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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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2016 Artwork OCCP5228
2016 Artwork and Abstracts
A Landscape of Injustice.
Chevy Teixeira & Nicole Gregory.
30 x 40cm.
Acrylic paint, watercolour paint.
“A Landscape of Injustice” is a surrealist interpretation of the occupational injustices faced by those who use a wheelchair. Wheelchair users, as a community, experience two key forms of occupational injustice, including occupational apartheid and occupational alienation. The first denotes their inability to participate in occupations due to restricted access, attributable to the way in which the environment is constructed. The latter, however, is pertinent to the sense of disconnectedness and meaninglessness that may arise subsequent to the inability to attain enrichment through occupation, and may be due to lack of access, opportunity or resources.
Our artwork explores these issues symbolically. The most salient aspect of our artwork is a rather literal one, the scales of justice. However, it is evident that these scales are not even, denoting injustice. The wheelchair user illustrated within our painting is unable to rectify this injustice, due to the fact that it is out of reach, located atop a set of stairs. This has been used to convey the fact that the way the environment is built and constructed means that justice is not something attainable by all. Those in a wheelchair are unable to transcend aspects of the built environment that thoughtlessly exclude certain individuals or communities, nor are they able to exercise agency and choice in enriching their lives through occupation. Furthermore, the landscape is empty, and the wheelchair user is a lone character in this scene, an attempt at elucidating feelings of isolation, alienation and emptiness.
Fiona Shuk Yan Kan and Yu Fei Wong
26.5cm x 36cm x 27cm
Paper box, Barbie doll, threads, cotton, branches
Uzbekistan is one of the biggest cotton producers and exporters in the world achieved by forced labor. Over one million public servants, teachers, healthcare professionals, employees of public institutions and children are coerced to labor in the cotton fields without compensation, albeit for a one-to-two month cotton harvesting period. Over years, numerous forced labors suffered from malnutrition, diseases, and possibly death under working in a high demand and extreme condition.
Children are expelled from school if the school does not mobilize a certain amount of students to harvest cotton. They have been deprived of play, education, socializing opportunities, which are the meaningful occupation in children’s development and wellbeing. They should have the human right to engage in these occupations under a safe context. If the adults refuse to commit to participating in the cotton harvest, they are threatened to cut their pension and welfare benefit, penalty and punishment will be applied by the Uzbek government. Their rights and freedoms are deprived due to occupational injustice. Furthermore, temporary dismiss from daily routine causes a detrimental impact on their health and wellbeing, especially attributing to psychosocial distress and financial burden (debt) in a long run.
This artwork depicts a controlling prison environment perceived by an Uzbekistan child. The girl with the impoverished outfit is like a marionette being controlled from above using strings to harvest the cotton, hopelessness and restrictions are being imposed on her. The floor of the prison is covered with cotton stained with blood from hundreds of thousands of forced labor over years. The sting is symbolic of the human and occupational injustice system.
Forced labour in Uzbekistan's cotton industry. (2016). Retrieved April 19, 2016, from
Forced Labor Persists in Uzbek Cotton Harvest. (2015). Retrieved April 21, 2016, from
Uzbekistan Still Using Child Slaves To Pick Cotton. (2013). Retrieved April 21, 2016, from
GROWING HOPE AND POSSIBILITY
Jenny Jobling and Michelle Cooper
H55 x W39 x D48cm
wool, silk, cotton, polyester and copper wire.
The Green Belt Movement (GBM) was founded by Professor Wangari Maathai in 1977. The movement began in response to poor village women in Kenya reporting that their streams were drying up, food was less secure and they had to walk further to get firewood. These problems were the result of Governments destroying the rainforest to make land available for agriculture and urban development. These communities were experiencing occupational deprivation; they were no longer in control of the forests which sustained them.
The GBM educates communities about the environment enabling them to identify their problems and together explore sustainable solutions to them. One solution is for women, who previously felt powerless to plant tree seedlings in degraded watersheds in key water catchments to improve their function.
Our artwork is a hand-made tree symbolising the significance of tree planting for these communities. Our tree is made from crafts traditionally done by women, knitting and sewing as a connection to the women in these projects. The trunk is knitted in seed stitch, symbolising how a single seed/stitch can grow and have a profound effect on the surrounding environment, the people and their occupations; creating a chain reaction. The tree is large and beautiful as a symbol of hope and encouragement that small actions make a difference. Wangari Maathai said "I always felt that our work was not simply about planting trees. It was about inspiring people to take charge of their environment, the system that governed them, their lives, and their future."
The Green Belt Movement. (2016).
. Retrieved March 21, 2016, from
COURAGE AND RESILIENCE
Elise Dooley and Brittany Kuhn
cardboard, photos, organic matter
Occupational Injustice has many faces; it’s not always as black and white as it’s definition ‘unfair practices being carried out in society’ (Durocher, 2015). We chose to focus on a personal issue that many are unaware of…
Experiencing the Bali bombings of 2005 evoked immense fear that shaped a new opinion of my beloved Bali; I wanted to go home. When we were finally allowed to leave the hotel, we ventured down the street when a market woman approached us and thanked us for staying. She continued to say “we hate them (terrorists), it’s not good, we need you (tourists) to survive, but now nobody come back and we not get any money for our shop”. From these words you can see how terrorism has created occupational injustice for the Balinese men and women who rely on tourists for income and without them they have no other way to make money.
We chose to convey this strong message through a variety of images representing the loss of tourism causing occupational deprivation and alienation amongst the Balinese, leading to a loss of identity for many individuals and communities. Placing the burnt Balinese prayer basket in the centre depicts spirituality as central to the Balinese and despite the impact of terrorism they continue to rely on their rituals to restore spiritual harmony (Gurtner, 2004). Strength lies in the resilience and collaboration between communities supporting each other, which has ultimately drawn tourists back despite continuing threats of terrorism.
Brittany Kuhn and Elise Dooley
Durocher, E., Gibson, B. E., & Rappolt, S. (2014). Occupational Justice: A conceptual review.
Journal of Occupational Science, 21
Gurtner, Y. (2004). After the Bali bombing – the long road to recovery.
The Australian Journal of Emergency Management,
and Janielle Jondral
42cm x W30cm x D42 cm
Mixed media - photograph, photoshop, collage, foam core board, thread, fabric, sewing machine miniatures, wooden spo
“The fashion industry’s secrets we choose not to see…
We live in a world where fast fashion is the norm and new collections are released every four to six weeks. The photograph’s colour contrast symbolizes the conflict between beauty and poverty in the fashion industry. The colourful reflection in the mirror portrays the c
ulture of fashion and consumerism, while the black and white represents the hidden truth of exploitation and struggles.
Bangladesh is one of the top garment producing countries. In Dhaka, the capital city, there are more than 4,000 factories where more than 80 per cent of the employees are women. These women, some as young as 18 years old, work more than 10-12 hours a day for a minimum monthly wage of around U$ 68. By working long hours, they are deprived of their rights to finish formal education and to take care of their children and family. The wooden spoons dressed in pink represent the factory workers yearning for justice. Their masks portray their lack of voice, identity and freedom to represent themselves in trade unions without risking their own safety and well-being. They are surrounded by the piles and piles of injustice symbolized by the folded fabric and sewing machines.
This 3D model depicts the moment a lady learned the struggles faced by the Bangladeshi women. She lowered her head to hide her tears as she realised they are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty, injustice and low skilled jobs.
…are dark and unfair.”
A Glimmer of Hope: Women Leading Change in Bangladesh’s Garment Industry
. Retrieved from
Reporter’s notebook: Going undercover inside a Bangladesh garment factory
. Retrieved from
The Guardian. (2014).
The shirt on your back: the human cost of the Bangladeshi garment industry
. Retrieved from
World Trade Organization. (2015).
Trade Policy Review: Bangladesh
David Rappoport and Gabriela Varela
51cm x 40cm
Photos and acrylic on canvas
For many years South Sudan has been suffering through a series of civil wars between government and rebel forces (BBC News, 2016). These conflicts have had a significant impact on the children living in this region, violating many of their rights, as specified in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly through the recruitment and use of child soldiers (Human Rights Watch, 2015). This violation of rights results in occupational injustice for these children as they are no longer able to participate in normal childhood occupations that are meaningful and important for child development in family, student, and play roles. Family roles are impacted as a result of family members being killed and children being taken away to fight. Government and rebel forces occupy schools as military barracks, often using them to recruit child soldiers, resulting in reduced access to education. The fear and uncertainty of living in a conflict zone under constant threat of attack and abuse limits opportunities for children to fulfill play roles.
This artwork illustrates the occupational injustices experienced by the children of South Sudan through juxtaposition of normal childhood occupations on the left and those of children affected by this conflict on the right. The school is central in this picture as it is a key location of childhood occupations that is being manipulated, resulting in perpetuation of occupational injustices.
BBC news. (2016).
South Sudan country profile.
Retrieved May 17, 2016, from
Human Rights Watch. (2015).
South Sudan: Terrifying lives of child soldiers.
Retrieved May 17, 2016, from
FREE FROM DISEASE, BUT AT WHAT COST?
