Practices of attending to and understanding the interconnections of the role of the land, creatures, plants and waste have on this ecosystem are key aspects of building awareness on the importance of environmental sustainability. To address environmental issues such as the impact on the oceans due to the high population concentration on our coasts of Australia requires the Australian community to set priorities for change, and attempt to develop solutions that meet environmental, economic and social goals.
The Service Learning Community Internship aim is to address homelessness and the affordable housing supply crisis by bringing together students, advocates and industry experts to engage in discussion to develop awareness of this complex issue and generate innovative and effective solutions.
Striving to understand
Our focus will be on building awareness and understanding of key complex social problems. Within this focus we will strive to understand whether and where progressive change is occurring; what is working and why, and how we might have a meaningful impact on this issue together.
Facilitated by Service Learning Community Internship, industry partners and key staff will work collaboratively with students to co-design solutions through a series of Innovation Solution Sprints. Solutions are aimed at addressing key issues identified by students and co-designed with key partners.
Prior to the online Innovation Solution Sprints, students will participate in an Online Internship induction workshop. This workshop aims to provide a framework and practice to help set the foundations for a successful, safe and inclusive Service Learning internship experience. The workshop will provide an opportunity for students to gain skills, knowledge and self-awareness in working collaboratively and looking after their own wellbeing throughout the internship. During this workshop students will work to co-create a culture that is safe, welcoming, collaborative and supportive. Students will also be supported to become familiar with the online technology we will be using throughout the online internship.
Sprint 1 – Exploring diverse perspectives
Students will participate in an industry induction session and will hear from a variety of professionals and organisations working in the environment and sustainability space, including Government departments, support staff and self-advocates. The industry induction session is an interactive panel discussion and Q&A session that will give students specialist insight into the environment and sustainability. Students will also have an opportunity to enter meaningful dialogue around the complexities and challenges of addressing the environment and sustainability with a diversity of people. This session will encourage deep reflection and dialogue and will contribute to enhanced understanding of the environment and sustainability.
Sprint 2 - Working with complexity, embracing diversity
Students will gain a deeper understanding of the principles of co-design and will explore collaborative ways of working with complexity and diversity. Students will be introduced to a diversity of participatory practices and processes that will help support them in their exploration and understanding of the issue.
Sprint 3 & 4 - Co-design in action
Using virtual technology, students will be introduced to several methods and tools to design innovative approaches to address homelessness. During this period of design, students will collaborate with and seek input from peers, experienced voices and industry professionals to refine their ideas, test assumptions and respond to the needs of the community they are working with.
Sprint 5 – Ready for Impact
Students will finalise their project ideas and develop an implementation strategy which will include clear actions and strategies for how the project will be implemented, monitored, and measured for impact. Industry professionals and experienced voices will be invited to offer feedback on the final project design.
Project Implementation - Period of Impact
During this period students will be working with the community to implement their project. Students are encouraged to regularly reflect and seek feedback on how their project is tracking, and make any adjustments as required.
This initiative is proudly supported by the following industry partners
About the Social Impact Projects
The Griffith University Social Impact Projects address five significant social justice issues faced by vulnerable communities. Expanding on the work done by Project Safe Space, and Project Open Doors, the Griffith University Social Impact Projects bring Community Partners, students and the University together to work collaboratively in the innovative solution design sprints. Initially designed to address Mental Health and Wellbeing of Griffith students, we soon realised this was a much larger issue intersecting across a number of social justice issues for students and the wider community. The Social Impact Projects aim to contribute in some small way to improving these social issues.