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Community Development through Occupation
Community Development through Occupation
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2015 Artwork OCCP4087
2015 Artwork OCCP5228
2014 Artwork OCCP4087
2014 Artwork OCCP5228
2016 Artwork OCCP4087
2016 Artwork OCCP5228
Penelope and Alice
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2015 Artwork OCCP4087
The Beauty of Ignorance
Melanie Sefton and Courtney Powell
Mixed media - tulle, organza, satin, paint and paper
Indonesia consists of thousands of islands, which are all affected by poverty and globalisation. This is most prevalent amongst the working lives of Indonesian women in the textile industry. The skirt itself represents the sweatshops set up by corporations of developed countries, operating with no regard for human rights. The tulle signifies the working conditions, the abuse, and low wage (Rp5200 = AUS$0.5 per day) of the Indonesian women who makeup 70-80% of the textile and garment industry. It’s texture, rough appearance and labels demonstrates the commonality of 14hr days,no rest breaks and the need to share one toilet within the factory. In reality they are rarely permitted to take leave, and those who persist are fired. The bloodied hand denotes the industrial accidents,such as finger amputations and de-scalping, which are often left untreated. Chronic health issues such as occupational bronchitis, muscle strain disorders and depression combined with these conditions, generate a poor health status for Indonesian sweatshop
Women do not have full status within society unless they undertake a role of motherhood or marriage. Young, single females often find themselves in these working roles, particularly from rural backgrounds,
as they have good manual dexterity, poor education and greater compliance. These women face life-threatening disorders and unfair working conditions to maintain a significant role within their society.
Ellis, B. (2015).
Globalisation, sweatshops, and Indonesian
. Angelfire. Retrieved from:
Wong, A. (2013).
Two faces of economic development; the ethical
surrounding U.S. related sweatshops in developing Asian countries.
Global Ethics Network. Retried from:
'The Right to Life'
Nicola Allan and Giorgia Malia
A3 Photo paper
On the 29th of April, 2015 two Australians, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, were executed in Indonesia for a drug crime they committed 10 years ago. The execution has been described as an inhumane, cruel and a degrading punishment and violating “the right to life”, the most basic human right and occupation. The injustice had a devastating impact on friends and family of the two Australians as well as the broader Australian and International community with Amnesty International condemning the act. The issue calls on the greater International community to develop international policy regarding death penalty to support human rights.
The image in this artwork symbolises the vigil held in Sydney showing the community’s act of solidarity with flowers showing their support. The fragile lick of the flame of the candle portrays the fragility of human life and the need for it to be protected. The two candles represent the two Australian’s lives taken and that they will be remembered. The quote is from the Arthur Miller’s play
, The Crucible
relates directly to the inhumane taking of another person’s life and the controversial nature of the law. The darkness represents the unknown and conflicting perspectives regarding the issue; whether the execution was “right” because of the law and crime committed or “wrong” as it lacked human compassion and respect to human rights. Finally, the darkness represents the loneliness of the two men in their final hours and we are left with a sense of coldness in our hearts…
This artwork is in memory of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Miller, A. (1953
). The Crucible
(2005 ed.). New York, NY: The Penguin Press.
Alexandria Malcolm and Tiffany Lam
Foam, cardboard, string, crayon, permanent marker, glue, pipe cleaners, cotton balls
Seeking asylum outside the country of an individual’s nationality, due to suffering or fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a political party, and war is a complex and terrifying journey. The NATO bombing of Kosovo by Serbians in 1999 resulted in thousands of families fleeing the country and seeking refuge in UN camps in Macedonia and Albania. The majority of refugee children have experienced traumatic events prior to the camps, such as violence and torture, resulting in vulnerability to becoming deeply psychologically affected.
Case studies have found children’s decreased wellbeing consequently restricted their ability to engage in the occupation of play, as they do not have the resources and skills to engage in play. Refugee camps deny children the opportunity for education, restrict children and their families a sense of security in their own environment for rest while many children do not even have beds.
The black box portrays the children in the refugee camps, isolated with their thoughts, and perpetrating the trauma, dysfunction and deprivation associated with their displacement. In contrast, external to the four walls of the box, children outside the refugee camps do not experience such occupational deprivation.
The occupational injustice requires political and social advocacy from the greater international community to uphold the key principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In particular authorities in each country should protect refugee children and ensure their physical and psychological development is a priority.
TITLE: The twins
ARTISTS: Fiona Truong and Ngoc Do
MEASUREMENTS: 60cm x60cm
MEDIUM USED: Acrylic Paper, photograph and hand drawn pictures
: Person, Environment and Occupation rights
The poster juxtaposes a lifestyle of two children who are hypothetically identical twins (same age, gender but grew up in different parts of the world). Essentially, in OT terms relating to the Person, environment, occupational (PEO) model (Willard et al., 2009), different E and O but the same P.
The right of the poster represents a child living in the region of Annapurna in Nepal . Similarly, the left side of the poster represents Western Sydney area in Australia, both regions are approximately 30km away from the main city. Both children fulfill expected occupational roles of a child, however, their routines are different due to community access e.g. children living in areas such as Nepal would walk 1-2 hours to school, therefore, they have to wake up at an earlier time, whereas children in Australia can take a 15 minute bus ride or get driven to school.
The themes of the photographs are inspired by Maslov’s hierarchy of needs (Randall , 2003). Both individual meet Maslov’s hierarchy of needs i.e. physiological", "safety", "belonging/love", "esteem", "self-actualization", however, there are different aspects in their living conditions such as access to resources, environmental surroundings and cultural values. Contrary, there are also similarities such as belonging to a community, rights to education, rules and regulation suited to their “world”. Both children are entitled to basic living needs such as food, shelter and independence. In accordance to the United Nations declaration of human rights (United Nations, 1968), this also extends to individuals who have impairments either physically or psychologically.
Randall, G. (2003). Maslov and the rich man who traded spices.
Organization Development Journal, 21
Willard, H. S., Crepeau, E. B., Cohn, E. S., & Schell, B. A. B. (2009).
Willard & spackman's occupational therapy
. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
United Nations. Office of Public Information. (1968).
The united nations and human rights
. New York: United Nations
TITLE: Does your location determine your right to meaningful occupation?
ARTISTS: Grace Mackenzie & Meagan Murray
MEASUREMENTS: A2 - 420mm x 594mm
MEDIUM USED: Photo Frame, Paper, Skeleton Leaves, Rocks, Himalayan Dolls, String, Tissue Paper, Newspaper Cut-Outs, Cloth and Dirt.