Kirsty Honey and Melissa Wilson
45cm x 45cm x 27cm
Recycled wood, Styrofoam, acrylic paint, cotton, paper and sand
Ebola is an infectious and fatal disease that has caused widespread devastation among the people of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The virus quickly became an international epidemic in 2014, killing over 11,000 people and depriving almost 23,000 children of their parents and caregivers. As of 2016, West Africa has been officially cleared of Ebola. However, the ramifications of this devastating disease will continue to linger within West African communities, impacting upon the way they go about their everyday lives. The vulnerable nature of children has seen them become the most severely affected by the outbreak, riddled by exclusion from basic human needs and participation within society.
The effects of Ebola have transformed the occupations of children by forcing them into adult roles. Orphaned children have been neglected by their extended family for fear of infection and associated stigmas. A drop in family income is forcing children into the workforce at an early age. Through this need to work, children cannot attend school nor experience regular childhood play.
Our artwork presents the extent of the barriers that exist between the children and their expected occupations within today’s society. The height of the wall illustrates the difficulty in overcoming these barriers without external supports. The children either side of the wall pose a contrast between the life that a child would live in the absence of Ebola and the life that they are now faced with because of the consequences of the virus.
Global Education Cluster (2014).
Ebola’s impact on child protection and education
. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from
UNICEF Australia (2016).
West Africa is officially free of ebola transmissions: UNICEF stands by thousands of children still in need of care and support
. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from
THE COST OF CONQUEST
Jillian Slee and Rebecca Marlo Lebler
W46cm x L54cm x D2cm
Mixed media (photography, wooden frame, string, paper and permanent marker)
Sherpa people are an ethnic group originating from mountainous regions of Nepal. Sherpas are indelibly connected to Everest, referring to it as
– “Goddess Mother of the World”.
The Sherpa culture has been strongly influenced by the Western passion for mountaineering, resulting in significant occupational alienation. Since the 1990s, economic motives of commercial guiding on Everest have eclipsed traditional mountaineering – Sherpas who once climbed Everest for expression of cultural beliefs, now work as guides for small salaries. Despite substantial responsibilities and risks, mountaineering has become their livelihood and means of financially supporting their families (earning 10x their annual salary each season). In poverty-stricken Nepal, Sherpas have no choice but to let pay prevail over meaningful cultural pursuits.
The Cost of Conquest
presents Everest from both a Sherpa and Western perspective. Photographs on the left depict the spiritual significance that Everest has to the Sherpa community. The more central photographs represent common Westerner perceptions of Everest as a challenging journey leading to “conquering” the world’s highest mountain. Photographs on the right show how the Everest industry has transformed the meaning and forms of occupations performed by Sherpas. Quotes on the prayer flags represent these differing perspectives.
The WFOT Position Statement on Human Rights states, “people have the right to participate in a range of occupations that enable them to flourish, fulfil their potential, and experience satisfaction in a way consistent with their culture and beliefs” – could denying the Sherpa community this right be the worst tragedy in the history of Everest?
Felix Media. (2015).
. Retrieved April 29 from
Kaphle, A. (2014).
A closer look at the dangerous work that Everest's Sherpas undertake for western climbers
. Retrieved from
Monique Di Gregorio, Clare Fish
50cm x 50cm
In the state of Akwa Ibom, Nigeria, children are facing occupational injustice in the name of witchcraft.
It is commonly believed that any misfortune – such as an accident or illness in the family, HIV/AIDS, or even divorce – has been caused by witchcraft. This belief has become a source of profit for local pastors who offer a service of “deliverance”, to remove the witch spirit from a child. This may involve beatings, burning with acid, fire or boiling water, wounding with nails, rape, or poisoning. Many parents cannot afford to pay for deliverance, and instead abandon their children, or bury them alive.
Child witches are deprived of the most basic human rights; shelter, food and water, medical care, education, and love. They face occupational injustice as they are completely excluded from participation in meaningful occupations as they struggle for their survival.
Our artwork represents the vulnerability of the Nigerian child witch community. We want the viewers to be confronted by the rawness of the artwork, to evoke an emotional response.
The base of the artwork represents the fundamental occupations of a child; self-care, education and play. These have been destroyed, representing occupational deprivation. The centrepiece, the baby, represents the innocent child who has been tortured and shunned from their family and society as a sacrifice for the misfortune they have caused. The two elements of the artwork, the base and centrepiece, work together to pose a question: How can these children truly receive deliverance from the occupational injustice they are facing?
Effiong, U. (2016). What's behind children being cast as witches in Nigeria [analysis].
Retrieved 17 May 2016 from
Onuzulike, U. (2013). Children accused of practicing witchcraft in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria: A qualitative analysis of online news media.
International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies, 4
In Search of a Healing Place
Michelle Packham & Katherine Stubbings
30 x 42cm
Canvas, watercolour paint, colour pencils
Canadian Aboriginal women living in urban areas carry a large burden of poor physical health. This issue is devastatingly present in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). Most residents in this neighbourhood live on the edge of poverty while battling drug addiction.
Their health challenges cannot be glossed over as simply the result of lifestyle choices – rather, the reality these women face is a complex interplay of historical, political and social conditions placed upon them. Aboriginal women are left with little hope due to these oppressive conditions, the poor living environment of the DTES and barriers to accessing appropriate services.
In Search of a Healing Place
depicts an Aboriginal woman who is surrounded by both environmental and personal darkness. Living in an urban area, she finds herself isolated, and without a support system. She looks to the future in hopes of finding physical and spiritual healing.
Aboriginal women who seek help report formidable barriers to accessing health and social services that are sensitive to their beliefs and unique needs. Many services do not ensure anonymity, and place judgment on Aboriginal women.
The walls that created barriers for these women began to come down when the Sheway Program was developed. This program improves the lives of marginalized Aboriginal women of the DTES by employing holistic methods and providing refuge. The supportive environment enables women to gain problem-solving skills, form interpersonal relationships and receive tailored medical care. By hearing their voices, respecting their values, and working hard towards addressing their needs, the Sheway Program is improving the well-being of Aboriginal women of Vancouver’s DTES.
Benoit, C., Carroll, D., & Chaudhry, M. (2003). In search of a healing place: Aboriginal women in vancouver's downtown eastside.
Social Science & Medicine, 56(4)
Daniella El-Bayeh & Thomas Price
Acrylic & paper on canvas
In the past five years 4.7 million Syrians have been forced to flee their war-torn country in search for refuge. Many of these people risk their lives traversing the unpredictable, treacherous Mediterranean Sea on highly unsound vessels, resulting in potentially deadly consequences. This is reflected in the contrast of colours used to create the ocean, with the flecks of red symbolising the many lives lost. However the long journey to nearby safe havens may not be the hardest decision, compared to the prospect of leaving behind the occupations that have defined them their whole life, such as their family, connection to their community and their home land. This is demonstrated in the roles and occupations labelled on the boats, representing aspects of their lives they may no longer be able to fulfil. Many of the words embody family roles and loved ones they may have left behind. Other words represent occupational identities they may have had in their community, and are now no longer able to fulfil. One may question why these people leave behind their home country and risk their family’s lives for something that isn’t guaranteed. It is the occupational injustice they face at home including the lack of freedom to define their roles and express their thoughts that forces them to such extremes. Despite the injustice they face back home, these people may not experience the acceptance they were hoping for on arrival and may be subjected to further occupational deprivation whilst awaiting asylum.
United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees . 2013.
The future of Syria: refugee children in crisis.
Fargues, P., Bonfanti, S. 2014.
When the best option is a leaky boat: why migrants risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean and what Europe is doing about it.
Retrieved from the European University Institute’s website
A child’s day with smog in Beijing
Miaoqi Ning and Lei Wang
W59cm × D42cm × H16cm
A plastic bag, a foam board,toothpicks,papers, pictures, Photoshop software
With the rapid economic development, Beijing, the capital city of China, has suffered from serious air pollution caused by coal combustion, vehicular emissions and industrial fumes for a long time (Xu et al., 2013). Smog, a type of air pollutant, has become a major pollution issue in Beijing. On 18 December 2015, Beijing issued its second smog red alert of the month, as the city shrouded by a thick layer of hazardous smog again (ABC News, 2015). The choking smog forced schools in Beijing to close and led to that the vehicle and outdoor activities were restricted. It was also threatening the well-being of Beijing’s residents, especially the children (Li & Han, 2016).
The artwork represents a typical day of a child influenced by the heavy and grey smog in Beijing. As children are more vulnerable to the negative health effects of the smog than adults, children are advised to stay at home and restricted to participate in outdoor activities by parents and the government to reduce their exposure to smog (Li & Han, 2016). This deprives the basic human rights and opportunities of the child to participate in meaningful occupations that enable him/her to develop physical, intellectual and social capacities. When looking through the window, the child could feel lonely, afraid and sad, and, in the long run, the “grey” childhood will impact on the psychosocial health and well-being of the child. Due to the environmental, political and health factors, the children living in Beijing are experiencing occupational and health deprivation, which is a dilemma for Beijing. Should we be sacrificing the wellbeing of children for the development of the economy (picture 1)? How can we resolve the perpetual smog issue and return to the children a childhood that they deserve (picture 4)?
ABC News. (2015).
Beijing issues second red alert for choking smog.
