TITLE: A Window of Opportunity
ARTISTS: Pippa McMaugh and Laura Hilton
MEDIUM USED: Charcoal, crayon, leather and permanent marker on canvas.

Children in India are subjected to multiple forms of child labour at the expense of their physical, mental and social wellbeing. India has the largest number of child labourers in the world. This practice exists within an extensive list of industries: agriculture; mining; domestic service; sexual exploitation; construction; and textile manufacturing, including the hand-stitching of soccer balls. Inequities in social structure such as poverty, poor access to education, privatisation of school and medical services, and unemployment of the adult population force children into employment at a young age. Leniency in laws surrounding child labour allows multinational corporations to exploit the rights of these children. Laws stipulate that children of any age may be employed, providing specific policies are adhered to.

Play and education are occupations essential to childhood growth and development. Play is important for exploration, encouraging curiosity and learning, and developing social skills. Through engagement in child labour, children in India are being deprived of these vital occupations. In addition, they are subjected to hazardous work environments; working at risk of joint pain and injury, with complex machinery, and being deprived of adequate lighting and ventilation.

The artists used charcoal to represent this deprivation from important childhood occupations. In contrast, a childlike use of oil pastels portrays the experience of flow that comes from engagement in the vital occupations of learning and play. The recurrence of leather from scene to scene highlights the injustice of children in developed countries engaging in play with the direct products of child labour.
No school - mining for diamonds in Angola
Jeanell Buckley and Susanne Demetz
overall height (incl. plinth) 120cm x width 40cm x depth 40cm
clay, acrylic colours, fabric, sand and variousmaterials

Angola is a country struggling to rebuild itself after long civil war. People under the age of 18 make up 54 % of the population, with 10 percent of these orphaned due to war or AIDS (UNICEF, 2013). Many of these children have been child soldiers and are now exploited in the lucrative but hazardous industry of diamond mining, which produces jewelry for wealthy consumers around the work. They live in rural areas where agricultural land has been eroded and communities fragmented. In the vacuum left by dismantled militia, commercial interests have continued the slavery of children for long hours and in dangerous conditions.

Angola’s children experience poor health from conditions such asilicosis, asphyxiation, respiratory system damage, headaches and hearing damage, injuries and joint damage. They are denied access to schooling and are locked into cycles of debt they cannot repay. Whilst the government has made attempts to reconnect child soldiers with their families, the number of children left without parents remains high. Government infrastructure is poor and so prosecution of illegal mining operations is ineffectual.

Angola’s children experience occupational deprivation through the loss of childhood family roles and through lack of schooling. This injustice will continue as they become adults and become alienated from secure employment by debt cycles and the disability wrought by their labours.

Our artwork depicts how Angola’s children dig for diamonds to satisfy the First World’s hunger for luxury, they mine ‘diamonds for the soles of their shoes’ (homage to Paul Simon, 1986). The occupational needs of the children have been buried in the mining dross generated by their exploitation.
ARTISTS: Talia Gragert and Jamie Jen
MEDIUM USED: Acrylic paint, cardboard, yarn, wax, plastic wrap

Catastrophically, every year 23,000 dolphins are hunted and slaughtered in Taiji, Japan. Such harvesting has led to a massive depletion in the population of porpoises and dolphins. Shockingly is the fact that the Japanese government knowingly allows dolphin meat to be passed on as counterfeit whale meat to be sold to the human population.

Dolphin meat is known to have high levels of mercury content, much higher than what health standards allow. Little is advertised about the biological affects that mercury poisoning has on the human body. It can produce detrimental effects such as peripheral neuropathy, brain damage, skin discoloration and deformation. Pregnant women and women who breast feed ingest mercury through eating whale or dolphin meat, intoxicating their unborn fetuses and young children with mercury poisoning causing life-long brain damage and other deformities.

The Japanese government is not only robbing the Japanese citizens of their occupational right to choose and participate in the determinant of their own health, it has harmful consequences for babies and young children who are affected by mercury toxicity. These children are deprived of participating in occupations as autonomous agents and experience an immense decrease in quality of life than otherwise.

As occupational therapists we have a duty of care to provide occupational justice to the human population and to the individuals affected to ensure their rights in meaningful occupations. By targeting the source, the consumption of dolphin meat, we can hope to see a decline of mercury poisoning and related disabilities among the Japanese society. The challenge is in creating awareness and providing education that is sensitive to the food culture of Japan.
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TITLE: Know Our Fabric
ARTISTS: Courtney Low & Cecilia Lu
1000 x 1414mm
Paint, paper, photography


Children are subjected to occupational discrimination everyday in Bangladesh. There are over 3.5 million child labourers and only a quarter of these children aged 5-14 attend school (Unicef, 2010). Garment factories in Bangladesh employ children to work 11 hours a day to produce clothes for international retailers (Brignall and Butler, 2014). These children spend their days hunched over sewing machines, manufacturing clothing that is worn all over the world, adversely affecting their physical and psychosocial wellbeing. Factory workers are forced to work in appalling conditions at wages below the international poverty line (Unicef, 2010).

Children working in these clothing factories are occupationally deprived of their right to be a kid. They are unable to attend school to gain an education to further their occupational prospects thus contributing to the cycle of occupational injustice. They are forced to grow up too quickly missing out on childhood milestones, robbing their engagement in leisure and educational activities. Workers are often threatened with beatings if they aren’t working fast enough or a big deadline is looming (Brignall and Butler, 2014). Not only does this effect their occupational right to participate in suitable productivity and leisure activities, but also impacts their physiology and psychology.

Our photo is set in the busy metropolis where fast-paced lifestyles overlook the occupational injustice of developing countries. The contrast between the dark figure and colourful fabric depicted in the painting parallels the lifestyles led by child labourers and those they weave the fabric for. The social pressure to dress-to-impress forces consumers to turn a blind eye, refusing to acknowledge the existence of child labourers.


