CfCSC partners with UQ Law School's Pro Bono Centre
CfCSC partners with UQ Law School's Pro Bono Centre

Masters students in the Participatory Media Production course (COMU7016) had the exciting opportunity to screen their short films in the 2017 Community Participatory Film events held at the Gould Adams Park Hall, Kingston and the UQ Pro Bono Centre.  Featuring films produced by students who specialise in ‘Communication for Social Change’ (CSC) and ‘Public Relations & Professional Communication’, the screenings celebrated the differences in their creative and communicative styles.

Collaboration between the Centre for Communication and Social Change (CfCSC) with UQ's School of Public Health and the UQ Law School’s Pro Bono Centre facilitated community collaboration.  Those students who specialised in Public Relations and Professional Communication worked closely with the UQ Law students and various Community Legal Centres to create short films as part of the Pro Bono Centre’s Anti-Poverty Week. In contrast, the CSC students collaborated with Pasifika Youth as co-research partners to develop and tell their stories through film.  

Over 60 participants from the Pasifika community attended the event at Gould Adams Park Hall to watch and discuss the films.  CSC students led and facilitated the event, with the opening speeches delivered by CfCSC Director, Elske van de Fliert, and Chaplain, Tala Aufai.

Many present acknowledged that the films expanded their understanding on the changing nature of Pasifika family values and the wellbeing of young Pasifika people in Queensland.  Other participants felt ready to make immediate changes to themselves and their community, in order to ensure the wellbeing of their young people.

“The stories told through the films depict the importance of allowing young people to explore and follow their dreams, rather than being dictated by older family members," one participant said.

Elske believes that these participatory videos are a step in the right direction, commenting, "The films are good resources, and should be used for this exact purpose".

The screening for the UQ Law School’s Pro Bono Centre was attended by participants from UQ's School of Communication and Arts and the UQ Law School.

Centred on the UQ Law School Anti-Poverty Week theme, the films featured interviews and stories on human wellbeing in Australia.  The students led the presentation and discussion about the films, background information, and the participatory approaches they adopted in the co-creation and production.

At the end of an engaging and informed discussion on each of the five films screened, Ms Monica Taylor, Director of the UQ Pro Bono Centre, gave a few closing remarks.

On behalf of the Pro Bono Centre, she expressed her heartfelt gratitude to all of the students and staff at the CfCSC for participating in the collaboration, and hailed the students for being the first cohort in the collaborative partnership exercise.

“You are pioneers; you are the first students ever to collaborate in an interdisciplinary way, to bring together the stories of poverty and injustices in the community legal sectors, and to apply the skills that you have learnt in this course—that hasn’t been done before.”  

 Monica further reinforced the need to maintain collaboration with the CfCSC, to continue to share skills and knowledge together. 

“The Pro Bono Centre is really keen to take this collaboration forward," she said.

"We have learnt so much from the work that you have produced. Getting these stories and messages out there is really difficult for the sector.  It’s only really through sharing our skills and bringing together our knowledge that we can truly make these stories more widespread.”    

Both events offered insights into the importance of collaborative partnerships within institutions and the community, and engendering transdisciplinary work to foster effective learning.

By building partnerships with communities, the UQ Law School’s Pro Bono Centre and UQ's School of Public Health, students studying CSC and PR and Professional Communications acquired transdisciplinary skills, to facilitate and produce media contents that respond to organisation and community needs.  

You can access some of our students exemplary videos through UQ Law's Pro Bono Centre website.

BRQVideo from Participatory Media Production on Vimeo.

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