On the 25th of April, 2015 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. A Huffington Post article noted that a team of researchers warned just weeks before that “a major quake was due in the exact location where this one struck” (Mazza, 2015, para. 1). The Nepalese culture is intertwined with the land. The physical environment makes Nepal susceptible to earthquakes. This illustrates the mismatch between the capacity of Western technology and the needs of Nepal.
The growth of the urban population surrounding Kathmandu has led to dense overcrowding, which coupled with poor building practices and lack of investment in disaster preparation has seen this earthquake have devastating effects on the country - with an incredible loss of life and the livelihoods of the remaining population. Loss of access to work, social and familial roles are some of the effects that this environmental disaster will have on whole communities within Nepal.
This art piece looks at this idea through the “frame” of the Western media. “Nepal Earthquake happened, right on schedule, Scientists say” is a blame-shifting headline from The Huffington Post (2015). This highlights the concept that the Western world ‘manicures’ the issues facing the Third World, clearing their conscience of any type of responsibility - depicted through the lawn over the ‘rubble’ of the issues currently facing Nepal.
At the bottom of this is Nepalese people, their culture and livelihood buried under the weight of the Western media and their topographical location. The current societal order is depicted through the layered nature of this piece, with the social conscience of the Western world being put above all.
Mazza, E. (2015). Nepal Earthquake Happened Right On Schedule, Scientists Say.
The Huffington Post
. Retrieved from
Streeter, B. (Producer). (Date Unknown). Another long day down at the Bureau of Earthquake Prediction.
. Retrieved from
TITLE: The Wheel Issue
ARTISTS: Sarah Barnett and Lynzey Murphy
MEASUREMENTS: 60cm x 50cm
MEDIUM USED: cage, padlocks, wheelchair parts, cardboard, wooden figure
Worldwide it is estimated that more than 70million people require wheelchairs. However only 5-15% of these people have access to one. People in developing countries such as Zimbabwe often rely on wheelchairs donated from foreign countries. Whilst being based on good intentions, donated wheelchairs are frequently unsuitable for rural environments, the person’s unique needs and are poor quality.
In Zimbabwe people with disabilities experience marginalisation, social exclusion and economic hardships. Most people with disabilities live in rural areas and are unable to access the health services they need, as they are expensive and geographically inaccessible. Some health professionals also lack the knowledge and skills to prescribe appropriate wheelchairs. These challenges are represented by the wooden figure crawling and reaching for the cage of broken wheelchair pieces that is locked.
A wheelchair can be the first step in improving mobility, enabling people to access the community and carry out their lives. This is represented on the right hand side of the artwork. The right wheelchair can help facilitate access to employment and education and can assist people to shift from isolation to inclusion, dependency to freedom and from being a receiver to an active contributor. Although a wheelchair can be a powerful enabler, many other challenges need to be addressed such as beliefs about the cause of disability and accessibility of buildings and communities. Addressing these factors would have great benefit for people with disabilities in Zimbabwe and other developing countries.
TITLE: Independent Verses Interdependent Living
ARTISTS: Vanessa Armstrong & Gabrielle Barnes
MEASUREMENTS: 45 x 45 x 40cm
MEDIUM USED: Wood, steel, fabric and synthetics
Independent living is often a goal of occupational therapy intervention, driven by our western view that
is positively correlated with health and well-being. Other cultures value
, which facilitates goal achievement through actions of a community group (Johnson & Johnson, 2005).
This diorama looks at the role of motherhood and activities of daily living through a clothesline in a city apartment setting. In one quarter a mother’s role imbalance is presented through her clothesline contents. The elderly woman in the next quarter proudly remains independent in a valued occupation through modification of task demands while being assisted to complete heavier domestic tasks. Is this supporting her independence or is she now interdependent? The remaining half displays three generations living interdependently. Does this empower the mother or make her feel obliged to follow the decisions of her family?
When considering person, environment and occupation (PEO), there is ‘press’ in our cultural environment towards independence. As occupational therapists we must be aware of the cultural differences that exist in our community and override ethnocentric views to assist in achieving an individual’s goals by supporting choice. To apply this in practice we can use the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance and Engagement as this reflects the persons’ core values through the ‘spirit’. If independence is valued (or expected),respect the individual’s beliefs and self-identified meaningful occupations. If interdependence is valued (or expected),understand local values, shared beliefs and occupations while also considering how the individual fits into their community.
Johnson, R., & Johnson, D. (2005). New developments in social interdependence theory.
Genetic, social, and general psychology monographs, 131
(4), 285-358. doi: 10.3200/MONO.
TITLE: If We Could Judge Correctly By Their Covers
ARTISTS: Athena Chan and James Liu
MEASUREMENTS: 40cm x 50cm
MEDIUM USED: Cardboard, permanent marker
Persecution is the systematic maltreatment of others based on attributes like race, religion, political allegiance, sexual orientation or gender. By abuse, social intolerance, intimidation and restriction of opportunities many persecuted groups experience occupational injustice.
It can manifest in many forms including but not limited to events like:
The ISIS beheadings
Slavery, immoral legislations (e.g. apartheid, Jim Crow laws, and the stolen generation policies), torture and genocide
The characters are composed via typography. A smaller black figure is juxtaposed in front of larger red figures.
The Black Figure
The typography here is chaotic, darker and smaller; symbolic of the experience of those under persecution. The lexical construct of the character include distressing environments, persecuted groups and other illustrations of the trauma these people may go through.
The hooded clothing evinces a desire to hide; expressing fear and uncertainty in response to the oppressive environment.
The repetition of “persecution” in red on the face depicts the issue’s precedence plaguing their thoughts. The absence of eyes symbolises a lack of insight of the path they’re on. The mouth resembles
(Edvard Munch, 1895) to allude to the expressions brought forward by the more famous artwork, supplementing the visualisation of trauma.
The Red Figures
In contrast, the typography of the figures in the background is red, larger and more structured, depicting a position of power. The red of the larger figures seep through to the face of the black figure, a link depicting the cause of our issue.
Munch, E 1893,
, pastel and crayon on cardboard, 91cm x 73.5cm (36 in x 28.9in), National Gallery, Oslo, Norway.