Unicef (2010). Child labour in Bangladesh. Retrieved May 30, 2014 from http://www.unicef.org/bangladesh/children_4863.htm

Brignall, M., & Butler, S. (2014, February 6). Bangladesh garment factories still exploiting child labour for UK products. The Guardian. Retrieved May 30, 2014 from

TITLE: Life of a fallen Soldier
ARTISTS: Yasangie Edirisinghe, Bee Ngoh Puah
MEASUREMENTS: 46 x 41 cm
MEDIUM USED: Acrylic paint, fabric, string, paper, jewel stickers- on canvas.

The artwork represents the occupational deprivation and change of personal and social roles of disabled veterans in modern day, post war Sri Lanka.
In a society that does not offer many opportunities to its disabled citizens, veterans struggle to find suitable employment. Many, still in their youth, wish to contribute to the country they fought for so selflessly. They support their families through a nominal pay cheque sent by the government, which does not do justice to their service. They are deprived of meaningful activity and community participation due to physical inaccessibility and discrimination against people with disability. These soldiers, who were once respected and valued by society, now face negligence and lack recognition.
Many are placed in rehabilitation centers, as necessary supports and modifications are not available to them, to remain in their homes. Due to geographical separation, severe physical disability and emotional trauma, they fail to fulfill the roles of husband and father, creating broken families or failed marriages.
The horrific memories they carry from the war is escalated by present feelings of isolation, anger, depression and anxiety. They carry emotional scars of dead comrades and may suffer post traumatic stress. They, who were once physically fit, morally disciplined and self determined, are now struggling with low self-esteem and volition, as they have become dependent on others for performing daily activities.
There is no advocacy for these 20,000 odd disabled soldiers in Sri Lanka, whose circumstances are unlikely to improve in the near future.
TITLE: Come Together Through Education
ARTISTS: Molly Dean & Abby Moran
MEASUREMENTS: 16x14 inches
MEDIUM USED: Canvas, paint, magazines, paper, glue, stickers & silk

Roma comprise the third largest ethnic group in Bulgaria, constituting approximately 6% of the population. In Bulgaria, 15% of Roma children do not enroll in primary school and those who do face four to six times the drop-out rates than the national average. Decreased enrollment has been attributed to cultural disparities between Roma and Bulgarian societies, increased rates of poverty within the Roma population and geographical isolation of Roma communities. Within traditional Roma culture, education is transmitted through oral storytelling and lessons by the elders of the community. Education in the Bulgarian school system sharply contrasts with these traditional values, as it is based on a western structure governed by rigid rules and non-relative authoritative figure. Educators are also rarely familiar with the language and cultural values of the Roma community, facilitating racism and segregation within the classroom. For this reason, parents are often reluctant to send their children to school or enforce attendance. Lack of education further perpetuates unemployment, oppression and poverty within the Roma community of Bulgaria. This artwork represents the capacity of Roma children to overcome the social and economic challenges of their communities by fulfilling their occupational roles as students. In order for this to occur, aspects of both cultures must come together to ensure education is culturally appropriate for Roma children in Bulgaria. By modifying current educational practices to incorporate the needs of Roma culture, enrollment and attendance of Roma children will be encouraged. Attaining education will provide more opportunities for employment, minimize poverty and ultimately improve current condition of Roma communities in Bulgaria.
TITLE: No Life as a Child Wife
ARTISTS: Janelle Coronel & Jennifer Hughes
MEASUREMENTS: 10 x 11 x 11 inches
MEDIUM USED: arts and crafts, a bin, magazine picture collage, jewellery, shoebox cover, jewellery stand


There are over 60 million child marriages in the world, of which 31 million are in South Asian countries. More specifically, Bangladesh is ranked the fourth highest country to have 66% of the girls married before the age of 18. Majority of these girls and their families live on less than $2 per day, and therefore, poverty is a strong reason for child brides. Studies have shown that a decrease in poverty has also shown a decline in child marriage. Child marriage is considered occupational injustice as their human rights are violated by their adult husbands, including health, psychological well-being and educational rights. Additionally, the girls face occupational deprivation which prohibits engagement in school and/or work, leisure and social activities; for example, rather than engaging in play and school work, girls are forced to stay home, care for babies, and attend to domestic duties. These issues, symbolically portrayed in the artwork with wires, pictures, and words, illustrate how girls are often trapped and unable to participate in meaningful engagement. Strategies to advocate and promote against child brides include tackling the Millennium Development goals of 2015, which involve eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases and global partnership for development. Awareness through education within communities about child bride ramifications on health and well-being, and quality of life can influence the end of child marriage.
TITLE: No play no game
ARTISTS: King Cheung Lung, Jessica Tsz Yan Lee
MEASUREMENTS: 26 cm (L) x 21cm (W) x 16cm (H)
MEDIUM USED: Stickers, cardboards, cards and papers, Velcros and straps, paperclips, permanent marker, blue tag, sticky tape


While play and sleep are the primary occupations of children, children in China often need to squeeze out the time in playing and sleeping out of the list of daily priorities. Attributed to the one child policy, parents in China often have high expectation in their children, particularly with their academic achievements. Besides school works, the majority of children in China need to follow a tight schedule arranged by parents involves with tutoring and doing extra relevant work outside school hours, so that they can stand out in a competitive school environment.

While play is the core element for children to explore the world and develop social interaction with peers, it is often omitted from children in China due to heavy academic workload. They also tend to have less than 10 hours sleep per day (Zhang, Chen, Jin, Yan, Shen & Li, 2013), which can impact on their physical growth, learning, behaviour and emotional wellbeing. The high expectation from their parents often contributes to study-leisure imbalance, which limits their opportunities to perform meaningful occupations.

Our artwork illustrates how a child in China is restricted from performing meaningful occupations such as playing sports, while being forced to stay in her room to get some academic works done. The chains outside the wall and the Velcro held by the parents represent how strict and serious the Chinese parents generally are on their children’s education. Similar to many typical children in China, the child in the artwork also has a huge heavy school bag which contains of many textbooks, and she also stays up late to finish school work and has limited time to play and sleep.

