Zig Zag Young Women’s Resource Centre Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation in Brisbane that provides services to young women in the community including supporting women who have experienced sexual assault and homelessness.
In 2016-17, Zig Zag was a successful recipient of grant funding from Brisbane City Council to enhance Zig Zag’s capacity to service young women from CaLD backgrounds. The complexity of barriers that CaLD women face mean that their voices are rarely heard in policy and practice and most do not have access to the tools, networks and platforms to advocate for their rights and interests to be considered nor to influence decision makers.
The funding Zig Zag received was used to develop a peer-education and community resource, including digital stories. These resources were developed in collaboration with CaLD women from the community.
For several months Zig Zag worked with a group of young women from the African community who had experienced sexual assault, homelessness and/or domestic violence. The process involved facilitated roundtables, empowering the women to contribute to the creation of peer-education resources.
In the lead up to Domestic Violence Awareness Month, in May 2017, the young women felt ready to share a selection of their stories with the wider community, to raise awareness of these issues. They were also specifically interested in advocating to other young women in the African Community, who may not know that support resources exist.
WHAT WE DID
Digital Storytellers was invited to spend two days with the women to help them capture their own stories using their own smartphones. Because of the sensitive nature of the content, it was crucial that the process was designed to make participants feel comfortable and able to exercise full ownership over their stories. As many of the women also had infant children, the process needed to be flexible and adaptable to their needs. Over the two days the women used their smartphones to shoot and edit their stories and each other’s stories. Digital Storytellers collaborated with the group to deliver a 3 minute edit of the footage which screened at an event ‘Speak Up, Speak Out’, which was held as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in 2017.
An extract from the Zig Zag Young Women’s Resource Centre – Project Report, June 2017
“The video resource developed is a powerful piece of digital storytelling featuring African young women speaking to other young women to encourage them to speak up, know they are not alone and offer peer education and relevant information to seek assistance when they need it….At the beginning of the project, there was hesitancy from a number of the young women about appearing in the video. At the first filming day, most of the young women changed their mind and wanted to be part of the video. In addition, young women who were unable to attend the filming wanted their images used on the poster. The change in the young women has also owed through to what they want to do to follow on from the project, both in relation to their personal lives and the systems and services they engage with.
The young women have sought ongoing opportunities to share their experiences. They have
spoken about participating in more groups, as well as roundtables, panels and forums that include service providers. They are motivated to be part of policy and system changes and mentorship programs. They have also expressed an interest in being part of cultural competency training for service delivery staff.”
STORIES FOR IMPACT