TITLE: Beneath the Veil
ARTISTS: Karissa Sparke and Lee Desmidt
10cm x 20cm
MEDIUM USED: Mixed Media - acrylic on canvas and tulle
Every year 15 million girls marry before the age of 18, equating to 28 girls per minute. In Niger alone 3/4 of girls marry before eighteen. The act of child marriage is a violation of human rights, disempowering these young women by reinforcing gender inequalities and taking away their freedom to choose whom, when and if they want to marry. Child brides subsequently become dependent on their husbands and are deprived of their fundamental rights to education, health and safety as these marriages often subject these young girls to domestic violence, HIV/AIDS and complications resulting from pregnancies and child-birth.
The link between education and the prevalence of child marriage is particularly evident in Niger with 81% of women ages 20-24 with no education and 63% with only primary education. Over 85% of women in Niger cannot read and write. This occupational marginalisation perpetuates the cycle of dependence and poverty by denying women educational and economic opportunities to contribute to the development of the communities they live in as well as denying them the potential to grow, develop and thrive as individuals.
Our artwork represents the reality faced by these girls. The veil symbolizes the barrier marriage imposes on these girls, and the subsequent role and occupational loss experienced. The writing represents the juxtaposition between the girls past and future roles, with the contrasting lettering of ‘girl’ used to evoke a child-like writing emphasising the deprivation of educational opportunities.
Girls Not Brides. (2015). Girl's Voices. Retrieved on 8th May, 2015 from
Girls Not Brides. (2015) About Child Bride Marriage. Retrieved on 8th May, 2015 from
TITLE: A Prayer for Education
ARTISTS: Chloe Jorgensen and Sophie Cole
MEASUREMENTS: 40 x 80cm
MEDIUM USED: Painted canvas, fabric, dirt
On 25th April 2015, Nepal was hit by a series of earthquakes, killing more than 8,000 people and causing widespread devastation. Along with difficulty accessing basic needs such as water and food, there has been significant damage to shelters, including schools. UNICEF reports that approximately 24,000 classrooms were destroyed, resulting in almost one million children not being able to return to school. Schools in Nepal not only provide children with important education, they also provide shelter, clean water and act as a safe place protecting against exploitation and abuse. With the inability to access these school environments, children in Nepal may be deprived of important play and social interactions, which are essential to childhood development.
Prayer flags are traditionally hung high in the Himalayan Mountains where the passing wind blows blessings to the surrounding areas below. The symbols and words depicted on the flags stem from Tibetan Buddhism, carrying positive meanings generally around good fortune, harmony, compassion and wisdom.
Our artwork uses the meanings of the prayer flags to symbolize the need for rebuilding schools and the education systems in Nepal following the earthquake. The flags we created depict this idea, with the flag meanings in order from left to right; Nepalese scribe for ‘shelter’, a book symbolizing education, a lotus flower which is used in Buddhism to represent growing knowledge and wisdom, and Nepalese scribe for ‘school’.
ARTISTS: Bella Forbes and Alex Nugent
MEDIUM USED: Mixed Media
This photograph captures the village of Nagarkot, outside Kathmandu, three months before an earthquake of 7.8M
struck Nepal. Just two-and-a-half weeks later, a second major earthquake shook the nation. Tens of thousands of people have died, been injured, and internally displaced. Survivors now begin the journey of recovery.
Contrasting images currently saturating the media, this photograph depicts thriving Nepal; vivacity, community, and powerful scenery. Community membership is the occupational focus of this piece, being integral to Nepali spirit. Spirit is the driving force of occupation. The boys in this picture demonstrate the beauty of freedom to participate in, and create, occupations. Post-quake, occupational capacity has become limited due to injury, trauma and the harsh physical environment. Occupational engagement has changed dramatically as self-care and basic survival are priorities for international aid. Tent cities have been erected on communal areas such as the field pictured to provide shelter and food for homeless families. As such, many have been forced to relinquish productivity and leisure roles. The earthquake has deprived Nepalese people of occupational balance and thrown them into a state of ‘fight-or-flight’, grossly interrupting their occupational trajectory, and obstructing choice in occupation.
Using community development principles and sound ecological understanding (depicted through the naturally pieced together frame), international resources can assist in restoration. Involving locals in redevelopment may be a meaningful, productive, and therapeutic process, offering opportunities to develop new skills and occupational interests. The sense of purpose associated with wanting to rebuild one’s life and community is incredibly empowering.
The Walk for Water
Katie Corish and Elizabeth Trotter
60cm x 60cm
Found objects (wood, bottles, rope), paint
“Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and, therefore, a basic human right. Contaminated water jeopardizes both the physical and social health of all people. It is an affront to human dignity.”
Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General.
The issue around safe drinking water is universally acknowledged. More prevalent an issue in countries with poor infrastructure, water collection doesn’t just affect isolated individuals but entire communities, and predominately the women and young girls as this role often culturally falls to them.
We have focussed on this issue in rural India.
The footprints in our artwork symbolise the distance women and young girls walk to collect water, an average of 16 kilometres each day. Walking this far to collect water takes a significant portion of their time each day which impacts their occupations, with many young girls unable to regularly attend school and women having less time to complete other duties. Returning with an average of 15 kilograms of water, this walk also impacts them physically, causing long term back, feet and posture problems, as well as jeopardising their safety, putting them at risk of being attacked and raped while traveling in isolated areas. Having walked so far to collect water, the sad reality is this water is often unclean or contaminated, and supply is not guaranteed. The bottles in our artwork symbolise the contamination and supply of the water. Drinking contaminated water can lead to disease and death, with 21% of communicable diseases attributed to unsafe drinking water in India. Diarrhoea alone kills 1,600 people daily – equivalent to 8 planes carrying 200 people crashing each day. What a choice these women face – giving their children water that will probably make them sick and may kill them, or watching them die of dehydration.
The art of opportunity
Rachel Dewhurst & Matilda Freeburn
50cm x 50cm x 4.4cm
Mixed media using recycled newspaper, photographs, fair trade items (pom-poms, recycled coasters, tin ornaments, stone sculpture) collected on artists travels to India, permanent marker, tape
Colonel Brandon to Miss Dashwood: “Give me an occupation or I shall run mad!”
(Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility).
This statement emphasises the importance of occupations, such as employment, in providing individuals’ with meaning and purpose.
This artwork focuses on the 26 million people living in India with a disability for whom employment opportunities are limited. Disability in India is often hidden for cultural and religious reasons, with disabled individuals being regarded by families and communities as a burden on already stretched resources. Individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities are commonly stigmatized as being poor contributors to society and incapable of participating in meaningful occupations, often resulting in social exclusion and occupational injustices.