Zhang, Z., Chen, T., Jin, X., Yan, C., Shen, X. & Li, S. (2013). Sleep Patterns, Sleep Problems and Associations with Reported Sleep Quality in Chinese School-Aged Children. American Journal of Public Health Research, 1(4), 93-100. doi:10.12691/ajphr-1-4-3
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TITLE: One Step Forward
ARTISTS: Mélanie Lalonde & Shannon Beaty
MEDIUM USED: Acrylic paint, canvas, newspaper clippings

On April 14, 2014, nearly 300 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok were abducted in the middle of the night. The girls were taken by a prominent Islamic based terrorist organization, lead by an individual named Boko Haram. Current news indicates Boko Haram plans to convert the Christian schoolgirls to Islam, and to sell them off in slavery, which has impacted their ability to determine their own future. As a result of being kidnapped, the schoolgirls are no longer able to engage in their everyday activities, as they have been removed from their village which was a place where they had support and opportunity. The girls are experiencing occupational disruption as their ability to become successful women has become threatened by this kidnapping event.

Our artwork aims to illustrate how challenging it is for one individual to stand up for a group of people being deprived basic human rights, when under threat. The poppies metaphorically represent the schoolgirls. Flowers were chosen, since the delicate qualities of a flower can symbolize how vulnerable the schoolgirls are during adolescence to become controlled and manipulated by others. As a result, they are fearful and reluctant to stand up for their rights. The single large poppy represents one girl advocating for the rights of her group to be released. Social media was incorporated to bring the painting into context. Messages associated with occupational deprivation and disruption are incorporated into the background poppies, and those associated with advocating for ones’ rights are included in the front poppy.
One Step Forward.JPG
TITLE: Hi- Tech, Honeycombs and Health
ARTISTS: Vincent Cheung and Tran Vu
MEASUREMENTS: 42cm x 60cm
MEDIUM USED: Mixed Media

Benzene is a class 1 carcinogen, banned in industrial use in most countries. Individuals who are frequently exposed are at risk of developing leukemia. Unfortunately, occupational exposure to benzene can be widely found in China in factories producing smartphones and other electronics.

More than 50% of all “branded” smart phones are developed in China. With the recent popularity surge of smart phones globally, the number of workers in smart phone production have increased in response to the pressures of global consumerism; yet most end users are oblivious to “the price paid” behind the “display”.

In one year alone, over 12 million Chinese teenagers leave home to find work in the city, but many end up in factories building smart phones. Leaving their hometowns with dreams and aspirations to support their families and receive quality education, what they find instead is a massive occupational imbalance and deprivation in their work environment: excessive hours, monotonous tasks, lack of personal space and time, resulting in physical exhaustion and mental dampening.

We have used the hexagonal symbol of benzene to create a honeycomb and to depict the working nature of these factories. Looking into the honeycomb we see aspirations of these teenage workers and the negative impact their environment has had on their health.

Smart phones have provided us the rapid progression in our modern lifestyle, but our conveniences should not generate inhumane environments or destroy lives. Creating a benzene free smart phone will increase production cost for less than 1 USD. Money is nott the issue, consumer awareness is.
TITLE: Expression Bloc
ARTISTS: Callum Gregory & Rochelle Pauw
MEASUREMENTS: 305mm x 420mm
MEDIUM USED: Acrylic, spraypaint and acetate on plywood


The Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities in Russia experience severe Occupational Apartheid because of the general public’s and Government’s prejudice towards their sexual preferences.
Government policy and the social environment in Russia excludes LGBT members from living their life choices openly as they are fearful of physical violence and financial and criminal penalties. LGBT couples are denied the occupations of parenting and family as they are unable to adopt children. LGBT couples are not able to marry, are not considered de facto in a civil union or considered equal to heterosexual relationships. LGBT communities are marginalized into underground ‘closet’ communities because to express themselves openly in the wider community results in exclusion from employment, political and social participation. Occupational Therapists (OT) are able to address this injustice by practicing at a policy level: influencing public policy to ensure laws regarding non-standard sexual relationships reflect human rights standards. OT’s can empower LGBT communities through grassroots creation of support networks and information hubs and by advocating both locally and internationally with LGBT communities to obtain equality with other Russians. This piece highlights the oppression of Government Policy and signifies the ‘closet’ nature in which LGBT communities exist under the Russian Government.
TITLE: Difficult Shoes to Walk in
ARTISTS: Katie Lee & Amanda Thompson
MEASUREMENTS: 410mm x 510mm
Acrylic Paint and Canvas

Child prostitution is a significant global issue, depriving children of their basic human rights and ability to participate in meaningful occupations. Child sex tourism, the sexual exploitation of minors by domestic and international tourists, is a serious problem in many South-East Asian countries. In Thailand alone, 40% of the two million in prostitutions are under the age of 18, meaning that around 850,000 children are in prostitution. There is a clear economic link between sexual tourism and the sexual exploitation of children. Poverty limits employment opportunities, thus children are being forced to work to financially support their families. Being forced into such work limits opportunities to be involved in education or other play-based/leisure occupations; this then minimizes vocational opportunities and can lead to feelings of helplessness. As a result, many child survivors have substance abuse problems as they use drugs and alcohol to cope their emotional pain. Children need to play to develop essential social and emotional skills that lead to feelings of self-esteem and social cohesion. Deprivation of these important occupations in combination with trauma from prostitution has devastating implications on a child's physical health and emotional well-being. Many will become depressed and disconnected from society, often isolating themselves due to feeling ashamed, worthless and hopeless. Physical risks include poor health, unwanted pregnancies and greater chances of contracting HIV or other sexually transmitted infections. Psychological trauma is related to problematic behavior, and can affect a child’s ability to reintegrate into society. All children have the right to be protected from prostitution under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. As child prostitution is on the rise, public awareness and increased funding for services are urgently needed to develop national strategies to prevent this issue and to help children reintegrate back into society.
ARTISTS: Rui Hu and Lauren White
MEASUREMENTS: 605mm x 510mm
MEDIUM USED: Mixed media. Photos by C Collinson, used with permission.

This artwork depicts the occupational injustices experienced by children sold into prostitution in Thailand. This issue particularly affects impoverished Hill Tribes in remote areas on the borders between Northern Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, where children are often sold by their parents to highly organised syndicates who take children to brothels in Thai cities.