Retrieved May 21, 2016, from
Li, J., & Han, Z. (2016). A modeling study of severe winter haze events in Beijing and its neighboring regions.
, 170, 87-97.
Xu, P., Chen, Y., & Ye, X. (2013). Haze, air pollution, and health in China.
, 382(9910), 2067.
Will You Hold Their Fortune In Your Hands Too?
Hannah McManus and Hannah Nunn
Tarot Cards: W9cm x H16cm, Stand Display: W20cm x D20cm x H90cm
Watercolour paper, gouache, acrylic paint, felt tip pen, gold foil.
Fortune telling through tarot cards has grown out of the folkloristic reception of renaissance magic fallaciously associated with Romani people. The tarot card format of '
Will You Hold Their Fortune In Your Hands Too?
' seeks to highlight Western hypocrisy toward the Romani community: we inaccurately romanticise their culture fictionally, but in reality they are ostracised, discriminated against and experience profound occupational injustice at our hands.
Romani people (commonly known as 'gypsies', despite the derogatory nature of the term) originated from the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent and currently live in over 30 countries. The romanticisation of their forced nomadic life and the inaccurate perception of Romani women as exotic, sexualised individuals, perpetuates their social exclusion and occupational deprivation. This is further compounded by institutional discrimination and social demonisation of Romani people as beggars and thieves; which impacts on community inclusion and access to productive occupations, including employment, education, and secure housing. This is evident in France's expulsion of 19,300 Romani people in 2013, who were evicted back to other European communities equally indifferent to their human rights and occupational rights.
The traditional tarot card characters and symbolic poems serve as a fortune telling reading for the Romani community, and express the uncertainty they face in their future, with the two dichotomous possibilities of occupational justice or injustice. Occupational injustice are marked in dark blue, while occupational justice are marked in light blue.
The interactive format of the artwork aims to create a forced engagement between the audience and the issues identified; illuminating that we hold responsibility, and must engage with Romani communities and take action to advocate for occupational justice.
Astier, H. (2014).
France's unwanted Roma
. BBC News. France, Champs-sur-Marne. Retrieved from:
Matras, Y. (2015).
The Romani Gypsies
. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Alexa Rodriguez and Holly Thomson
Clay, ink on paper, hessian sack, acrylic paint on recycled board
43 cm x 46 cm x 46 cm
As the fortunes of many Chinese people change for the better, the government’s treatment of minority groups, such as the Uighur people, has been called into question.
Turkish in heritage and predominantly Muslim, the Uighur people inhabit Xinjiang province in the northwestern corner of China. While a part of China geographically and politically, the Uighur people’s unique heritage has put them under scrutiny from China’s atheist government and has lead to cultural and religious repression.
Recent unrest and violence in the region has caused fear and resulted in an increased military presence in Xinjiang, limiting movement and freedom of the Uighur people. Forced relocation of Uighur families by the Chinese government, along with the banning of traditional religious ceremonies and restriction of traditional dress, has disrupted occupational webs. This depletion of culture and loss of identity is further marginalizing the Uighur people, resulting in systematic occupational apartheid.
While the majority of the Uighur people are peaceful, the actions of a few is resulting in the alienation of an entire people. The clay fortune cookies represent the Chinese government’s rigid ideals and paternalistic hold on the Uighur people. The ‘fortunes’ inside represent the voices of the Uighur people, which remain unheard due to the restrictive political environment by which they are surrounded. Only with increased awareness and advocacy for the occupational rights of the Uighur people, will the repressive hold be broken and the voices of the Uighur people be heard.
Grace, C. (2015).
Xinjiang: Has China’s crackdown on ‘terrorism’ worked?
Retrieved from the BBC news website:
Journeyman Pictures. (2009, August 10). The Uighurs versus the Chinese government [Video file]. Retrieved from
Yinghe (Esther) Chen and Lydia Shun Tu
59.2cm x 35cm
Photography on cardboard and MDF wood board, white marker, and clear polypropylene cover
Even though gender equality is seemingly endorsed by Chinese societies, many traditional gender roles are still embedded in modern Chinese culture affecting the development of Chinese women’s worldviews. Traditional gender roles such as child bearer, housewife, or home carer often portray women to be men’s subordinates. As such, Chinese women are often socialised into believing that they are less capable than men from a young age, and that the life decisions they make should always be family-oriented.
As traditional gender roles are deeply rooted in the Chinese culture, many Chinese women are encouraged to stay at home rather than to excel academically or have a career. Therefore, Chinese women often face occupational injustice as they are given less opportunities and resources than men to explore their potential and aspirations in life. Such injustice is particularly exacerbated for women who wish to have additional pursuits outside of family life as they are expected to participate in occupations that may be less meaningful to them.
Our artwork depicts a typical young Chinese girl who is in pain due to the expectations that the society is imposing on her. The photograph is taken in black and white to reflect the bleak reality that the girl is facing, while the writing surrounding the girl shows some of the values that are voiced in the traditional Chinese cultural environment. These values then become deeply rooted in the girl’s worldview as she grows up which is symbolised by the tree in the background.
Jiayin Li & Sue Palleschi
55cm x 55cm x 40 cm
Recycled urn, red paint, recycled candle, sand
The Greek island of Lesbos is the gateway to fortress Europe for many of those fleeing war and poverty amid the ongoing refugee crisis. By the end of February 2016, more than 300,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Greece.The mediterranean crossing is known to Syrians making the perilous journey as rihlat al moot, or “the route of death.”
Last year some 3,500 people died or were reported missing in the Mediterranean Sea.
The community of refugees predominantly from Syria have been forced to leave their homeland as they struggled to survive inside their war torn countries where bombings have destroyed their cities, family members have been killed and human rights violations are widespread. Profound Occupational deprivation for this community has lead to h
undreds of thousands of refugees attempting the dangerous trip across the Mediterranean Sea from Turkey to Greece, hoping to find acceptance, new opportunities and a better future in Europe. The ever-increasing pressure from both European and Turkish authorities, on the refugee crisis in Lesbos is adding another element of uncertainty and injustice to the refugees lives.
The ancient Greek urn had a dual significance first as a practical storage method, second as a decorative piece with a storytelling function. The urn over time also evolved as a symbol of elegant beauty that holds our earthly remains.
The shattered urn represents the broken pieces of the refugees lives, as they arrive to the sandy shores of Lesbos, leaving behind their lives and homes that once provided them with safety and certainty. Essentially this story is one of hope depicted by the burning candle, a hope for a new future and opportunity to rebuild their lives.
Will the light dim?
Can the broken pieces of their lives be restored?
Durocher, E., & Rappolt, S. (2014). Occupational justice: A conceptual review. Journal of Occupational Science, 21(4), 418-430. Doi: 10.1080/14427591.2013.775692.
Melissa Fleming (2015).Crossings of Mediterranean Sea exceed 300,000 including 200,000 to Greece. Retrieved May 22, from
Anonymous. (2016). Quick facts: What you need to know about the Syria crisis.Retrieved May 22, from
Sacrifice for safety
Claire Dickson & Isabella Thomson
Photography, recycled cardboard, charcoal, permanent marker, paper, recycled tools.
50cm x 60cm x 43cm
Fleeing war, famine and drought; Somalian refugees have sacrificed their freedom, independence, employment, connections, friendships, family home, and possessions, in pursuit of safety in neighbouring Kenya. Opened in 1991, Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, is home to three generations of refugees, many of whom know no other home.
Unable to leave the camp, Dadaab residents have limited access to education, employment, healthcare and food. Furthermore, permanent structures, proper sanitation and electricity are forbidden to maintain the ‘temporary’ status of the camp.
Despite this disabling environment, with the support of the UNHCR and community development projects, Dadaab residents have created something comparable to a city, featuring markets, religious spaces, and schools. From the foundations of safety, residents have built a home that enables them to re-engage with meaningful occupations that foster a sense of belonging, peace, and hope for the future. In contrast to the media’s common portrayal of refugees as ‘helpless’, the images chosen represent the inherent strength and capacity refugees have used to promote their own occupational justice.
Recently, acts of terrorism within Kenya and their proposed links to Dadaab have led to increasing levels of insecurity and fear within the camp. As a result, conditions have deteriorated; food rations, health care, and resident movement have been further restricted, markets and schools have closed, levels of violence and crime have increased, and aid agencies have withdrawn. Represented by the scissors, the safety that forms the backbone of this community’s occupational web is being threatened.
An Irish Travellers ‘Gypsy’ Life
Yvonne Tanner and Sarah Conroy
32cm X 45cm X 4.5cm
Collage, printed media, photo frame, permanent marker
Irish Travellers’ also known as ‘gypsies’ and ‘tinkers’ remain one of the most socially excluded and prejudiced groups in Irish society. They are often viewed as ‘a problem’ that stems from a failure to recognise the Travellers as a minority ethnic group having their own culture, shared history, traditions and perceptions. Discrimination is now the main barrier facing Travellers when it comes to equal participation in the Irish society.