Non-government organizations (NGO’s) such as ‘Equip India’ and ‘MESH’ play an integral role in providing employment and vocational training opportunities to individuals with disabilities. Through a community development approach, NGO’s across India support these individuals to create beautiful textiles, handicrafts and artworks. These products, as displayed in the artwork, are produced for both local and export markets. Such opportunities enable individuals to earn a small income, occupy their time, and utilize their skills in a meaningful and purposeful way. Through participation and engagement, people with disabilities in India become active contributors to society as illustrated in the photographs. Thus, NGO’s have successfully created innovate and empowering employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Ongoing challenges are associated with ensuring that these enterprises are self-sustaining, embedded in their community development approach and result in project expansion allowing greater participation.
Austen, J. (1811).
Sense and Sensibility.
Whitehall, United Kingdom: Thomas Egerton.
Photo credits and permission for use granted by
: Rachael Dossetor, Sue Ferguson and Matilda Freeburn
No place for games: loss of play occupations of Syrian children experiencing war
Emma Coyne and Rachel Butler
3 x A4 Pieces of Paper
War causes children to experience profound trauma and major disruption to typical childhood occupations, particularly play occupations. Studies have explored an occupational therapist’s role in helping communities to support childhood occupations (Stickley and Stickley, 2010; Simo-Algado et al., 2002). However as the Syrian conflict is still ongoing, the effect of occupational therapy is yet to be determined.
Nature of occupation examined
: Play assists children’s physical, emotional and psychosocial development (Kjorstad et al., 2005). It is a vehicle through which children make sense of their world and learn the skills to adapt to change within their world (Way, 1999). It creates an environment for expression of emotion and development of friendships (Driver and Beltran, 1998; Kjorstad et al., 2005).
: Traumatic experiences can lead to anxiety, fear and PTSD among children as well as difficulties with relationships and self-esteem (Simo-Algado et al., 2002; Kjorstad et al., 2005; Stickley and Stickley, 2010). These ‘person’ factors can prevent children from returning to play occupations. Children may have no safe place to participate in play due to the destruction of war (Simo-Algado et al., 2002).
Simo-Algado et al. (2002) described loss of play occupations as occupational apartheid.
Our artwork depicts how play is affected by war using the medium of a child’s drawing. This artwork expresses the trauma that children experience and how play occupations are lost at this time.
By presenting the trauma in this way, it brings home the real impact of war on children emotionally, psychologically, physically, and socially.
Driver, C. & Beltran, R.O. (1998). Impact of refugee trauma on children’s occupational role as school students.
Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 45,
Kjorstad, M., O'Hara, S., Soseman, K., Spellman, C., & Thomas, P. (2005). The effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on children's social skills and occupation of play.
Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 21
(1), 39-56. doi: 10.1300/J004v21n01_03
Simo-Algado, S., Mehta, N., Kronenburg, F., Cockburn, L., & Kirsch, B. (2002). Occupational therapy intervention with children survivors of war.
The Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69
Stickley, A., & Stickley, T. (2010). A holistic model for the rehabilitation and recovery of internally displaced people in war-torn Uganda.
The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73
(7), 335-338. doi: 10.4276/030802210X12759925544461
Way, M. (1999). Parasympathetic and sympathetic influences in neuro-occupation pertaining to play.
Occupational Therapy in Health Care
, 12, 71-85
TITLE: Sew many options
Nicole Callaghan & Mariko Ward
34cm x 24cm
Photography (photo credit: Hanako Ward, used with permission), Nepalese recycled silk yarn
Nepalese women face social, economic and cultural barriers that contribute to gender inequalities across many aspects of life. There is a disparity in educational attainment, with girls having lower school enrolment and higher dropout rates. Literacy rates are far higher for men (75.1%) than women (57.4%). There are limited job opportunities for women outside the household and when employment is obtained, women receive lower wages than men. Discrimination against women is a major contributor to extreme poverty, especially in rural communities. This impacts their ability provide basic needs including shelter, food, education and healthcare for themselves and their children. These barriers present great obstacles to development and are compounded by the caste system and deeply patriarchal society. The Nepalese woman depicted in black and white, represents these barriers. This woman lives in a rural village and is from a low caste. At the time the photo was taken, the woman was helping a young mother prepare for a five-day walk to Kathmandu for medical assistance for her child.
To address barriers to occupational engagement there are various organisations and programs promoting skill development for Nepalese women enabling them to produce and sell various items and handicrafts. Skill development and the ability to participate in occupation helps increase self-esteem and provides opportunities for women to become economically independent. This leads to greater access to education, healthcare and basic necessities for themselves and their families. The Nepalese silk yarn woven into the photo depicts how these programs lead to numerous benefits.
The Practicalities of Inclusion
Kirstin Lee & Jo-Ann Lim
3 Boxes (19.5 cm x 19. 5 cm)
The Practicalities of Inclusion
It does not take much to provide an inclusive environment.
There has been a recent push in the implementation of inclusive education in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Amesen (2009) reported that inclusion is the continuous development of a community to become sensitive to the needs of every individual in that community. It is not seen as just a mere addition to current structures and practices but an alteration of the environment and perceptions held by the community. Despite the positive benefits indicated through literature on inclusion, recent evaluation on the progress of inclusive schools in Yogyakarta has displayed discordance between theory and practice.
The artwork is a representation of how easy inclusion can look in theory.
The boxes represent the school environment.
The different coloured shapes represent the people in the school community.
The odd shaped object represents an individual with a disability.
The first box displays an individual with a disability being unable to access and participate within the community due to environmental and social constraints. The other two boxes shows how changing the physical environment or the attitudes of the community allows the individual with a disability fit into the community.
Although this seems like a relatively easy transformation to facilitate, research highlights multiple challenges such as teachers not understanding disability and knowing how to appropriately support a wide range of needs within a classroom context.
Arnesen, A. L., & Allan, J. (Eds.). (2009).
Policies and practices for teaching sociocultural diversity: Concepts, principles and challenges in teacher education
. Council of Europe.
The Kick Off : Striking Poverty out of Nigeria
Joseph Fung and Shyamasundar Javakhar
40cm x 45cm x 25cm
Mixed Media including wooden figures, cardboard, spray paint, paper, canvas, string, leaves, bark, glue and bark.