These children are subjected to constant rape and physical abuse, and are often forced to live in insanitary and cramped conditions with inadequate healthcare and food. Many develop drug and alcohol dependencies, and self-harm and suicide are common. Even when these children escape or are freed, they are rarely welcomed back into their communities. 40% will contract HIV and many will not live beyond their twentieth birthday.

This artwork depicts a young girl who has been sold into the sex industry. Torn fragments of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights demonstrates how her rights have been violated. Destroyed toys and school materials illustrates how she will be denied the right to play and to an education. Torn family photographs conveys how this practice breaks down family and community relationships and denies children the right to their cultural identity.

The high demand for prostitution and the fact that this industry generates billions of dollars into the Thai economy has caused many politicians and police to turn a blind eye to this abhorrent practice. Occupational therapists must join with the international community and use their skills in advocacy, education and capacity-building to ensure all children have the right to developmentally appropriate roles and occupations.
TITLE: Trading backpacks for babies
ARTISTS: Michelle Matthews & Kaley Swider
MEASUREMENTS: 500mm x 250mm
MEDIUM USED: Paint, Canvas, Mixed Media

In Malawi one out of every two girls will be married before the age of 18, leaving Malawi with one of the highest statistics of child marriage in the world. Girls as young as 9 years old are being forced by their families and communities to marry much older men. The reasons for this are related to cultural traditions, the high incidence of poverty, teenage pregnancy, and a patriarchal society in which women have few educational and employment opportunities. When girls marry, they soon become pregnant causing an interruption or ending to their education. They are unable to return to school due to school fees, lack of child care, insufficient support from their families and their responsibilities to do household chores. They unfortunately do not have the same opportunities or rights as boys to continue with education.
This artwork depicts a young girl changing roles in the Malawian society. In the first image the girl wears a backpack and is joyful at the prospect of going to school to fulfil her dreams. The other depicts her a year later after she has been married. Instead of a backpack she carries a child and the ribbon that represents her youth is now strewn on the floor as she is forced to face adult responsibilities.
TITLE: The Uneducated Bride
ARTISTS: Helen Maher & Alexandra Parker
MEASUREMENTS: On manikin: approx 1.5m high, widest circumference 1m
MEDIUM USED: Dress made of paper, lace and flowers

Niger has the highest rate of child marriage in the world. 1 in 3 girls from Niger are married before they turn 15, and three quarters are married by their 18th birthday, often to much older men.
The marriage is believed to reduce the perceived economic burden young females place on their family, whilst ensuring the bride’s financial security. Child marriages are also encouraged to protect girls from the consequences of premarital sexual activity. However,
child marriage is a human rights violation.
It prevents these girls from obtaining an education as married girls are typically withdrawn from school and assume new roles of wife and mother.
As a result, these women often have poor literacy, social and life skills, restricting their chances chances of employment, contributing to further poverty. A lack of awareness of health practices, such as safe sex, also increases their risk of developing HIV and mental illness. With little insight and income, the daughters of child brides often end up facing the same challenges as their mothers.

The artwork, a dress made from typical written school materials, depicts education as a crucial aspect to the development of a person. However, these materials are obscured, representing the educational deprivation caused by child marriage. The black lace symbolises the marriage being contaminated with dark prospects, constricting and depriving the girls from increasing their future potentials. The veil and wedding flowers show the anonymity of the girl, married off simply due to her ability to procreate.

References available upon request.
TITLE: Slice to Unlock
ARTISTS: Bill Ho & Priscilla Koh
MEASUREMENTS: 25cm x 30cm
MEDIUM USED: Mixed media (canvas, paint, construction, papier mâché, wood, paper, putty, mechanical zipper)


In 2011, a Chinese teenager sold his kidneys via an illegal organ transplant operation to receive US$3500. He ultimately used the money to purchase an iPad and an iPhone. According to the World Health Organisation, approximately 10,000 operations are performed annually involving illegal organ transplant. The majority of these organs are profited and amounted to a black organ trading market value of US$75 million.

The incident begged international attention of the occupational need and injustice for the less privileged Chinese citizens to be able to utilise a fair and systematic organ donation program. It is currently a very complicated issue in rapidly developing countries that money can ‘buy’ anything, including organs from live humans. Contrastingly in developed countries, the organ donation process usually involves registered donors shortly after death and will only proceed with the consent of family members. Such a policy system exists in China, but is often flawed due to corruption and a lack of policing. Thus with money, illegal organ transplants has become very common and easily accessible for the rich.

The artwork depicts an iPad displaying a golden skin-patterned wallpaper with scar-ridden kidneys, which represents how scant the current generation personally value their wellbeing as they are willing to sacrifice their health for materialistic value. The zipper represents the iPad’s ‘slide-to-unlock’ function while simultaneously allows us to slice open the skin to unlock a cheque, pondering the question, ‘how much is your health worth?’

Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Past Issues Volume 90: 2012, 793-868. New era for organ donation and transplant in China. Retrieved 1 June, 2014, from __http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/90/11/12-031112/en/__

Havocscope. (2014). Organ trafficking. Retrieved 31 May, 2014, from__http://www.havocscope.com/tag/organ-trafficking/__

Health-System-Reform-in-China"The Lancet, 20 October 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2014.

Huang, J., Wang, H., Fan, S. T., Zhao, B., Zhang, Z., Hao, L., . . . Liu, Y. (2013). The national program for deceased organ donation in china. Transplantation, 96(1), 5-9. doi:10.1097/TP.0b013e3182985491

Transplant Australia. (2014). The facts about donation. Retrieved 30 May, 2014, from__http://www.transplant.org.au/The-Facts-About-Donation.html__
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TITLE: No School on Monday.
ARTISTS: Jessica El Gawly & Lauren Hudson
MEASUREMENTS: 21cm x 29cm
MEDIUM USED: Textbook, paper & print media


On Monday the 14th of April, 2014, at least 200 girls were abducted from their school in northeastern Nigeria, by militant Islamic group, Boko Haram. Boko Haram, meaning “western education is sinful” in the language of northern Nigeria, operate on the premise that it is forbidden for people to take part in any occupation associated with Western society. To them, this includes the education of women, not only in Nigeria, but other countries influenced by Boko Haram laws.

