The South Sudanese Australian Community (The Community) is a strong, skilled and striving community, and is largest in Melbourne. Today the Community faces complex challenges, including those shared by many migrant groups. South Sudanese Australians have also experienced increasing attention from the media, public and political spheres, in a way that has at times been divisive, racist and harmful to their outcomes in Australia.
“What they (the public) see on TV is what they think you are”
– Young South Sudanese Australian Man
Using co-design methodologies informed by community development practice, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) worked with The Community, the state government and health provider cohealth to understand the obstacles and opportunities facing the community, so that solutions to these issues could be designed and tested. TACSI also worked with and commissioned award winning South Sudanese film director, producer, and writer EzEldin Deng to create a video summary of the project insights.
Importantly, the project governance group had a Community majority, as well as government and cohealth participation, a collaboration which ensured the project was in line with Community needs while balancing feasibility. TACSI recruited six South Sudanese Australian co-designers who worked with TACSI social innovators. Co-designers identified and developed solutions with, created culturally safe experiences for and advocated for their Community, and continue to share insights from the project.
“I thought I knew everything about my Community, but this project changed that”
– Flora, a South Sudanese Australian co-designer with TACSI
Together we co-designed four initiatives to improve outcomes with The South Sudanese Australian Community that focuses on supporting people and building resilience so that when challenges arise they have the support and strengths they need to negotiate their way through. The four initiatives below have the support of Community members and leaders, and are currently looking for resource partners to fund, start up, trial and deliver them.
This project is now a finalist in the Victorian Premier Design awards.