In 2012, 54.4% of the Nigerian population, along with 68% of children were reported to be living in extreme poverty. The issue of child poverty creates barriers that prevent children engaging in meaningful occupations that contribute to healthy child development. Environmental factors such as the economy and geographical isolation has led to the inability to access clean water, food, shelter, health care and education which has resulted in high child mortality rates, seen through the daily loss of 2300 children. Experiencing occupational deprivation, environmental issues coupled with personal factors such as disability and malnutrition restricts children from participating in education, play and access to healthcare.
The harsh realities of living in Nigerian communities is juxtaposed with the foreground which consist of a child and the issues which they will ‘
’ and remove from the current setting. This spherical structure composed of twigs and paper is symbolic of an accumulation of significant issues that are associated with the theme of child poverty. These words are printed in Nigerian to represent the need for community-based groundwork, but also in English to emphasize the need for more international recognition and guidance to eradicate child poverty. The placement of the ball within close proximity to the child suggests the closeness of football to the child’s identity and the value of this activity in uniting them with their community. Furthermore, the positioning of the figures behind the boy highlights the importance of enabling, nurturing and empowering the younger generations to break the cycle of poverty.
Ashiomanedu, J. (2008).
Poverty and Sustainable Development in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria [Photograph].
Retrieved 12 May, 2015, from Integrity Nigeria
Miranda Poon and Dongni Li
21cm X 30cm
Paper & Colored pencil
The Hukou system is an unfair and discriminatory system in China. It refers to the household registration program. It was introduced in the 1950s and it classified every person as either rural or urban, according to one’s residential place. This classification has then been passed from father to child. For example, children of rurally registered fathers would be classified as rural (even if the children were born in cities).
The Hukou system has limited mass migration of poor rural workers from the land to cities and systematically discriminated rural Chinese people. If rural people migrate to cities, they would not be entitled to receive social benefits provided by local (urban) government. They are occupationally marginalized and alienated because the urban government restrict them from receiving services such as healthcare, pension and education. For example, rural migrant children were not permitted to attend urban high schools. In addition, rural workers are less privileged than cities workers in employment/economic opportunities. All these result in occupational injustice and social exclusion of rural Chinese people.
Our artwork illustrates the discriminatory nature of the Hukou system. The represents wall in the middle represents that Hukou is the barrier for rural people to access education, healthcare and other services. The hand that pushes rural people away from the city demonstrates the nature of rejection of rural people.
Hartog, H. D. (2014).
China’s Hukou System: Attempts to Control Urbanization by Strictly Separating Urban and Rural
. Retrieved on May 16, 2015, from
A New Door
Brittany Hayes and Yoyo Lee
34.5 cm x 34 cm x 14.5 cm
Wood, papers, sand, glue, oil paint, black garbage bags, electronic speaker, and a mp3 player
Our artwork is inspired by the two hundred black body bags strewn across England’s Brighton beach as part of an Amnesty’s “#DontLetThemDrown” campaign against Britain's "shameful" response to the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.
Desperate refugees and migrants risk their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea to flee conflict and instability in Africa and the Middle East. Desperation to live a safe and meaningful life leads these refugees and migrants to human traffickers and onto rickety, unseaworthy boats ill-suited for the trip. 1800 deaths on the Mediterranean in the first month of 2015 represent a twenty-fold increase over the same period last year – and at this pace, between 10,000 and 20,000 migrants would perish by September.
Our artwork represents this issue through replicating the protest, which has been effective in advocating for the issue but offers little understanding. We recognise that the first step in community development is to understand thoroughly the core of the issue. Thus, our artwork invites the audience to look beyond this representation and to look deeper by opening the door, behind which is the story of a refugee, Omar. This representation of the issue is harder to come by, yet offers a deeper understanding. Omar yeans for safety, stable companionship, and a certainty of his future where he can begin a meaningful life. Through understanding more stories like this, we can envision an ever clearer picture of the occupational needs of this community of refugees and migrants, and the contributing factors to these needs.
BBC News (2015). "Brighton beach body bags highlight EU migrant crisis." from
UN News Centre (2015). "Mediterranean crisis demands ‘intensive dialogue’ among UN and regional actors, Security Council told." from
Amnesty International (2012). "A Life on Hold: The story of a teenage refugee." from
Which way up?
Brendan Beins and Janice Tam
26.5cm x 26.5cm x 35.5cm
Paddle pop sticks, match sticks, play dough, newspaper, cardboard, paper, paint
Kosovo, a country in Eastern Europe, has a youth population (ages 15-24) of 35%. Of this population group, 55.9% experience unemployment. For many youths, employment is an essential occupation upon completing their secondary or higher education (e.g. university, apprenticeships). Employment provides opportunities to develop characteristics of adulthood such as financial independence and self-reliability. The government acknowledges the need for the youth population to engage in employment however has failed to implement effective policies and strategies to support the youth. Through the education system, students acquire skills and knowledge that are a mismatch for jobs available in the economic climate. More often than not, employers choose more experienced workers as they are able to fulfil the job requirements thus limiting opportunities for the youth population and decreasing their motivation to continue searching for employment. A sense of vulnerability, uselessness and idleness exists when youth are unable to engage in their perceived meaningful activities (i.e. employment) leading them to do activities that give the illusion of purposeful occupation such as illegal activities. Through our artwork, we aim to highlight this occupational deprivation experienced by the youth population. The stairs represent the means to gain employment with each step representative of factors such as effective education, policies and employment services. Missing steps and sections of the handrail illustrate the available supports that youth are unlikely to benefit from as they are non-existent or ineffective. Youth are unable to experience occupational well-being as they are unable to engage in their desired occupation of employment.
TITLE: Gateway to Occupation
ARTISTS: Deepa Ramakrishnan and Jessica Gleeson
MEASUREMENTS: 125cm x 30cm x 50cm
MEDIUM USED: mixed media
Poverty is identified via quality of life measures of accessible goods and services. Almost one third of India’s population lives below the poverty line. In Mumbai, 70% of people live in slums where there is limited access to clean water, food, sanitation and lack of information and access to healthcare, which results in illness and disability. Additionally, expenditure on rural healthcare by the Indian Government is low, despite rights to health care. Health is the state of complete physical, social and mental well-being.
Over 21 million people in India live with some kind of disability. These people face exacerbated difficulties when accessing community occupations and face violation to basic human rights; not treated equally, experience stigma, discrimination and exclusion. Health interventions potentially can alleviate barriers to occupational participation. The CBR matrix represents interconnectedness between health and participating in community occupations and inclusion. Therefore we can deduce without access to appropriate healthcare, people with a disability living in poverty have a diminished ability to participate in community occupations.