The artwork is presented as a textbook depicting the promise of education to these girls, however, as you flip through the book, every word has been blacked out. This symbolises the occupational deprivation these young girls face as they fought to attend school, but were then forcibly removed by this Islamic group. The attendance list of the 177 girls who were taken, have been marked absent on the role for the number of weeks they have been missing. This represents how long they have been unable to experience this important occupation, which as a result will affect many aspects of their development. The inclusion of the images from social media campaign, ‘Bring back our girls’, signifies the world’s move to create awareness that the education of young women is in peril. People, on a global level, are being made of aware of the situation in Nigeria and other communities facing this deprivation and are reminded that education is a fundamental human right that promotes individual freedom and empowerment, and are therefore, pushing for action.
TITLE: Straining to Uphold Filial Piety
ARTISTS: Alexandria Lu & Briana Lam
MEASUREMENTS: 16x48x49cm
MEDIUM USED:carboard, newspaper, styrofoam cups, styrofoam balls, origami paper

In the 1970’s, the People’s Republic of China implemented the “one-child-policy” as a measure of population control, where most couples were restricted to having only one child. Now, the social and cultural effects of this shrinking family size are starting to be revealed.

The reverse-pyramid dynamic, or 4-2-1 problem, describes the increasingly common family structure in modern China consisting of 4 grandparents, 2 parents and 1 child. As the first generation of people affected by this policy are entering retirement, their only children face increasing pressure to exercise filial piety, an important Chinese value represented by the Chinese sayings in our artwork, which read “piety is the foundation of all virtues” (left), and “do not cease to be filial” (right).

Couples have to take care of their parents without the support of siblings with whom to share the responsibility, while raising their child at the same time. The fragility of this family structure is represented by the flimsy framework of the house in our artwork, and this has started to weaken the social fabric of the broader community in China.

Although the Chinese government has recently relaxed the policy to allow couples where one is an only child to have a second child, many are reluctant to pursue this option due to increased living costs and the existing burden to look after their parents.This problem therefore remains, and as the 2nd generation of only children start to come of age, the duty to care for 2 parents and 4 grandparents will place this next generation under even greater pressure if they are to honour their filial duty.
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TITLE: Sugar-coated slavery
ARTISTS: Rayanne Kenny & Rachel Smith
MEASUREMENTS: 165cm x 110cm
MEDIUM USED: Hessian bag, sugar, window frame, recycled toys.

The right to rest, play and recreation. The right to protection from economic exploitation and from work that interferes with education, or is harmful to mental, spiritual or social development. These are articles as mandated by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Yet in Haiti these rights are naught but mute, with 100,000 to 300,000 children exploited for domestic labor. 30 000 Haitian children are trafficked to the neighbouring Dominican Republic with many being exploited to work in the sugar cane industry. These children are often given away by poor rural families in the promise that they'll be provided with food, shelter and sent to school. In the overwhelming majority of cases these promises are false, with children denied the conditions necessary for their development. Severe poverty, poor living conditions and a chronic lack of social services including schools and healthcare increase children’s vulnerability to modern slavery. Children have lost the right to partake in childhood roles and occupations, deprived from the freedom of expression in play activities and to learn through education. Furthermore, children are degraded, often losing their name in favor of one given by their employer and labeled as a 'puerta cerrada', Dominican for 'closed door'. This results in a sense of powerlessness that causes the loss of a child's self-esteem and identity. It is only by taking affirmative steps to enforce the laws against trafficking and ensuring the fundamental human rights of all children, can such an injustice be eradicated.
TITLE: "You Do"
ARTISTS: Zadok WU & Yi Mian KWEE (Matthias)
MEASUREMENTS: 12" (L) x 16.5" (W)
MEDIUM USED: Photography, White polypropylene signboard, A3 photo paper

Kyz ala kachuu - or bride kidnapping - in Kyrgyzstan is an act of abducting women and pressuring them to agree to marriage by forceful kidnapping, rape and physical violence (Kleinbach & Babaiarova, 2013). Though kidnapping is regarded as a criminal offense, it is popularly accepted as a traditional practice as the law is not enforced.

It was suggested in a cultural study of Kyrgyzstan that the tradition of “Bride-kidnapping” was regarded as a display of male Kyrgyz ethnic identity and male power, using violence and authority to express sexual dominance and control over women (Handrahan, 2004). The belief that men were regarded as descendants to rule have made it difficult for women to challenge male dominance in many aspects of their life. Many women were forced to conform to identities defined by men, resulting in a loss of identities and self-worth (Handrahan, 2004). If the woman escapes after marriage, she will face rejection from her family as it is seen that she had ‘dishonored’ the Kyrgyzstan tradition.

The artwork illustrates “Bride-kidnapping” and the occupational and social injustice experienced by women in Kyrgyzstan. A man’s fist holding on to a chain with its other end wrapped around a woman’s ring finger symbolizes that marriage is forced through violent measures. As a result of forced marriage, the woman is also forced to give up desires such as future education, career and even finding or marring the partner they love. This is illustrated with each ‘occupation’ on the woman’s palm being strike-through.
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TITLE: Poison Apple
ARTISTS: Hannah Olchoway and Claire Stickley
MEASUREMENTS: 42 cm x 92.5 cm
MEDIUM USED: Photography, graphic design


Workers in Foxconn factories in China, which are contracted by Apple, face oppressive conditions trying to churn out enough products to meet Western demands. In 2010 it was reported that at least 13 workers in these factories committed suicides, due to tough working conditions. Despite improvements due to Apples commitment to providing safe and fair working environments, significant changes still need to be made to reduce the occupational injustice experienced by this community.
Western citizens continue to go unaware of the working conditions Foxconn employees face when making electronic products they reply upon daily. At first glance the artwork depicts common symbols of the Apple brand representing positive consumer experiences. When examined more closely this notion contrasts with occupational injustice experienced by workers. The cords represent the restrictive conditions of the work environment, which impacts on participation in occupations both in and beyond the work place.
Within the work place, employees are subjected to high-pressure conditions, occupational health and safety risks and long working hours impacting on their overall health and leading to threats of suicide. Beyond the work place, employees have an unhealthy work-life balance due to large amounts of over time and low wages. This unhealthy balance exists because employees are deprived of engaging in meaningful occupations such as education, proper housing, leisure activities and sleep. Without changes to these conditions, individuals and communities struggle to be empowered to over come poverty and participate in meaningful occupations.
TITLE: Framing Child Labour
ARTISTS: Brinley Noble & Rosie O'Brien
MEASUREMENTS: 2 x (25cm x 25cm x 4.5cm)
MEDIUM USED: Collage, Mixed Media

Even though the Sri Lankan minimum age of employment is fourteen, many children as young as five are forced to drop out of school to generate family income. Sri Lankan law supports the rights of children, however the social and economic context makes it extremely difficult for them to choose the occupations they engage in. Children of poverty-stricken families are often trafficked or forced into the hazardous labour sector, having damaging effects on their health and wellbeing.