Irish Travellers are deprived of basic amenities to fulfil their occupational needs. Due to housing instability, long waits for social housing and a lack of available halting sites, they are often faced with overcrowding. This overcrowding often leads to:
Health and safety issues:
poor living conditions
lack of access to clean water
no safe, friendly, place for children to play
There are many occupational injustices that creates barriers in accessing facilities and services and as a result they experience: unemployment, poverty, social exclusion, poor health, infant mortality, and poor life expectancy.
To this day, they still experience widespread prejudice and discrimination and continue to encounter high levels of social exclusion and disadvantage both at the interpersonal level and at the institutional level. They often faced with eviction notices and told to ‘move on’ further exacerbating the social exclusion while decreasing their access to healthcare services and education.
This artwork portrays the Irish Travellers’ poor living conditions. The printed media captures the injustices they face as well as the occupational deprivation and alienation present in this issue. This is portrayed through the overcrowding of the images which illustrate the intolerable living conditions and their limited access to clean water and sanitation. The words further exemplify the prejudice and discrimination that Irish Travellers experience on a daily basis.
Title: Daughter for Marriage
Artists: Ruli Huang and Andrew Bishop
Measurements: 45cm by 30cm
The communist government that took charge of China in 1949 aimed to change centuries of female oppression and discrimination. While women in China have more rights and freedom in today’s China there is deep cultural bias towards women. One symptom of this is China’s “leftover women” or “
”. These are women that face discrimination for choosing their career, travel or education over early marriage, childbirth and domestic life. They have been told by the media to lower their standards, to forget their dreams and rush into marriage (Lovell, 2014). This is occupational injustice as women are occupationally alienated by having to engage in occupations they do not find meaningful and they are occupationally marginalised by being stigmatised for making those choices and exercising their human rights for self-determination (David, Gibson & Rappolt, 2014; Hammell & Iwama, 2012).
Our artwork symbolises this deep cultural pressure for women to get married despite their desire for career, education and alternative lifestyles. This artwork is a playful, tongue in cheek adaption of a marriage advertisement or
that are commonly erected by the parents of Chinese women keen to find an eligible suitor. These are displayed without often without the consent or knowledge of their daughter. The humour used in comparing the daughter to a second hand computer parodies the dehumanising and commodifying style in which these ads are usually written. In our work the influence of traditional culture is symbolised by using red paper that denotes marriage and the double
which symbolises matrimonial bliss and happiness. This demonstrates the motivation for this pressure to marry comes from traditional Chinese values that sees marriage as the natural goal of women and part of their filial piety. This shows that old ways of thinking still dominate the lives of Chinese women and perpetuate occupational injustice.
Durocher, E., Gibson, B., & Rappolt, S. (2014). Occupational justice: A conceptual review.
Journal of Occupational Science, 21
Hammell, K.W., & Iwama, M. (2012). Well-being and occupational rights: An imperative for a critical occupational therapy.
Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Lovell, J. (2014). Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China – review. Retrieved from
Title: Running into Criticism
Naomi Freedman and Sarah Gemmell
45cm x 45cm x 45cm
: Mixed media -Wood, paint, cardboard, fishing wire, food dye, coconut, sandpaper, paper
In Saudi Arabia, women are forced into a sedentary lifestyle by a government that bans physical education and sports for women. As a result of these restrictions women are denied the freedom of choice to lead an active lifestyle. This occupational deprivation causes Saudi women to experience obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases at a significantly higher rate than Saudi men. Furthermore, obesity has spurred on negative psychosocial impacts such as depression, and lowered marriage and fertility rates throughout the female Saudi population.
Although the Saudi government excludes women from sport, 2012 marked an historical turning point as two Saudi sportswomen, Sarah Attar and Wojdan Shaherkani, represented Saudi Arabia in the London Olympics.
Our artwork illustrates the obstacles that these women faced and the criticism that followed. The foreground hurdles are a metaphor for the physical and legislative barriers that these women overcame, as they raced to combat the cultural expectations of what were considered “female occupations”. Also juxtaposed in the background, are the reactions at the time from the Western and Saudi populations, as the women were branded both as “heroes” and “whores”.
The global community viewed these women as catalysts for national cultural change however currently there is still debate over whether female Saudi participation will continue to be a permanent fixture at the Olympics. As the 2016 Olympics draws closer the question remains; will female Saudi athletes run into the same criticisms, or have the actions of these two brave sportswomen started a national social revolution?
Road to a Better Tomorrow
Kaylee Sue Ah Cho and Stephanie Ramos
50cm x 50cm x 8cm
colouring pencils, textas, glue, cardboard, computer printing, paper, pebbles, bark, sticks, rocks, dice
North Korea is a communist country that controls the populations traversal within, and outside of its borders. The government forcibly relocates thousands of people to less favourable parts of the country. As a result, these people are facing occupational injustice. They are unable to access resources such as clean water, adequate food, electricity, health care and education; socialize with family and friends, or be employed outside their designated area. Being limited to their designated area limits their ability to participate in meaningful familial, educational, or workplace occupations.
Consequently, many North Koreans seek occupational justice by escaping through China and Thailand to South Korea where they think they will gain autonomy over their lives. However, is it worth the risk? Many who try to escape are caught by North Korean guards and Chinese police and are sent back to North Korea to either be sentenced to execution or life in prison. If they are lucky enough to reach Thailand, the government will provide them safe passage to South Korea.
This artwork represents the occupational injustice of restricted movement and the ‘road’ of struggle North Koreans take to seek occupational justice, ‘a-better-tomorrow’ in South Korea. The strict policy of no freedom of movement is expressed through the watchful eye around the ‘start’ and through newspaper articles and words stating the occupational injustice and its consequences. The format of a board-game shows how the odds are against the players in traditional North Korean clothing and how each turn brings additional risk of imprisonment or death.
Liberty in North Korea (n.d.). The People’s Challenges. Retrieved from
Myong-Hyan, G. (2013, August 8). Resettling in South Korea: Challenges for Young North Korean Refugees. The Asian Institute for Policy Studies. Retrieved from
O’Neill, T. (2009, February). Escape from North Korea. National Geographic. Retrieved from
Salmon, A. (2016, April 19). Improved access to education, health care and food in North Korea but right to freedom of movement and the right to life worsen, says new report. South China Morning Post. Retrieved from
Park, J. & Kim, J. (2016, May 3). North Korea has reportedly banned freedom of movement in and out of Pyongyang. Business Insider. Retrieved from
Tertitskiy, F. (2014, December 9). North Korea’s passports, and how they use them. NK News. Retrieved from
U.S. Department of State. (2012). Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012. Washington, D.C., United States of America: Author.
Namkwong Chan & Ying Zhou
50cm x 30cm
Collage, printed media, colouring pencils, cardboard
This artwork illustrates the phenomenon of e-waste exporting from recycling companies in developed countries to developing countries, such as China, Vietnam and Nigeria due to lax labour law, cheaper labour cost and weaker environmental regulations. In these developing countries, people dismantle discarded computer and other electronic devices in a primitive and unsafe ways, such as burning circuit boards, soaking microchip in acid and burning plastic.
Without proper and organized recycling procedures, people will be exposed to toxic substances released from e-wastes during the dismantling process. Those toxic components, such as mercury, lead and dioxin will have a devastating impact on the health and well-being of local communities and contaminate the environment.
Despite the detrimental effects of this industry on health and the environment, it is challenging for local government and communities to take any actions against it since the economy of those communities is centered around this industry and their livelihood depends on it. In Guiyu – a recycling town of e-waste in China, it is estimated that over 150,000 people would be unemployed if the operations of this industry were shut down. Families including children are deprived of their occupational right and choices to engage in other activities. Children have to work with their families and exposed themselves to highly toxic substances.
In our artwork, the girl representing the children in local communities is drowned in a sea filled with e-waste and she can never escape from the waste even though she struggled a lot. On the other hand, the upper part of the artwork shows that people living in cities or developed countries are enjoying the convenience or pleasure brought from those electronic devices without noticing those devices will be ended up in developing countries, causing different issues.
Electronic Waste Dump of the World: Guiyu, China. (2011, July17).
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Corinne, K. (2015, February 09). E-waste Recycling FAQ. Retrieved from
Grill, J. (2016). Why Don't Young People Read the News?. Retrieved from
Gurnett, K. (2014, August 29). Want to Get Paid to Binge-Watch TV? Netflix May Have a Job for You!. Retrieved from
Lee, R. S. (2015).
. Brain, Child Magazine. Retrieved from
Schuermann, S. (2014). Our E-waste Problem is ridiculous, and gadget makers aren’t helping. Wired, California. Retrieved from
Sara Aktary and Cassandra Principe
32cm x 45cm
In Canada, it is estimated that at least half of all women have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16. Violence against women can cause occupational injustices in many aspects of their lives, affecting the vast range of roles and the occupations associated with them. Many abused women may be ashamed to face friends and family, hindering them from engaging in social activities, causing isolation, which is a violation of human rights. Stress, fear and influence from the abuser can impact a woman’s ability to engage in meaningful roles and occupations, having a profound effect on their health and well-being, as well as their families.
In the artwork, the bruises on both women depict physical abuse endured by women exposed to violence. The words on the woman’s back represent the feelings women carry with them as a result of abuse.The signs represent excuses made by women for their abusers and the manipulation they endure, which can take away their power to make choices in everyday life. The blurred crowd in the background illustrates society overlooking the problem and the isolation that women can experience.
