigma series of events aim to bring together like-minded members of the community to initiate the conversation about the stigma and barriers faced by children and young people living with disability who have a care experience.
In Sydney on Friday 2nd March, our inaugural event at Redfern Town Hall, we launched our Snap that Stigma video and our CREATE Young Consultants Tash, Ruben, Sammy, Wade, Tash, Sienna and Marusha shared their stories, talking about experiences with education, work, friends, family, housing, recreation and community. Their powerful words made such an impact on everyone who was there!
This was followed by some amazing conversations where guests brainstormed ideas to reduce the barriers faced by young people with an out-of-home care experience who also identify as having a disability. Together, the attendees discussion ways to work together to make workplaces and communities more welcoming and inclusive places.
Thanks also to DJ Wheels who provided the awesome music on the day!
We were blown away by the level of engagement shown at our Orange forum on Friday 4th May. The discussions were lively, and at times, emotional. Our local CREATE Young Consultant, Rachael, shone as a passionate advocate for children and young people in care and spoke bravely of her own struggles with PTSD and creating an independent life post care. Luke Fogarty from GROW and Ash Naden from Anglicare and Orange Aboriginal Medical Services spoke on our panel, alongside Rachael, and they brought their perspectives from the mental health and the Aboriginal care spaces.
Some of the themes that emerged from the event were the use of inclusive language, the ways that labels restrict growth and potential, expanding our ideas around family, organisational values and how we in the sector need to ensure we are evaluating our work to assess how well we are working to achieve desired outcomes. A major point discussed was how Aftercare needs dramatic improvement. As Rachael our CREATE Young Consultant expressed when speaking about caseworkers, “it’s your 9-5 but it’s my life.” Thank you again Rachael for speaking so openly about your experiences, and to all the caseworkers in the room, so many of you do such an incredible job and go above and beyond.
We want to give a huge shout out to the Deputy Mayor of Orange, Councillor Joanne McRae, who gave a really inspirational opening address. We appreciated her bravery in speaking about your experience being the only woman, LGBTQI+ identifying and the youngest Councillor and her passion for making Orange more inclusive and a happier and healthier community – it certainly was inspiring for our young people, and for us too!
Thank you of course to our Snap that Stigma stars Sammy, Sienna and Marusha who stole the show with their stories! We walked away with full hearts, wide smiles and a sense of hope for the sector in the Orange community.
We’re not even half way! Here are our upcoming events, don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear from our inspiring young people and help make positive change. All events are free!
- Shellharbour – Thursday 10th May – click here to register
- Tamworth – Friday 18th May – click here to register
- Wagga Wagga – Friday 1st June – click here to register
- Western Sydney – Thursday 14th June – click here to register
Find out more about CREATE’s Snap that Stigma campaign and watch our awesome video featuring awesome young people speaking up by following the link below.