Play is one of the main occupations young children engage in. As such, barriers to participation in play occupations have a significant effect on key developmental areas such as social, emotional, and behavioural development. Despite this, many Sri Lankan children are deprived of the opportunity to experience play due to economic pressures. Those children who attend school often spend hours before and after in employment, leading to a loss of self-identity and reduced self-efficacy.

The artwork references the difference in values placed on play occupations from a First World perspective, and from a Third World perspective. The collaged images represent the occupations that children desire to engage in, such as play and learning. In each frame a central figure acts as the focal point, with the emotion captured signifying the reality of their situation. Objects in the foreground represent the tools used to engage in work or play. One frame represents fun, learning and play. In contrast, in the second frame tools of play are replaced with generic items associated with repetitive labour.
TITLE: Growth from the roots of slaughter
ARTISTS: Alyssa Khor and Bethany Platt
MEASUREMENTS: 420mm x 315mm x 105mm
MEDIUM USED: Impasto gel, acrylic paint, shellac, and water-based liquid paint on canvas together with acrylic paint and water-based liquid paint on plywood, timber screws, and paper with black and silver ink.

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi minority. As many as three quarters of the Tutsi population perished during the 100 days of slaughter. From this genocide, the lives of the Rwandan people were upended as life became about survival. Family members were lost, relationships destroyed, and mistrust and hatred tore apart a community. This artwork represents how these factors caused the loss of identity, human rights, and occupational roles, as the devastation of genocide destroyed a people and a nation. The occupational roles of an individual defines their identity and determines the occupations they participate in. Individuals who have lived through this upheaval form the present community; all have been affected, dictating the current state of the country. The 20th anniversary of the genocide unearthed the stories of survivors; stories of pain and trauma, but also of forgiveness and growth. The still-developing tree symbolises the history of violence, the beginnings of growth and rebuilding, and a future that requires more development. The cardboard people represent the individual stories that shape this community and the many stories that remain unheard. After a genocide that shook the nation, the community has taken the responsibility to slowly rebuild by embracing new roles and regaining lost ones. Mothers who lost children adopted orphans, children who lost their education went back to school, individuals who found forgiveness teach forgiveness to others, and a new generation have grown up to become parents, teachers, counselors, and leaders. These roles provide a people’s identity, and while growth must labour through roots of trauma, this work marks the hope of Rwanda.
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TITLE: A is for Apple, B is for Bride.
ARTISTS: Vun Min Rachel Tan and Kathleen Smidt
16” (W) x 24” (L)
MEDIUM USED: photography, canvas, lace and ribbon fabric

There is currently no legal minimum age for marriage in Yemen. Yemeni girls are often forced into marriage to relieve their family’s financial burdens and protect their family honour. This traditional practice is detrimental to Yemeni girls’ childhood development, and ultimately inhibits their health, well-being and the right to have a ‘voice’ within their community. Early pregnancy, social isolation and a lack of education are just a few violations that hinder these children’s basic human rights to protection, freedom and dignity.
In collaboration with the Yemeni Government, the United Nations published a survey in 2006 dedicated to monitoring the situation of children and women in Yemen. The survey revealed that a startling 52 percent of Yemeni women were married before they turned 18 years old. Of this 52 percent, 14 percent were below the age of 15 years old. In April this year, the Legal Affairs Minister of Yemen submitted a draft proposal to the Prime Minister to set the legal minimum age for marriage to 18 and ultimately provide a solution to this human rights violation against children of Yemen.

In this artwork, the child bride can no longer assume the role of a child and play in the playground; an occupation that is fundamental to her physical and psychological development. The faded playground represents the child’s past, who must now lead the life of a domesticated wife adhering to her husband’s wishes.
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TITLE: Haunting Memories
ARTISTS: Chuanxi Fu & Qi Ting Vong
MEASUREMENTS: 50cm (W) X 60cm (H)
MEDIUM USED: Mixed media- Canvas, crayons, acrylic paint, words, paper cut-out

Years of ongoing civil war has thrown Syria into a state of turmoil. Syrian children who have survived the war continue to live in an environment characterised by indiscriminate attacks and bombing. It becomes an issue of occupational deprivation as the dangerous environment has prohibited their engagement in many meaningful occupations such as education, play, and access to health support services. Most importantly, the trauma of the war has left a profound impact on the children’s psychological and spiritual wellbeing. These children have witnessed their homes being destroyed, and their family and friends being killed. Many of them experience posttraumatic stress symptoms such as feelings of fear and anxiety, and lose their meaning in life (Simó-Algado, Mehta, Kronenberg, Cockburn, & Kirsh, 2002).

This artwork depicts a Syrian child’s inner world of trauma. The disorganised mixing of colours represent the chaotic nature of children’s thoughts as they struggle to make sense of their traumatic experience, which is centred on the common elements of war – blood (red), burning fire (orange), and military (green and brown). The screaming faces represent the horror that they had witnessed.

Therefore, the mere provision of opportunities to engage in occupations is insufficient as these children continue to experience lasting psychological consequences of trauma. Occupational therapy can help these children by helping them to make sense of their experiences, and find meaning and hope in their lives through the use of occupations such as play (Simó-Algado et al., 2002). Only through processing their inner conflicts and building up their internal resources, can these children develop within a state of psychological and spiritual wellbeing.