Occupational therapists can provide occupational justice to women who have experienced violence, through developing interventions that focus on creating new roles, routines and a sense of self that was previously lost. YWCA Canada is an organization that supports women by offering programs that provide safety, shelter, emotional support and counselling. Implementing such interventions allows for the empowerment of women through providing opportunities for decision making, building self-esteem and helping them find meaning in daily roles and occupations.
The Facts About Violence Against Women. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2016, from
World Health Organization. Violence against women. (2016). Retrieved April 28, 2016, from
YWCA Canada - YWCA Turning Point Programs. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2016, from
: China's Legoslative Move For Wheelchair Access
Drusilla Watts, Nikki McFadden and Junmin Peng
: 26cm X 27cm X 12cm
Wheelchair access throughout China is limited and somewhat non-existent outside Beijing or shanghai. Over the last two decades China has made positive legislative and administrative action in improving living conditions for people with disabilities. However, from this legislation only 6 of the 32 provinces have issued administrative decrees in regards to accessibility for people with disabilities. Furthermore, legislation is often misinterpreted or ignored, for instance it is not uncommon for marked disabled toilets to be only accessible by steps. Without, enforced national standards for wheelchair access, wheelchair users in china experience dramatic occupational injustice every day. As China is a collectivist culture, wheelchair users feel un-empowered to advocate for their right to access the community, resulting in poor awareness of the issue.
The artwork depicts the disparity between the legislative movement and the lived experience of wheelchair users in China. It shows features that would meet legislative approval in China today (path, ramp to the kiosk) which are failing to provide functional access for the wheelchair user. The use of Lego symbolises an artificial creation of access for people with a disability. In the sculpture the wheelchair user is turning his head away from the barriers to access the facilities, reflecting his reluctance to advocate for his rights. The construction worker has his back to the wheelchair user, reflecting his lack of awareness of the issue. The Irony of having a wheelchair access sign on a toilet located up a staircase is used to emphasise how a seemingly obvious issue can be easily overlooked.
International Labour Organization. (2008). Facts on people with disabilities in China. Retrieved May 26, 2016, from
Palmer, J. (2013). Disabled people in modern China are still stigmatized, marginalised and abused. What hope is there for reform? Retrieved May 26, 2016, from
Buddin, L. (2015). Chinas disabled access/facilities - a British carer’s advice. Retrieved May 26, 2016, from
Clothes to Die For
Jennifer Ho and Sara Foy
33cm (H) x 30cm (D) x 45cm (W)
Cardboard, photo collage, acrylic paint, doll
Today, fashion brands place a large demand on garment factories to produce cheap clothing for the sake of fast fashion trends. But at what cost? On April 24, 2013, 1134 Bangladeshi garment workers lost their lives, injuring 2500 more, when the Rana Plaza, a large garment making facility for popular fashion brands, collapsed (Labour Behind the Label, 2016). The collapse brought to light the grave contrast between those who wear the clothes and those who make the clothes.
While we are all guilty of looking into the mirror in a fitting room and feeling proud about the way clothing makes us look and feel, what we fail to acknowledge is the horrific injustices experienced by the person whose hands made our clothing. The clothing on the doll highlights the people behind the clothes who risk their lives daily simply by going to work to create the clothing on our backs. The fitting room not only represents the physical environment of garment industry that contributes to these injustices but also the social, institutional, and cultural influences.
Garment workers lack autonomy over how they spend their time and earn a wage, as there are no other opportunities to provide for their families beyond the garment industry. Long working hours and earning well below living wages translates to garment workers being deprived of opportunities to participate in meaningful occupations outside factory walls. The high demand for garments, dictated by the fashion industry, burdens garment workers through compromising working conditions, crowded working environments, and working in constant fear for safety and wellbeing as a result of disintegration of the buildings structural integrity.
As consumers, we need to acknowledge our contribution to the horrific experiences the people who make our clothing face, and ask ourselves, is our clothing really worth dying for?
- Labour Behind the Label. (2016).
Worker safety: The right to work without fear for your life is a human right.
Retrieved 10 May 2016, from
- Morgan, A. (Director), & Giuggioli, L., Vittoro, V., Siegle, L., Harvey, C. (Producers). (2015).
The True Cost
[Documentary]. USA: BullFrog Films.
- Motlagh, J. (2014). The ghosts of rana plaza.
Virginia Quarterly Review: A National Journal of Literature and Discussion, 90
TITLE: I Want to Go to School!
ARTISTS: Xizi Ivy Shen and Yik Ling Chan
MEASUREMENTS: 60cm X 60cm
MEDIUM USED: Paint
Girls in Afghanistan have limited access to education. In 2013, for every 100 boys, only 71 girls attended primary school and only 21% of girls completed the primary education (Strand, 2015).
A range of factors contributes to this inequality in education. Being the minority group in a male-dominant society, women in Afghanistan have low social status. Violence against women is common in Afghanistan. Attacks by insurgents who opposed to women’s access to education have caused regular closures of the girls’ schools. Due to safety concerns, parents are reluctant to send their daughter to school. Because of the low family income and poverty, many school-age girls have to work in agriculture field or similar occupations to support their families. Besides, traditional beliefs about women’s roles as mothers and housekeepers rather than breadwinners are still prevailing in Afghanistan, depriving women of their rights to receive education.
Our artwork is divided into three areas to demonstrate how various factors interact with one another to impact on women’s access to education in Afghanistan. The bottom part describes efforts of the local government and international communities to improve accessibility of education for women in Afghanistan. The top-right part conveys the ideas that in spite of government’s efforts, gender disparity in education still persists. The major reason behind is that violence against women has not been addressed and the traditional beliefs about women’s role in society are so deep-seated. The 3D lens and the top-left part describe that occupational therapists can promote occupational justice of females by using enablement skills. Occupational therapists can advocate the education inequality through visiting the local communities. With the efforts of educating local communities about women’s right and collaborating with them through forming partnership, traditional beliefs can be gradually disrupted.
Strand, A. (2015).
Expanding and improving quality of girl’s education in
. Retrieved from Brookings website:
Reaching for Education
Rachel Brunker and Michelle Neville
23cm x 32cm
Photoshop of digital images and photography, printed on paper and displayed on cardboard
Zaatari, the largest refugee camp in the Middle East, is home to more than 80,000 Syrian refugees fleeing war and persecution. Although Zaatari was originally considered a temporary residence, as 3 years have passed it has become an unexpected and permanent home for many.
On the surface, Zaatari has developed into a functioning community with an economy, jobs, schools, playgrounds, hospitals, and mosques. External barriers to the accessibility of facilities contribute to occupational deprivation of residents.
With over half of the population under 18 years of age, access to education is a significant issue. Despite the existence of schools within the community, 1 in 3 children within Zaatari do not attend school. Schools are too far away for some, the travel can be unsafe, school supplies can be unaffordable, and many children are required to look after siblings or work to support their family. With many families yearning to leave the camp, this lack of education may negatively influence opportunities available after permission is granted to leave.
The artwork symbolises the occupational deprivation that children within Zaatari experience. The use of chains restricting hands reaching out to a graduation cap symbolises the external barriers that limit children’s access to schools within Zaatari. The existence of schools does not automatically provide children with an education, and it is the chains that need to be broken to allow children to fulfil their occupational role as a learner, which greatly influences their occupational well being and opportunities available to them in the future.
Education Sector Working Group. (2014).
Access to education for refugee children in Zaatari camp, Jordan: Joint education needs assessment report.
Ott, S. (2015).
Syrians at Zaatari camp: ‘We can’t live here forever’.
Aaron Hennessy & Abraham Tedjakusuma
60cm x 30cm
(Triptych) Photography with digital manipulation
In 2015, 1.5 million refugees, Syrians included, fled to Germany seeking asylum. Through violence, pain and destruction they have been forced to seek refuge in an environment not like their own. In the pursuit of safety, they have fractured their cultural identity, irrevocably impacting their lived experience.
The loss of family and cultural identity causes a lack of volition, subsequently decreasing occupational engagement. This is made drastically more difficult in an environment where they experience racism and discrimination because of a distorted social perception of their culture; based off isolated actions of a minority. Barriers concerning language and physical environments also affect their ability to pursue and engage in culturally appropriate tasks and meaningful occupations.
The relationship between person-environment factors ultimately affect Refugees’ engagement in familiar and culturally appropriate occupations. These factors also cause occupational deprivation particularly concerning careers/vocation.
Refugees experience varying hardships during their journey, but all share a common loss of cultural and occupational identity.
represents the lack of clarity in their lives caused by occupational alienation and deprivation; presented through gradual distortion of images. When viewed in reverse, images portray the process of enabling self-rediscovery.
not only represents occupational injustices faced by refugees, but also the changing landscape of German culture/community due to the influx of refugees. This affects cultural, social, and personal aspects of German people’s lives, and places a strain on the country’s resources. This argument is purely based on perspective, but important to consider when enabling occupation with communities and addressing occupational injustices.
Where is the love?
