Community close up – Communities for Children

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Organisational charts are traditionally boring, linear diagrams showing how the members of an organisation work together to achieve goals.  Think lots of arrows and boxes, stuffy titles and reporting lines. But when you look at the organisational chart that represents how Logan’s Communities for Children (C4C) works, the word boring couldn’t be further from your mind.

What you see is a stunning collaborative art piece, created by local artists Kristy and Glenny Naden and Aunty Faith Green after a request that C4C include an organisational chart in a report to a government department earlier this year.

Communities Program Manager at Communities for Children Debbie Miscamble said the artwork represented the group’s work far better than an organisational chart ever could.

“We were asked for a table of flow chart that visually showed how our organisation works and we thought ‘that’s not us’, so this is what we came back with,” she said.

Debbie said the painting, titled Bringing Our Mob Up Strong Together, represented the shared cultural journey of all the people and organisations who work together to build a vibrant community here in Logan.

“With all our work families and children are at the centre of our service provision. The painting shows how we work together and with other groups in the community to build a great relationships with families, empowering parents and children as decision makers in their own lives.”

Debbie describes Aunty Faith Green as the C4C “art whisperer”. It was Aunty Faith who came up with the overall theme for the painting before briefing Kristy Naden who worked tirelessly to produce the final piece with help from her mother Glenny Naden.

Aunty Faith said she drew on her experiences working with a wide range of organisations all working together to achieve a common goal.

“If I hadn’t been working with KENG, The Family Place, Logan Together or Griffith University I wouldn’t have understood what Debbie wanted to show in the painting,” she said.

“To local indigenous people the rivers are very important for food, for gathering and for cleansing rituals so I started there and particularly where the Albert and Logan rivers meet. The painting is about connection on all levels – with country, with each other, with community.

“It represents a way of being and role modelling together to bring our kids up strong.”

But Aunty Faith says anyone viewing the painting will interpret it differently depending on their personal experience and she’s fine with that.

“To us it the C4C story but it could also be the Logan Together story or the story of anyone’s family. The dots represent our mob, our community as well as the lay of the land and the waters of the river.

“The larger symbols represent our community of practice where we are all working together to bring our young mob up strong.”

Organisations represented in the artwork include Communities for Children, Griffith University, Kingston East Neighbourhood Group, C&K’s The Family Place, Wesley Mission, Pathways to Resilience and Logan Together.

The painting will take pride of place at Communities for Children office at The Salvation Army, 139 Paradise Rd Slacks Creek. For more information about the work of Communities for Children visit http://www.salvos.org.au/communitiesforchildren

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