Reference: Simó-Algado, S., Mehta, N., Kronenberg, F., Cockburn, L., & Kirsh, B. (2002). Occupational therapy intervention with children survivors of war. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(4), 205-217. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy2.library.usyd.edu.au/docview/89110306
TITLE: Danger, do not enter!
ARTISTS: Jenny Yip and Shek Wah (Kaitlin) Yu
MEDIUM USED: Plastic tape, Acrylic paint on canvas

On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by an earthquake-triggered tsunami that caused a meltdown of nuclear reactors and releasing extensive amounts of radioactive materials in Fukushima. Consequently, children aged two to five are restricted to spend more than 15-30 minutes in daily outdoor activities. Although the government lifted these restrictions in October 2013, children are continued to be prohibited from outdoor play because of parental fears and ingrained habit. As play is a meaningful occupation in children’s development, they should have the right to engage in this occupation under a safe context. Children who are deprived from play are experiencing occupational injustice.

This deprivation leads to detrimental effects on children’s physical and psychological health and wellbeing. The Ministry of Education in 2013 found that Fukushima children are facing obesity problems and falling physical strength due to inactivity. Children’s fear of radiation impedes their motivation to participate in a range of activities and exacerbates their psychological distress. Many children are having emotional issues like short tempers because of limited opportunities to release their negative emotions.

Occupational therapists should utilise their expertise to promote Fukushima children’s physical and psychological health and wellbeing by providing opportunities for participation in play activities in a safe environment and to address the community’s emotional distress.

This artwork depicts a frightening environment perceived by Fukushima children. Two kids, who are dressed in radiation protective clothing and gas masks, are walking away from the playground due to feelings of fear and the restrictions being imposed on them.
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TITLE: Let's Play
ARTISTS: Bronwyn Turnbull and Alexandra Luke
170mm(W) × 250mm(L)
Radish seedlings, potting mix, plastic, wood,
aluminium, paper, string.

Tobacco-growing has been identified as one of the worst forms of child labour in the Urambo district of Tanzania. Children working on tobacco farms are exposed to harmful substances, including nicotine, pesticides and agricultural chemicals. As a result, they experience health problems, and occupational deprivation in many areas of their lives, including being denied opportunities to play, rest and participate in education.
These children typically come from poor families. They work to assist their families to survive. The children may work intensively on tobacco farms for up to 5 months of the year, depriving them of continuity in education, and making it difficult for them to remain in schooling. Educational deprivation sets up a cycle of poverty and child labour: as adults without formal education, they commonly experience difficulty finding work. To survive, their own children often work in the tobacco industry. A way of breaking the cycle has been identified as making primary education compulsory in Tanzania. The Tanzanian government has accepted responsibility for achieving this.
Deforestation has occurred with the establishment of tobacco farming and its associated processes. This forces locals to travel long distances to collect wood for domestic and building uses, increasing the burden on poor families, and so perpetuating the cycle of child labour.
“Let’s Play” represents the effect of child labour on all aspects of these children’s lives. A playground is made inaccessible by a fence. Play equipment in the centre is constructed of matchsticks arranged in the structural formula of nicotine, reflecting the theme of tobacco and the areas in which labour impacts on the lives of children: it creates a scene both joyous and ominous. Planted seedlings represents tobacco crops and hints at the impacts of deforestation. The colours of the Tanzanian flag (blue, yellow and green) refer to governmental responsibility.
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TITLE: A Violent Education
ARTISTS: Michelle Chow & Esther Sim
MEASUREMENTS: 890mm x 240mm x 50mm
MEDIUM USED: Books. acrylic paint, fabric, toy grenade, bandage, soil

Up to half of the child soldiers in the world are found in Africa, with
children being recruited as young as the age of ten. At an age when children should be experiencing play and education, they are instead being handed weapons and forced into war zones where they are likely to be injured or killed. Somalia is one of the world’s worst offenders, with many children forcibly taken or bribed from their homes and schools to serve as fighters in the militant group, Al-Shabaab, in the ongoing civil war against the government. These children are taught to kill using weapons and explosive devices, as well as to serve as human shields and sex slaves where they are subjected to horrific abuse. Ongoing violence in the country has resulted in the breakdown of services where schools are either unavailable or unsafe to attend, and families are deprived of the basic living needs.

This artwork illustrates the occupational deprivation of the Somali children
who are prevented from engaging in occupations to fulfil their educational
needs. Books are globally recognised as a symbol of knowledge and learning,hence they have been used to represent the education of the children. Upon opening the books, the viewer sees that instead of being filled with words and information, the pages have been replaced by bloodied bandages, camouflaged military clothing, and a grenade buried in dirt. These objects represent the barriers to education experienced by the children who are forced into the role of a soldier.
TITLE: An education to waste.
ARTISTS: Louise Roche and Stephanie Micallef
MEASUREMENTS: 90cm x 91cm
MEDIUM USED: mixed medium- wood, paper, plastic, fabric

In Cambodia informal waste recovery activities such as waste picking is able to provide a relative high income for those at the lowest end of the socioeconomic scale. Consequently, the work attracts children as young as 4 because as waste pickers they are able to earn up to 50% of their families income (Agamuthu, Khidzir, & Hamid, 2009). Child waste pickers risk their physical and mental health by working on open dumpsites and give up their education in order to earn a living. More than half the child waste pickers are female and at least 1/4 are illiterate (Cruz & Ratana, 2007). This artwork represents the occupational deprivation child waste pickers of Cambodia experience as a result of their need to working on open dumpsites. The degraded table and chair represent the rubbish mounds that the children scavenge through on a daily bases and the poor educational foundations the children receive as a consequence. The waste filled textbooks aim to communicate that the education child waste pickers receive is both inadequate and short-sited: providing no real hope to break the poverty cycle. This issue is not isolated to Cambodia but can be observed in developing nations throughout the world. Current solutions are to building schools within close proximity to the dumpsites and recognising the valuable contribution that adult waste pickers make to the community and paying them a liveable wage, so that their children are able to attend school and work towards a different future.
Agamuthu, P., Khidzir, K., & Hamid, F. S. (2009). Drivers of sustainable waste management in Asia. Waste Management & Research, 27(7), 625-633.
Cruz, A., & Ratana, L. (2007). Understanding Children’s Work in Cambodia Mapping & costing current programmes targeting the worst forms of child labour. Understanding Children’s Work Programme. San Marino: International Labour Organization, UNICEF, and the World Bank.
TITLE: Fatal Fashion Up in Smoke
ARTISTS: Daniel Goding & Chris Tynan
MEDIUM USED: acrylic on canvas