Ka Shue (Adam) Chan and Mary Zhang
400mm (w) X 500mm (h)
Mixed media on canvas
On Sunday May 8th, 2016, another Chinese physician died after being attacked by a patient. How many more Chinese physicians must die before the government takes substantial action to resolve the fundamental reasons that are turning hospitals into murder scenes? From a western perspective (in this case, America) a physician is usually well respected and well paid because a majority of individuals entrust their lives into their hands every day. And yet, from an eastern perspective, specifically, a Chinese perspective, a physician is seen and treated in a severely different way. This art piece is divided into 2 sides in order to not only contrast these differences, but to also highlight and to raise awareness in regards to the fundamental issue behind the way physicians are treated in China.
On the “American” side, the Holy Bible is the foundation in which the Puritans used to build America since arriving on the Mayflower in 1620. Later on, hospitals were built through this foundation of love and trust based on Biblical principles. Although it is not perfect and there are many flaws, this foundation remains through the comprehensive laws that protect both health care professionals and patients. Turning the spotlight on the “China” side, we can see the downward spiraling effects of having a core value of money and corruption. Many patients and their families secretly give “red pockets” to their physicians in hopes of receiving a better treatment. Money is seen as all-powerful and able to solve all the problems in the world. However, once the patient either cannot be healed or passes away, the blame is placed entirely on the physician. Even though this art piece seeks to explore and to explain the root of the occupational injustice issue towards Chinese doctors, it is difficult to provide a practical solution to this complex situation; to provide a solution would be to opening up a can of worms that will then be placed into another can to be then opened for brave souls in the future.
Jie, Koh. (2016). Doctors launch nationwide campaign to memorialize murdered colleague.
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Family practice doctor
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Get a doctor!
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Kumar, S. (2016, January 31).
My personal story on story-telling in medicine
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Multiple Sclerosis Network of Care Australia. (n.d.).
What is patient-centred care?
Rodazione. (2015, November 16).
Diabete e malattie cardiovascolari: Le cure migliorano se c’e fiducia nel proprio medico
. Retrieved from
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To bribe or not to bribe, that is the choice
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TITLE: Polluted Water "MADE IN CHINA"
Yan Nam Lee & Ma Ashley Palisada
Unwanted materials, mirror pieces (glass), plastic (cup and straw), water colour paint, liquid water
China is the “Factory of the World,” where many of the world’s goods are produced. These factories operate in the rural areas of China, unrestrictedly using chemicals banned in other parts of the world. This leads to waste and pollution in their rivers and water supply. While we benefit from the ‘Made in China’ label, China suffers the effects of the pollution. Higher rates of oesophagus, stomach and liver cancer exist in these areas now commonly termed “cancer villages.” Due to the factories being located in rural areas, poorer Chinese people are most affected.
Safe drinking water is a basic need! Occupations
like sleeping, eating and working, rely on having access to it. A
living in these cancer villages are exposed to toxic and carcinogenic substances in the polluted water. This physical
is outside their control, and is heavily influenced by the political and social realities in, and outside of China. Individuals encounter injustice such as
where for periods of time, people are unable to engage in meaningful and essential occupations.
This artwork reflects the occupational injustice faced by people living in these cancer villages, specifically those brought about by the clothing industry. The cup of coloured water represents what the water looks like in their daily lives while they drink it and use it for laundry, cooking and all other daily purposes. The mirror pieces reflect the audience’s clothing and reminds us that what we wear is contributing to this occupational injustice.
Anderson, H. E. (2015). Global Issue of Clean Water as it Impacts Occupation.
OCCUPATION: A Medium of Inquiry for Students, Faculty & Other Practitioners
Advocating for Health through Occupational Studies
China’s Water Pollution Crisis
. Retrieved 21 May, 2016, from
Water Pollution in China
. Retrieved 21 May, 2016, from
Every Last Child
Hui Sun, Jessica Lee
H16.5cm x D17cm x W28.2cm
Cardboard, printed images
Educational injustice for female children in rural India still exists today despite the efforts made over the past decade to improve this inequality. This leaves behind millions of uneducated children in poverty with little life chances.
The barriers of this injustice represent some of the nation’s toughest challenges which are poverty, lack of quality education and teachers, poor infrastructure and living conditions, attitudes towards education, rapidly growing size of population and limited Government funding.
Female children in India experience the above barriers with additional burden as they face gendered discrimination. Social barriers include pressures of older girls to look after the home and siblings, misconception that girls do not need education and parents seeing limited economic benefits in educating daughters as marriage is the primary goal for girls.
Every Last Child
portrays the impact of barriers on children’s education using everyday educational tools that are lacking for these children such as paper, pencil, scissors, glue and ink. This artwork places emphasis on the importance of education as a tool to unlock potential as every child can scale great heights if given the right learning opportunities. Education assists children to hone their creativity and skills, like this artwork, under the guidance of teachers to secure a life of dignity for themselves, their families and communities.
As India has the highest number of children in the world, advocating for improvements in the quality and accessibility of education will lead the way to improving education for the world.
Google Images. (n.d.). Untitled. Retrieved May 26, from
Google Images. (n.d.). Untitled. Retrieved May 26, 2016, from
Google Images. (n.d.). Untitled. Retrieved May 26, 2016, from
Save The Children. (2016).
Every Last Child.// Retrieved May 22, 2016, from
TITLE: Limited Edition Communities
ARTISTS: Shalyce Corney and Laura Mondy
MEASUREMENTS: H: 25cm x W: 28.5cm x D: 6.5cm
MEDIUM USED: Cardboard, acetate, fabric and found objects
The Inupiat People of Shishmaref, Alaska and the Borena Tribe of Ethiopia and Somalia are two communities from separate continents. While vastly different in many ways, both are experiencing the injustices of climate change, a problem to which they have scarcely contributed.
In Alaska the Inupait People of Shishmaref are experiencing temperatures that are rising faster than anywhere else in the world. The permafrost beneath the town is melting and there is less sea ice to buffer the town from storm surges that erode the shoreline. Buildings have already been lost to the sea. Relocation is becoming inevitable, but could see the Inupiat lose the opportunity to participate in cultural practices including hunting, traditional dancing and cooking native recipes.
A nomadic people, the Borena Tribe of Somalia and Ethiopia have herded camels, cows and goats for hundreds of years. Climate change has brought harsh droughts to the Sub-Saharan countries; with no food and their animals rapidly dying, many groups of the Borena Tribe have been forced to create settlements. Relying on aid, they are losing farming and building construction traditions that have been passed down through generations.
Western Society’s consumption of goods is a major contributor to climate change. Emissions from the production and transportation of products and their packaging are causing occupation deprivation in communities around the world. This artwork frames Climate Refugees in terms that Western Society seems to understand and points out that with every unconsidered purchase we are selling their future and that of our planet.
Bronen, R. (2008). Alaskan communities’ rights and resilience.
Forced Migration Review
, 31, 30-32. Retrieved May 22
Graves, L. (2015) From Shishmaref to Paris: How to keep a culture from drowning.
Retrieved May 22
Heavens, A. (2016).
Coping with severe drought in Ethiopia's southern Moyale district
. Retrieved 26 May 2016, from
Marino, E., & Lazrus, H. (2015). Migration or Forced Displacement?: The Complex Choices of Climate Change and Disaster Migrants in Shishmaref, Alaska and Nanumea, Tuvalu. Human Organization, 341-350. doi: 10.17730/0018-7259-74.4.341
Milmo, C. (2006).
Drought in Africa: Ethiopia's bitter harvest
. Retrieved 26 May 2016, from
Sheppard, K. (2014) Climate change takes a village as the planet warms, A remote Alaskan town shows just how unprepared we are.
The Huffington Post.
Retrieved May 23
Pashley, A. (2016).
Save the Children: Ethiopia drought a ‘wake-up call’ to futureproof crops | Climate Home - climate change news
Climate Change News
. Retrieved 26 May 2016, from
Styles, R. (2015).
Fascinating world of Kenya's Borana revealed
. Retrieved 26 May 2016, from
Sutter, J. D. (2009) Climate change threatens life in Shishmaref, Alaska.
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TITLE: India's Silent Shame
ARTISTS: Emily Halse and Sophie Mansour
MEASUREMENTS: 20cm x 25cm
MEDIUM USED: photo frame, oil paint, paper, glad wrap, Delhi Police logo, lock, travel tag, ribbon and handle.
Child trafficking is prevalent and widespread in India, involving the forced removal of children from their families and homes. They are coerced into a life of prostitution, early marriage, illegal adoption, child labour and organ harvesting. Harboured predominantly within Indian borders and exposed to various acts of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, child trafficking holds the key to a new era of slavery. This impacts on a child’s ability to engage in fundamental activities of daily life that should facilitate their growth and development. Typical activities withheld from a child removed include performing self-care tasks, having access to an adequate education and participating in child play. Occupational deprivation of these meaningful tasks, impacts on a child’s developing self-identity, as well as their drive and motivation to live an enriched life.
Child trafficking is a rampant cycle within India as a developing country, it lacks the financial means and resources to support its people. This results in performing unethical acts of trafficking as an avenue to support oneself. The corrupt legal system perpetuates the issue by accepting bribes and sheltering offenders, therefore silencing a child’s opportunity to true justice.