Health is the gateway to occupations. The art emphasizes the significant difficulties disabled pe
ople living in poverty have to accessing community occupations without healthcare; portrayed through the placement of desired occupations significantly higher than the condition of living in poverty.
We make the comment that through health, ease of access to occupations is increased so as to improve community productivity and management. What opportunities need to be created to increase the opportunity for health access for the most vulnerable people and how do we empower their community to support this?
PREVENTION IS KEY FOR F-A-S-D.
NATALIE PERRE & LORETTA MUSCAT
MIXED MEDIA SCULPTURE
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a condition whereby an infant is born with brain damage and other birth defects as a consequence of a mother’s alcohol consumption throughout the pregnancy. South Africa is a nation with very high levels of alcohol misuse; with Northern and Western Cape having the highest reported levels of FASD in the world. As occupational therapists, we can develop a more influential community role advocating for the rights of infants born with the syndrome – by being involved in self-help groups for vulnerable women and teenagers to prevent the cycle of FASD, as well as discrimination faced by the women.
Our artwork symbolizes the stages of working
a community to assist those making positive, and sustainable changes to the vulnerable in their community through guided self-change programs. The first sculpture represents FAS being a “sealed in” issue in the community due to the lack of resources, education and assistance. The community members are coloured black to represent that they are ‘in the dark’ and are merely ‘staring through the ‘glass’ of the issues and ‘tied up’ by these barriers.
When social supports enter the community (turning the ropes into ladders for community members) you can begin to see solutions to the issues when looking into the glass jar. In the last sculpture, the focus is on the power of community formed by these strong women. The growth of the child in the sculpture represents the hope for these women and their children as it is a preventable issue!
TITLE: Reaching For Freedom
ARTISTS: Steph Hajjar and Kay Dook
MEASUREMENTS: 14 by 18 inch, canvas
MEDIUM USED: Watercolour on paper
The background to this artwork is the policy of mandatory detention of refugees by the Australian Government- and specifically, the detention of refugee children on offshore centres such as those on Nauru. In 2014, a National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention labelled offshore detention centres as a “toxic environment” that were insufficient settings for children to thrive (The Australian Psychological Society, 2014).
The Inquiry also found “high levels of self harm” among children in detention, and reported concerns surrounding limited access to educational opportunities, and a severe lack of meaningful activities, resources such as toys, shaded playgrounds, diverse environments, opportunities to play and explore and space for different age groups to socialise safely (The Australian Psychological Society, 2014). The adverse effects experienced by children living in detention include risks to child development, threats to the bonds with significant caregivers, and destructive psychological impacts (The Australian Psychological Society, 2014).
Children detained in offshore centres such as on Nauru can be considered as suffering from occupational deprivation and occupational apartheid- in that these children are unable to engage in occupations such as schooling; while their direct environment (physical detention) and lack of resources limits opportunities to engage properly in typical occupations such as play (Durocher, 2014).
Detentions centres such as that on Nauru have been likened to a maximum-security prison. The artwork depicts a pair of child’s hands reaching towards a balloon, representing a refugee child’s reach for freedom. The book pages link to the missing occupation of education. And the colourful balloon holds connotations to a typical, carefree life of a child. A life that unfortunately is not a reality for children living in detention.
ABC Online (2015) Children in immigration detention living in 'toxic environment' due to high levels of abuse and self-harm, paediatrics professor says, Posted 12 Feb 2015
Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) (2014) National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention 2014
Australian Psychological Society (2014). National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention 2014. Retrieved from
Building commUNITY through disABILITY
ARTISTS: Gina Abramowitz and Leora Posniak
MEASUREMENTS: 29 x 42 x 5
MEDIUM USED: mixed media: paint, plasticine, paddlepop sticks, straw, paper and bluetack
Since Israel was established in 1948, it has always had a policy of conscription to the army. Army service is seen as a ‘rite of passage’ in Israeli society and functions as an integral stepping stone from school into adulthood. The army profoundly contributes to young Israelis’ sense of national pride and identity, as soldiers are greatly revered for protecting their country. The army comprises of units for people with disabilities, recognising this occupation as the right and responsibility of all young adults.
Unit 9900 was created for people with autism, whereby they use their unique skills and abilities to analyse and map geographical data. The establishment of this particular unit exemplifies how the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has not only sought to include people with disabilities, but is reliant on utilising their specialised talents. In turn this has allowed these people, like everyone else, to give back to their community and have a meaningful role in Israeli society.
The figurines in our artwork are harnessing their disabilities to construct the visual geometry of Israel’s national flag, as a metaphor for the capacity of disability to contribute to the fabric of national identity. The residual properties of paint leave a trait which signifies the way these people have left their mark on the landscape of Israeli society. Thus our artwork seeks to challenge the notion that ‘disability’ should not be equated with ‘inability’.
TITLE: Internal Affairs
ARTISTS: Eugene Lee & Amanda Patterson
MEASUREMENTS: 55cm x 40cm
MEDIUM USED: Mixed Media Sculpture
Due to the high demand for organ transplants in today’s society, worldwide organ trafficking has increased with prevalence creating a black market economy producing between $600 million to $1.2 billion per year. The way in which these illegal procedures are performed may involve either the targeting of impoverished individuals in need of money or worse the kidnapping of unsuspecting persons. Conditions of the practice are substandard with a high risk of disease transfer through unclean tools or location while a large number also result in death due to untrained personnel performing the procedures as well as disregard for post surgical care.
Through research by the World Health Organization and the Human Rights Council, the majority of individuals who have survived such an ordeal have noted decreased overall health in addition to reduced functional wellbeing. Occupations as simple as self care are greatly affected and create not only a physical but more so a mental burden in which the person must carry with them for the remainder of their lives. Those that have been kidnapped may be so mentally scarred that simply stepping out of the house alone may no longer be possible. This therefore reduces a simple human right of participation and engaging with their community, an occupation which contributes greatly to an individual’s quality of life.
This notion is reflected through our artwork in a literal sense of organs being extracted, packed away then transported and the harsh reality of what is involved in the process. It also represents the burden in which those who have experienced the ordeal must hold within. Forever carrying its effect as baggage in the future, forever affecting the individual’s occupations.
