by Jessica Avelina Horo
I didn’t even have any solid idea of the proposition during the last class’ meeting that in results making me anxious for days. I have these problem statements all over my head but I couldn’t specify them and focus on one thing. I tried to solve the big problem first and couldn’t give any design solution to it. So what I did was that I tried to talk over this issue to one of my colleague that is in pursue of her Ph.D in food science in UNSW. With her high level of education, I figured that it is easier to talk over this issue and discussed about it. It is a complicated issue with many causes and backgrounds so that not many people will get to understand this issue in a short time. While I explained the issue to her, I began to read all my maps and researches again then started to reflect on them. My friend helps me a lot in this process as she is quite used to make a report that needs critical thinking. I wrote again what I want to achieve in this proposition and it helps me identifying the issue. By clarifying my problem statement, I was able to gather all of my thoughts on the issue into a concise brief that I can address in the Task 3.
Design Proposition – Hello Neighbours
This proposition is in result of my research about refugees’ experiences in the detention centre. Just like what I mentioned in my #8th blogpost, I want to see what I can do to prepare refugees and the community to live together harmoniously after such traumatic experiences.
The previous draft proposition is called “Emphathy”. It was intended to show how sorry we are to the refugees, who have repeatedly received such traumatic experiences. The will be an annual event that will be held in parks and places like Darling Harbour as it is spaces that people from all age come together and enjoy the scenery. As we all know, there are a lot of rejection and negative attitude given to the refugees in result of misconceptions in the media. However, we want to bring the positive people out there with the refugees together in an cultural event. The event is called “Hello Neighbours”, referring the neighbours to the refugees that come from different countries in Middle East. By substituting the word ‘refugee’ in the name with ‘neighbours’, the event will raise awareness to not identify the refugees as ‘refugees’ or outsider anymore.
Celebrate our new neighbours by giving them a chance to show their art skills and blend together with the Australia’s community. It is not unfamiliar for the Aussies’ people to have street art and dance in the streets. In this event, we want to encourage the refugees to show their skills and culture by adopting Australian’s culture. There will also a traditional food market cooked by the refugees and showcase of refugees’ artworks. Most importantly, there will be a testimony too brought by refugees that has succeed in their new life so that they could inspire other refugees and show general people what they actually could do. Art is a universal language, it is unique in each culture and country yet I believe it could unite people. This concept could result with people embracing refugees and changed their perceptions about them. Refugees would also feel appreciated and welcomed by the events that celebrates their presence in the community.
I decided to change my design proposition to be in local context instead of such a big event held in public places. Based on the feedbacks that I received today, I made changes:
TITLE: Hello Neighbours
PRACTICE TYPE: Service Design
THE ISSUE: People should embrace refugees and changed their perceptions about them after such traumatic experience in the journey and in detention centre. Even after the resettlement, a lot of people still address the refugees as ‘refugees’ and in result they received harassment and bullying in the school or workplace. Even though a lot of people are blinded by the misconceptions but there are still a lot of people who wants to say sorry to refugees. For people who wants to give sympathy to the refugees, they could stay together in this event to contribute something positive to the refugees or the refugees themselves could show their true side directly to the Australians.
THE POSSIBLE CHANGE: The design would aim to get people identify refugees as the ‘new neighbours in town’ instead of as an outsider or refugees anymore. This also could results with people embracing refugees and changed their perceptions about them. Refugees would also feel appreciated and welcomed by the events that celebrates their presence in the community.
ACTION TO SUPPORT THE CHANGE: Create a campaign with voluntary based resources and have an event to spend a day or have lunch with refugees every 3 months. The event will be divided into each council so that each council would be aware of the arrival of new ‘neighbours’ in their areas. In the event, the refugees and the people who supports them could make an intimate conversation to share their values and stories. By doing so, refugees feel welcomed in the community and appreciated. General people in the range of 18-24 years old also have the experience to know the refugees directly and show their support for them. After the events, they could share the campaign and the events to social media using the hashtag #helloneigbours. Posting photo with the hashtag would also help for other people to see the other side of refugees. Thus, creating an awareness to accept refugees as part of the community and live together harmoniously.