The image of a faceless child trapped in a suitcase depicts the horrifying realities of child trafficking in India. It conveys the notion that any child is at risk of becoming a stranger’s dispensable commodity. The depiction of the police stamp of approval emphasises the police role in facilitating child trafficking and concealing discoveries in the dark.
Vulnerable Children - Child Trafficking India
. Retrieved 19 May 2016, from
Harlan, E. K. (2012). It happends in the dark: Examining current obstacles to identifying and rehabilitating child sex-trafficking victims in India and the United States.
University of Colorado Law Review, 83
Oppong, S. H. (2014). Trafficking women and children for sexual exploitation: India policy ad recommendation for policy improvement.
Ahfad Journal, 31
Ghosh, B. (2009). Trafficking in women and children in India: nature, dimensions and strategies for prevention.
The International Journal Of Human Rights
Ghosh, B. (2009). Trafficking in women and children in India: nature, dimensions and strategies for prevention.
The International Journal Of Human Rights
Learning to be a Soldier
Georgia Phillips and Erin Thornton
30 x 40 cm
Mixed media on canvas (paint, plastic toy guns, wood, crayons)
Children recruited as child soldiers in civilian conflicts around the world are deprived
the right to participate and engage in childhood occupations that enrich and bring meaning to life. Rather than engaging in meaningful and relevant occupations associated with learning and playing, children are forced into roles within armed forces that require them to engage in active combat, serve as human shields or suicide bombers, or fulfil non-combative roles as sex slaves and intelligence spies (McBride, 2014).
This occupational injustice ensues due to the vulnerability of children, making them easy to abduct, manipulate and control. Their innocence and naivety is exacerbated by a number of environmental factors. Children living in refugee camps, on the street, or in single-parent or child-headed households are more readily targeted for abduction. War propaganda is presented in schools to manipulate children into volunteering for what they believe is a better life. These situations occur within developing countries where despite the efforts of the United Nations and other organisations, the economic and political environment prohibits the abolishment of these practices.
The injustice faced by child soldiers is demonstrated in the artwork through the guns replacing a typical school blackboard, representing how the occupations of a child soldier replace and prevent children from engaging in typical learning. This extends to all childhood occupations. The artwork illustrates how the inherent innocence and vulnerability of children are targeted; children whose age correlates with learning simple mathematical sums are instead learning how to handle weapons and survive in circumstances that no child should face.
McBride, J. (2014). The war crime of child soldier recruitment. The Hague, The Netherlands: Asser Press.
Something in the Air
Emilie Allan and Meagan O’Brien
60cm x 35cm
Photographs, sticks, twine, pegs, cardboard
Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a man-made phenomenon and has been deemed a public health emergency with health, population and economic consequences predicted to eclipse Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks (Wingfield et al., 2014). In the western province of Papua New Guinea transmission of MDR-TB is no longer a consequence of an ill-equipped health care system. Serious infection rates from inadequate infection control has allowed resistant strains to become primarily transmitted via air droplets. Tuberculosis has catastrophic socio-economic impacts, is inherently linked to poverty and commonly affects persons of economically productive or vulnerable age. MDR-TB treatment requires compliance with stringent and uncomfortable infection control precautions and commitment to daily medications for up to two years, which cause undesirable side effects. Medical treatments are mostly free, however the indirect costs can equate to more than 20% of annual income in poorer households, from costs associated with rural travel, lost income/employment and co-residency of infected persons, factors associated with treatment failure (Wingfield et al., 2014).
MDR-TB has resulted from occupational disengagement, thus eradication efforts must increase treatment success by addressing the underlying occupational causes of failure. This piece hangs in air with pictures on the centre string exposing the occupational cycle and ease of disease transmission. The outside pictures seek to promote reflection of how cultural constructs such as rural and communal living enable high infection rates and why treatment failure is heavily impacted by socio-economic necessity within PNG communities. This cycle must be broken by immediate action which facilitates occupational engagement in culturally appropriate health care, as biomedical interventions alone are failing.
Wingfield, T., Boccia, D., Tovar, M., Gavino, A., Zevallos, K., Montoya, R., Lonnroth, K., Evans, C. (2014) Defining Catastrophic Costs and Comparing Their Importance for Adverse Tuberculosis Outcome with Multi-Drug Resistance: A Prospective Cohort Study, Peru. PLoS Med, 11(7), doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001675
Artwork inspired by:
Chandler, J. (2016). ‘Ebola with wings’: Expert raises alarm over deadly tuberculosis outbreak in PNG. Retrieved from Australian Broadcasting Corporation website:
Coffin Cage Home
Ivy Ching Yee Yu, Yan Yue Yung (Alexis)
38cm(l) x 18cm(w) x 19cm(h)
wire gauze, shoebox, food erasers, cloth, clay, wooden block, pegs, plastic bag, tissue paper, wrapping materials, cardboard, EVA plastic sheet, ground black pepper, crayons, markers, craft glue
Living in a city with the least affordable housing in the world (Li, 2016), 200,000 cage home dwellers in Hong Kong (HK) experience occupational marginalization (Marsh, 2016; Stadnyk, Townsend, & Wilcock, 2010) as they have no choice in shelters. A 450-square-foot flat is shared among twenty strangers with each cubicle comprising of a two-layer bed bounded by wire mesh. Sleeping areas are infested with bed bugs and air is stagnant with sweat and urine odours (Marsh, 2016). The poor living condition results in human rights violation and occupational deprivation, in which tenants are precluded from engagement (Whiteford, 2000) in quality rest and self-care activities.
Insufficient public housing is a structural factor contributing to the injustice. With a 7.3 million population (HKSAR Census and Statistics Department, 2015), public housing is provided to about two million people (HKSAR Information Services Department, 2015). Over 300,000 are waitlisted and housing allocation takes three to ten years (Gottlieb & Hang, 2011). The growing disparity between housing cost and income is a contextual factor. Cage home rent increased 20% in the last five years. A 15-square-foot bunk (AU$200/month) is barely affordable by low-income residents - the unemployed, new immigrants, people with mental illness and ex-offenders (Marsh, 2016).
This artwork depicts a typical cage home in HK, which is set within a coffin to represent the quote on both sides of the model. The tenants’ hopelessness is illustrated by the blue figure. The juxtaposition of the night scene and cage home shows the increasing wealth disparity faced by HK.
Gottlieb, B. & Hang, K. (2011, July 26). Hong Kong’s poorest living in ‘coffin homes’. CNN. Retrieved from
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Census and Statistics Department (2015). Population. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Information Services Department (2015). Housing. Retrieved from
Li, S. (2016, January 25). Hong Kong most expensive housing market in the world for the sixth year in a row: Survey classifies our homes as ‘least affordable’ ever. South China Morning Post. Retrieved from
Marsh, L. (2016). The strategic use of human rights treaties in Hong Kong's cage-home crisis: No way out? Asian Journal of Law and Society, 3(1), 159-188. doi:10.1017/als.2015.23
Stadnyk, R., Townsend, E., & Wilcock, A. (2010). Occupational justice. In C. H. Christiansen & E. A. Townsend (Eds.), Introduction to occupation: The art and science of living (2nd ed.) (pp. 329-358). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Whiteford, G. (2010). Occupational deprivation: Understanding limited participation. In C. H. Christiansen & E. A. Townsend (Eds.), Introduction to occupation: The art and science of living (2nd ed.) (pp. 303-328). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Breaking the Cycle
Ashley Southoff and Laura Krebser
22cm x 26cm x 60cm
String, wood, paper, pencils
The Inuit people have occupied Arctic Canada for over 4000 years. Today, this growing population is nearly 60 000, with the majority of that being young people. The suicide rate amongst Inuit Canadians is one of the highest in the world, and eleven times higher than the overall Canadian average. This mental oppression is not the outcome of a single cause, rather it is ingrained within a multiplicity of social, environmental, and historical circumstances. Historical events such as residential schools and colonialism have caused longstanding, detrimental effects on the health and well-being of Inuit Canadians that continue to plague their communities, today. The geographical isolation of Inuit communities, rising unemployment rates, and limited access to healthcare and education exacerbate these pre-existing issues and contribute to a devastating cycle of disparity that is passed on from generation to generation.
Our artwork represents this complicated cycle and depicts some of the interwoven factors that contribute to the occupational deprivation and marginilisation of the Inuit people. The well-being of Inuit people is negatively affected by the complex issues depicted in the illustrations, such as geographical isolation, unemployment, domestic violence, addiction, and mental illness among countless others, resulting in a considerable lack of engagement in meaningful occupation.
The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) organisation takes a key role in advocating for the development of policies and initiatives that promote health and well-being of Inuit communities. However, breaking the cycle will require increased access to healthcare and social supports, in addition to a genuine commitment to understanding the intergenerational trauma that afflicts Inuit Canadians.
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. (2014).
Social Determinants of Inuit Health in Canada.
Khan, S. (2008). Aboriginal mental health: the statistical reality
. Visions: Aboriginal
(1), 6-7. Retrieved from:
“A day in the life…”
Merriam Alcedo and Andrea Poopalapillai
40 cm (H) x 60 cm (L) x 20 cm (W)
Corkboard, photos, small toys, jars, lollies, craft glue.
Most of the wealth that exists in the world is spread out amongst “developed countries” such as Australia. The vast majority of the world however does not see wealth in nearly the same magnitudes. The Philippines, an Asian country, has seen its fair share of poverty.