Power in the powerless
Joanne Lee and Zaira Zamora
48.5cm x 33cm
Coloured cardboard, waxed string, paper, foam and coloured pencils
Every five minutes an incidence of domestic violence is reported in India. The legal definition of domestic violence is cruelty by immediate family members. Domestic violence is not unique to India, but what sets it apart is the culture of silence that still surrounds it.
This culture of silence is evident in our artwork with the woman sitting locked up in prison for being the victim of a crime the man committed. Instead of the woman being free, she suffers in silence.
Behind closed doors, many women are verbally, sexually and physically abused by their husbands. They are left feeling isolated and helpless. Women may feel pressured to remain silent due to fear of social stigma where life away from their husband is considered meaningless. This fear of social stigma is depicted in the artwork where the act of domestic violence remains overlooked and unpunished. Consequently, the roles of being a mother, wife, daughter and friend are devalued and women become silent sufferers. How can women be productive members of a society that values and respects their contributions if the same societal structure does not allow them to have a voice?
A fair and equitable society is intolerant of domestic violence. This is shown by the woman now standing up in a position of power with freedom to speak and the man now seated in a cell; powerless for the crime he committed. There is a time for women to speak and men to be silent. That time is now.
TITLE: My Mental Hospital
ARTISTS: James Khoury, Peter Le
MEASUREMENTS: 370mm x 300mm
MEDIUM USED: Mixed media: chalk and computer editing
Mental illness is a disease that affects the way a person thinks and behaves. The World Health Organization has listed mental illness as one of the leading causes of disease and disability in the world. In developing countries, mental illness receives little care and attention. Approximately three quarters of those suffering from a mental illness in developing nations fail to receive treatment.
People with mental disorders have been framed in negative ways. They are seen as aggressive, dangerous, or distant people. Family of those affected with mental illness are likely to be a source of discrimination due to a lack of insight into the illness. Children in particular may be neglected, and due to the stigma, they are less likely to seek out treatment fearing further discrimination from their relatives.
Those suffering from a mental disorder experience occupational deprivation –their symptoms impede on the way they carry out their daily occupation; but also, the stigma associated with mental disorders will also detach, and alienate individuals from their social network. Without treatment and supports, the symptoms of mental illness, and the resentment from the community may manifest into acts of self-harm or even suicide.
The iron chain is a representation of being trapped and restrained by a society whose anarchic views on mental illness prevents those affected from being free from their illness. The lack of, and the poor quality of mental health care, and the stigma that they live with will continually trap them in an inescapable life of mental illness.
1. Australia: Refugee Review Tribunal,
Zimbabwe: 1. Is there any reference material to indicate the manner in which Zimbabwe society generally treats or considers persons with mental illness? 2. Is there any evidence that persons suffering such illness are denied basic support or treatment or discriminated against under Zimbabwe law or culture?
, 7 May 2009, ZWE34835, available at:
[accessed 10th May 2015]
2. Communications, N. (2001). "Mental disorders affect one in four people."
World health report
. Retrieved 13/05/2015, 2015, from
3.Lauber, C. and W. Rössler (2007). "Stigma towards people with mental illness in developing countries in Asia."
International Review of Psychiatry
ABC, just not for me
Hadden and Zo
60 x 60 cm
Mixed media: Cardboard, old books, newspaper, found objects
“ABC, just not for me” represents how all children have the right to education and access to resources. Focusing on the global issue of education, this artwork challenges the viewer to reflect upon their experience of education and the prospect of the barriers faced by so many in the world today.
Barriers to educational access are portrayed as bars within “ABC, just not for me”. The greatest barrier to education within low income countries, is the experience of poverty due to the inequity of resources. Conflict-affected countries, displace children’s rights and access to educational facilities; whilst overcrowding is a result from poorly maintained classrooms. Girls face cultural barriers to education through marriage, pregnancy and domestic roles within the family; whilst child labour places demands upon young children in order to support their family.
At first glance “ABC, just not for me” simply displays the global and social issues that restrict a child’s access to education. However, as you look past these barriers, a world of possibilities becomes apparent, revealing the positive impact education can have. This artwork demonstrates the important role the occupation of ‘student’ has in a child’s life. Education equips them in their understanding of the world and enables them to support their health, wellbeing and their families. “ABC, just not for me” demonstrates the importance of access to education in a child’s life and is a reminder that no matter how imposing the challenges may be at first, the underlying outcomes are always worthwhile.
Stamp Out Stigma
Ella Chambers, Anne Kwa
24cm x 24cm
Craft Sticks, Styrofoam, Paint, Ribbon, Brown Paper, Permanent Marker
As an entire village, including his own grandfather, unanimously voted for his removal from their province, his identity is stripped from him because he has HIV/AIDS. Invariably he is barred from schools, abandoned by his parents and relatives and, ostracised by his friends, because he is a 'ticking time bomb', he is too dangerous!
The theme behind this artwork channels the story of child abandonment in a rural community in China, where it is common practice with the lack of awareness and education among the community.
By the end of 2009, an estimated 740,000 adults and children were living with HIV/AIDS (Wan et al, 2009). It is inevitable that a number of children are affected by HIV/AIDS through transmission from their mother within the womb. They live with excessive stigma and discrimination and are denied access to education, family and community participation, resulting in social isolation. As depicted within this artwork, our home represents our community and family, it is our identity and a place where we can come together to support one another. However, represented by the "Caution, do not enter" sign posted on the door, Chinese provinces shun children living with HIV/AIDS from their homes and communities. As occupational therapists we can, as represented through the piled books, educate and create awareness and inclusion across China to develop unity and to ensure those children living with HIV/AIDS have an inclusive environment to turn to and are supported within their community (represented by the HIV red flag pole and hands which surround the house).
Wan, Y., Hu, R., Guo, R., & Arnade, L. (2009). Discrimination against people with hiv/aids in China.
The Equal Rights Review, 4
Behind the Veil
Chelsey Priadko & Suzanne Bembo
Mixed- permanent marker on canvas, magazine and cardboard cut outs, nylon-lace, lock and chain
Every three seconds a girl becomes a child bride"
Forced mariage is defined as any engagement where there are not two willing and consenting parties to the marriage. Pakistan has one of the highest incidences of forced marriage in the world. For girls under fifteen, the incidence for early and forced marriage is 1 in 9. Factors that lead to forced marriage are centred mainly on social/family status, culture and religious beliefs. It is expected that a woman will marry someone of her fathers or mothers choosing, however girls are being forced into marriage at such a young age that it's impacting on their ability to develop a meaningful and purposeful childhood.
