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Showcasing Local Resilience Through Art - Voice of Resilience

Locals are giving back to community by sharing their most inspiring and vulnerable stories of life.

Individuals, each with their own unique story of resilience are sharing their experiences of disadvantage, hardship and challenge as a backdrop to inspirational stories of strength.

Through the lens of a camera, local photographic artist, William Debois, is capturing these intimate and vulnerable stories, which are then produced in a photo novella format with individual narratives in the words of the storyteller.

William has partnered with Gladstone Region engaging in action Together (GRT) to invite community members to share their stories through GRT's ongoing community conversations activity throughout the Gladstone Region, which enables community-voice to inform local decision-making through lived-experience.

Stories include childhood experiences of homelessness, family separation, mental health, neglect, drug addiction, disability and racial discrimination as context to hardships experienced and the resulting values, drivers and wishes of each of the individuals sharing their stories.

‘Voice of Resilience’ was a partnership inspired by community sentiment captured in the Gladstone Region Wellbeing Journey Story, highlighting that despite many families doing it tough in the region, disadvantage was often hidden from view and underacknowledged.

Community-identified actions in the Gladstone Region Wellbeing Action Plan sought to unveil our hidden disadvantage in a respectful and productive way, to ensure appropriate understanding and response to the challenges faced by local families and children in our community, with the vision of enabling opportunity, equity and quality of life for everyone.

Community were provided with a sneak-peek of the Voice of Resilience at the recent ‘Together in Action’ Showcase held on 16 August at the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre. Local resident, Betty, attended the showcase to share her experience of the Voice of Resilience project and to launch the photographic representation of her own story.

Betty’s Story

First Nations woman, Betty, shares her story of resilience and her drive to give back to family and community regardless of life’s challenges. Despite feelings of rejection and separation at different stages of life, Betty’s legacy includes the life outcomes she has enabled for many local children as a result of the safe and nurturing home she provided as a foster parent.

Photographic Artist William Debois, GRT Community Engagement Lead Orla Smyth, and Aunty Betty and her family at the recent ‘Together in Action’ Showcase to launch her ‘Voice of Resilience’ story.

Once released the Voice of Resilience photo-novella’s will be made available to the public through local exhibitions and the GRT website.

The project builds on William’s previous experience of showcasing human experience through visual storytelling and is made possible through partnership with Gladstone Regional Council (GRC) and Arts Queensland’s, Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF).

The Regional Arts Development Fund is a Queensland Government and Gladstone Regional Council partnership to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

For further information, please contact GRT

P: 07 4970 7382

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