Abstract:This artwork represents numerous problems within the Bangladesh textiles industry, which produces garments that are sold to Western markets. The factories that produce these garments are often makeshift and unregulated, and there have been numerous fatal factory fires and factory collapses in recent years. Whilst these dramatic incidents bring attention to the occupational issues surrounding unsafe working conditions in this industry, they also expose the deeper issue of child labour in Bangladesh. This is a complex issue however, with more than 3.2 million child labourers whose work is critical to supporting their families in this impoverished society, many families can simply not afford to stop child labour. From an Occupational Therapy point of view, this work deprives children of the opportunity to partake in important occupations of childhood. Given that the work demands for these young children are so great, sometimes up to fifty hours of labour a week, approximately seventy five percent of Bangladesh’ child workforce misses the opportunity to participate in regular schooling. Absence from school deprives these children of the learning, play and social interaction that naturally occurs within the school environment. The high work demand also robs these children of the opportunity to participate in leisure activities of choice, which again deprives them of the social, emotional and physical benefits of the extremely important occupation of play. Finally, this artwork seeks to tie these issues of child occupational deprivation, and occupational safety concerns, back to one of the fundamental causes, namely, the high demand for cheap clothing for Western consumers. The intention of this piece is to highlight the role that many of us unknowingly play in supporting the occupational injustice of child labour and unsafe working conditions in Bangladesh.
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TITLE: Wasted at the Border
ARTISTS: Davina Kreis-Tennyson, Cara Lawson
MEASUREMENTS: 41cm x 50cm
MEDIUM USED: acrylic paint, photography, paper mache, homemade glue (flour and water), canvas, metal, Perspex, water based polyurethane glaze, black marker pen.

Since 2006, the level of violence resulting from the Mexican drug war has equalled that of conventional warfare. Almost 120,000 people have been killed, 20,000 missing, and a quarter of a million people displaced. States along the Mexican border suffer the most, including Baja California, Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon. Murder, kidnapping, extortion, rape, fires and shootings are daily occurrences as drug cartels seek to oppress communities and control trafficking routes into the USA.

Fear and violence has lead to occupational deprivation, where whole communities are unable, or afraid, to perform necessary and meaningful occupations. Cartels kidnap children, forcing them to work as drug mules and prostitutes, denying the right of ‘being a child’. They are prevented from attending school, further limiting future employment opportunity. Poverty lures young men into drug cartel work, becoming proficient in criminal occupations of theft, drug use and murder. Journalists who expose corruption and cartel work are kidnapped and killed. Participation in leisure occupations is almost non-existent, as communities focus on survival.

This artwork expresses the occupational deprivation of these Mexican communities. Drug war themes of a syringe, gun and death are imposing, represented through the Mexican indigenous art form of the ‘Day of the Dead’. The frame and junction of the Mexican and American flags depict the geographical location of the most affected ‘border’ states. Finally, an idyllic Mexican beach symbolises the perception of Mexico, the holiday destination, which juxtaposes with the violent reality of these communities, evident by the splattered and spilling blood.
TITLE: The Radioactive Playground
ARTISTS: Maria Gonzalez & Pengfei Zhou
MEASUREMENTS: 610mm X 460mm
MEDIUM USED: plastic toys, acrylic, stickers and markers on canvas.
Since the 2011 nuclear explosion in Fukushima Japan, local preschool children have been prevented from playing outdoors. The government has recommended spending less than 30 minutes daily outside to minimise radiation exposure and associated cancers. However, physical inactivity has already contributed to health and developmental issues. Children in the region weigh heavier than the national average, demonstrate reduced strength and coordination, and emotional regulation difficulties. Thus, it is imperative that the Japanese government to act to create indoor free -play spaces in schools and the community and highlight the physical and mental health consequences of physical inactivity in health promotion campaigns.

The focal point of the artwork is the ‘fishbowl school’, with Lego children peering out at the deserted playground. This confined structure symbolises the restrictions placed on the children, juxtaposed against speech bubbles expressing their desires to play outside. The brown background is the bare earth devoid of vegetation following decontamination procedures. The yellow sky and black clouds are a reminder of parental fears and government recommendations. The presence of radiation is further depicted through radiation symbols, Geiger counter and workers in protective suits. Colourful playground equipment highlights the gross motor development achieved through play: climbing, hanging and balancing from apparatus, riding a bike, and running and kicking a football. The castle cubby and abandoned sandpit represents the lost opportunity to engage in safe risk taking, problem solving, social skills, as well as discovery and sensory exploration achieved through messy play.

Since the 2011 nuclear explosion in Fukushima Japan, local preschool children have been prevented from playing outdoors. The government has recommended spending less than 30 minutes daily outside to minimise radiation exposure and associated cancers. However, physical inactivity has already contributed to health and developmental issues. Children in the region weigh heavier than the national average, demonstrate reduced strength and coordination, and emotional regulation difficulties. Thus, it is imperative that the Japanese government to act to create indoor free -play spaces in schools and the community and highlight the physical and mental health consequences of physical inactivity in health promotion campaigns.

The focal point of the artwork is the ‘fishbowl school’, with Lego children peering out at the deserted playground. This confined structure symbolises the restrictions placed on the children, juxtaposed against speech bubbles expressing their desires to play outside. The brown background is the bare earth devoid of vegetation following decontamination procedures. The yellow sky and black clouds are a reminder of parental fears and government recommendations. The presence of radiation is further depicted through radiation symbols, Geiger counter and workers in protective suits. Colourful playground equipment highlights the gross motor development achieved through play: climbing, hanging and balancing from apparatus, riding a bike, and running and kicking a football. The castle cubby and abandoned sandpit represents the lost opportunity to engage in safe risk taking, problem solving, social skills, as well as discovery and sensory exploration achieved through messy play.