Through this artwork we aimed to recognise and visually represent the short/long term impact and factors contributing to forced marriage. On the right hand side of the artwork we observe the hands of a parent and a child as they reach towards symbols of a positive and idealistic childhood, open to endless opportunities and well within reach of a positive childhood experience. In contrast, on the left hand side of the artwork, we see the hand of a young Pakistani child arching for the same childhood ideals, however her choice to partake is being taken away by forced marriage, symbolised by the hand around the wrist bound with chain.
The classic symbols of pure marriage, a ing on the left hand, is juxtaposed through the use of the negative image of a chain and lock around the left finger, symbolising an unwell ing party within the marriage, a factor outside of a child's control. However, we challenge the viewer to,in the essence of all of this, look 'behind the veil' to understand the true impact of a loss of childhood, the environmental and social factors that contribute and the future chosen for a child bride.
Children being forced to play a different kind of game
Justin Boulos & Michelle Quinn
30cm x 21cm
Photography, photo-editing, matte paper
Although an exact figure hasn't been obtained, it's estimated that hundreds of thousands of children are serving as soldiers in armed conflicts around the world (Unicef, 2007). These children are involved in conflict, rather than communication. They are facing explosions, rather than education. Mentored by ignorance, rather than intelligence. Holding triggers, rather than toys. These children, both boys and girls, can be as young as 8-years old and are forced into participate in tasks unimaginable in children of Australia. A child solider can be used to; fight on the front line, be a human shield, be a suicide bomber or be a slave for the sexual gratification of their commanders (Child Soldiers International, 2015). “Many are abducted or recruited by force, while others join out of desperation, believing that armed groups offer their best chance for survival” (Human Rights Watch, 2015). Through leading or forcing these children into a role as a solider, they are subject to occupational injustice. Becoming soldiers at such a young age takes away their chance to be a child and deprives them of their human rights to engage in pivotal roles like a player and learner – essentially disabling them. These roles are fundamental for development as a child grows up, influencing their future in terms of having choice and meaning in what they do. Will more recognition of this issue cause for more change? Our artwork depicts how a child solider is forced to walk away from their opportunity to play and receive an education.
Child Soldiers International. (2015).
Who Are Child Soldiers?
Human Rights Watch. (2015).
Paris Principles and Guidelines on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups.
: Silencing Sasaki
: Jessica Togher, Jillian De Leon
: 60cm x 40cm x 40 cm
Mixed Media: Tree branch, coloured paper, acrylic paint
In a country that frowns upon foster care, up to 85 percent of Japan's orphaned and troubled children are placed into state institutions (Human Rights Watch (HRW), 2014). A recent report found that the institutions enabled limited opportunities for social interaction and bonding, and reported detrimental effects on the emotional, social, and physical development and well-being of those institutionalised (HRW, 2014). Furthermore, the lack of social support once a child has left the facility renders it difficult for he or she to navigate social spheres and employment structures in the wider society.
The report amongst other continually emerging evidence has called for a reassessment of the existing child alternative care facilities available in the country, concluding that an overhaul of the system is necessary in order to comply with international children's rights standards.
The artwork integrates traditional Japanese beliefs of the crane's abilities to grant eternal youth and happiness. 'Silencing Sasaki' subverts this symbolism of the crane, with the regression in size and darkening of colour of the cranes chosen to act as a metaphor in depicting the gradual decline in emotional and physical development and well-being of the children. The positioning of the cranes from relatively in sync and fluid, to erratic and inconsistent moving towards the edges represents the disjunctive social development of these children. Situated on the trunk is a traditional Japanese prayer, purposefully chosen to position the viewer to question:
who is enabling and protecting the rights of these children when their parents cannot do so?
Human Rights Watch 2014, Without dreams: Children in alternative care in Japan, viewed 5 May, 2015,
PERCEPTION OF DISABILITY IN AFGHANISTAN
Sophie Sprague & Nella Clarke
Printed on canvas
People in Afghanistan living with a disability experience occupational deprivation, apartheid and marginalization.This is a result of negative perceptions and attitudes towards disability, lack of knowledge and lack of initiative towards positive change both in the community and throughout the health care system. Many of these views stem from misconceptions about the nature of disabilities and are deeply embedded in culture and tradition.
Children with disabilities are isolated from the community and discussing the cause or nature of their disability is considered dishonorable. Consequently, the family of a person with disability may also affected by negative attitudes. Problems that the child may experience are ignored and they become marginilised by the family and society as a whole. Exclusion is further reinforced by lack of services such as accessible health services and education.
People with disabilities are deprived of meaningful roles and occupations. Their prospects of employment, marriage and family, which are considered significant roles within their culture, are considered too challenging and are often ignored.
Health care systems are not set up to cater to people with disabilities and change is an uphill and ongoing process. There are many levels of change required in order to create a just a fair life for people with disabilities. Some examples include changing the attitudes of healthcare workers, education of health care workers, improving accessibility to public places and development of facilities and services that can provide care.
TITLE: S(L)AVE the children
Robyn Wattam and Wai Kin (Jacky) Chow
47 x 60
Mixed: Cardboard paper, coloured paper, acrylic paint, wooden letters
Childhood is the best time to develop spiritually, intellectually and emotionally. It is the crucial age for development before transitioning into adulthood. Child labour deprives children of their childhood, a right to play and right to freedom. It affects their mental health, physical health, social development, interferes with their education and general well-being. Sadly, children are being forced into harsh and possibly hazardous working conditions due to poverty within their families and parents unable to support them on their own income. Child labour occurs in, but is not limited to areas including organized begging, agriculture, sex industry, construction, brick making, child soldiers or domestic work. The risk of developing cancers and a wide variety of diseases and overall health becomes very serious as the demands of the work may involve children operating dangerous machinery, heavy lifting or being exposed to pesticides, chemicals, dusts and carcinogenic agents in agriculture, mining and manufacturing. It is a well-known fact that children who work long hours and study, are expected to experience higher levels of negative attitudes towards school, resulting in decreased school attendance and grades, than before working (Bunnak, 2007). Children are robbed of their opportunity to read and write as they are pushed out of school and into these harsh environments and for minimal wages. Without education, children become limited to employment options for the future and the cycle of child labour and poverty continues.
Bunnak, P. (2007), Child Labour in Brick Factories: Causes and Consequences. Licadho and World Vision Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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