From an OT lens, the poverty existing in the Philippines subjects the citizens to the occupational injustice of deprivation from meaningful occupations. We have chosen to highlight this injustice through our art piece using the different perspectives of a typical teenaged girl displayed opposite to her Filipino counterpart living in Sydney.
Although visually, both lives are appealing in their own respects, the Sydneysider has more occupations available to her and therefore more access to occupations that are meaningful to her as an individual. If the Filipino teenager had the equal access to wealth, she could cut down on the time it takes her to commute with a private car for example, or do an exchange abroad to broaden her perspective and further her development as an individual. Less choice in this case is less opportunity.
While it is quite possible that the Filipino teenager is content with the occupations she has, it could be a case where ignorance is bliss. Should we accept that this is how the world works; or as the ones holding much of the earth’s capital, is it then our responsibility to spread it around more evenly and enabling our international counterparts? What can we do to alleviate this injustice?
Wearing the Weight of the World
Sarah-Jane Rodham & Nicole Tereza Watherston
50cm x 60cm
Mixed media- various metals, silk, feathers, concrete, fabric, cardboard, wood, rubber and plastic
he Al Za’atari Camp in northern Jordan is the world’s second-largest refugee camp with approximately 100,000 Syrian residents, 23,000 of which are girls under the age of 18. Having fled the violence and destruction of war, these young women find themselves in a colourless wasteland that is in stark contrast to their lush, green native homeland. Their new home is row upon row of tents, caravans and cinder block amenities set on 13 square kilometers of desert, caged in barbed wire and guarded by police and military. Forced to leave their homes, the girls’ long for their friends, family and a chance for an education which very few continue once inside the walls of the camp.
This artwork intends to portray some facets of the lives these young Syrian women lead, starting with the heavy chain necklace representing the weight they carry each day as well as a loss of their material possessions.The necklace itself is a circle signifying the monotony and repetition of everyday life, clasped with handcuffs, as refugees cannot leave the camp without government permission.
Each object hanging from the necklace signifies an aspect of refugee life; rubble, barbwire and high vis, representing the destroyed cities they left behind and the industrial desert they now inhabit.But there is hope; jewels, flowers and best-friend charms represent the girl's personality and dreams. Dreams and lives that have been put on hold, indefinitely, like an hourglass frozen in time.
The Vice Channels (2016). Za’atari Refugee Camp. Retrieved 21st May, 2016, from
UNHCR (2016). Syria Regional Refugee Response. Retrieved 23rd May, 2016 from
Desire for Different future for Women in Yemen
Xia Xin and Oyundari Enkh-Amar
49 x 59.4 x 7cm
Foam board, cardboard, pictures, glue, marker pen.
In Yemen, the future that awaits a girl and a boy has a stark contrast. They are born into a cultural system influenced by Islamic religion that enforces strict gender roles and expectations that are oppressing to women. From young age, girls are expected to stay home to do house chores, while boys go to school and play outside. This deprives girls of occupational leisure activities that of a child and marginalises them from education as most women in Yemen are illiterate.
Young girls, below age of eighteen, are often forced into an early marriage. Early pregnancy combined with lack of access to hospital due to the rural location and lack of transport, and the prohibition to show body parts to a male doctor (religious practice) often cause serious health complications and even death.
In the eyes of Yemen court, a woman is considered only half a witness. This results in severe occupational apartheid as a request for divorce and child custody from a woman is denied, and freedom and role of a mother are taken away.
Only few women in Yemen work as employment is frowned upon, and they are required to obtain permission from husband or male relative when leaving the house. This lack of financial income and dependence on men cause women to become victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse; leading to their occupational alienation as they are prevented from participating in meaningful activities of their choice and becoming isolated from the outside world and community involvement.
Cooke, R (2008). Is this the worst place on earth to be a woman?. Retrieved from
UNFPA. (2015). Violence, inequality plague women in conflict-ravaged Yemen.
TITLE: Play Around the World
ARTISTS: Phoebe Birchall and Brianna Kelly
MEASUREMENTS: 50cm x 50cm x 15cm
MEDIUM USED: Plywood, children's books, children's toys
The act of play is considered to be the most significant occupation for a child, as it facilitates emotional maturity, physical development and social interaction (Ginsburg, 2007). Many children worldwide are deprived of this fundamental occupation due to external contextual factors impeding on their development (Ginsburg, 2007). This sculpture represents four such conditions of occupational deprivation, imbalance and interruption through the realities of a child soldier, refugee, and worker.
A child soldier is represented through a bloodied landscape to depict the stern actualities that are faced by some children across the world. Play is removed from these children when they are recruited to fight unjust wars in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic (Child Soldiers International, 2016.
A child refugee is represented through a torn and dirtied landscape, with wet picture book pages linking to the commonly publicised images of deceased ‘boat’ children. Play becomes a deprived luxury when war and political unrest results in desperately displaced people turning to dangerous escapes as a last resort (
Berinstein & Magalhaes, 2009)
A child worker is represented through a burnt and worn out landscape demonstrating the immense economical demands placed on children, forcing them into unsafe vocation in countries like Bangladesh (United Nations, 2008). An imbalance of play occurs as children must work extremely long hours in very treacherous conditions which have on many occasion led to fire and building collapse resulting in mass casualties (United Nations, 2008).
These are then contrasted with a ‘normal’ typical experience of a child in the Western world. Although normal can never be defined, this landscape represents the enjoyment of play and the opportunities it possesses.
Berinstein, S., & Magalhaes, L. (2009). A study of the essence of play experience to children living in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Occupational Therapy International, 16(2), 89-106.
Child Soldiers International. (2016).
Who are child soldiers?
Ginsburg, K. R. (2007). The importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bonds.
, 119(1), 182-191.
United Nations (2008).
. Retrieved from
TITLE: Altering the Ladder of Life
ARTISTS: Kelsey McIntosh & Teresa Alexandra Bowen
MEASUREMENTS: 60cm x 30cm
MEDIUM USED: Canvas, acrylic paints, drawing pins, rope
Those with a serious mental illness are exposed to a high degree of stigmatization in the workplace and many barriers to employment. This is evident through high unemployment rates of mentally ill persons in Canada. Factors contributing to this statistic include discrimination, social stigma surrounding mental illness, exclusion, and devaluation. These factors add limits and barriers to recovery, employment and life opportunities and ultimately influence the overall well being for people with mental illness.
Having a psychologically safe workplace means promoting employees’ psychological well-being. It doesn’t discriminate or harm an employee's mental health in anyway, instead this environment may increase opportunities for persons living with mental illness. Access to meaningful employment can improve well being and assist recovery by giving people financial stability, sense of purpose and a sense of identity.
Altering the Ladder of Life
the different rungs of the ladder represent the different 'stages' society follows throughout our life course. Getting a job and maintaining employment is a vital stage in a shared economic world, it’s assumed that all persons will have this lived experience. In Canada, mental health and employment do not appear to have such a simplistic relationship but rather, a complex one. 70-90% of people living with mental illness in Canada are unemployed, as a result of negative stigma surrounding mentally ill person’s capacity to perform in a work environment. It is an example of exclusion and discrimination.The mind map represents a network of interconnected issues that exclude mentally ill persons from full employment but also the complexity and perhaps confusion present in the minds of a mentally ill person. The stretch of this network not only across the employment sector of life, but also into family and college years, is a representation of the impact of how unemployment as a result of mental illness, whilst originating from other areas, has the ability to influence many life components.
Canadian Mental Health Association, (2014). Unemployment, mental health and substance use. Retrieved 16th May, 2016, from
Mental health Commission of Canada, (2012).
Psychological Health and Safety: An Action Guide for Employers
. Retrieved 14th May, 2016, from
Take my disability
Rayan Falemban & Adam Hoi Chun Lo
H8 x W46 x D39 cm
Foam board, paper box, papers, small cars, and correction fluid
People with disabilities have the right to access or engage in meaningful and purposeful occupations, activities of daily living. The accessibility to public facilities reflects the respect and effective application of the occupational justice where everyone has the right to do the activitiesthat he or she wants needs to do.The unauthorized use of disability parking spaces will cause people with disabilities to be unable to access public facilities to engage in their occupations.This represents occupational injustice and violation of occupational rights for people with special needs. It reduces their opportunities to participate in meaningful occupations we take for granted everyday, such as shopping, eating out, and visiting public places.
This right is often violated in Saudi Arabia due to the lack of government promotion and poor public understanding of disability rights. This will not only impact on psychological aspects of their life due to the feeling of powerless but also influence the physical side as safety hazards may occur when they need to make extra effort to access a building.
Our artwork shows a daily scene in Saudi Arabia where disability parking spaces are occupied by unauthorized cars. The aim of our artwork is to increase awareness of disability rights through presenting this common scene in the country.The statement of
“take my disability before taking my park”
gives a direct message to people who might occupy these parks illegally to think and put themselves in the same situation of the people with disabilities.
Nagadi M., (2013). Online campaign to help the disabled in Saudi Arabia. Retrieved May 15, 2016, from
Cohen Schnierer and Reuben Sago
148mm x 210mm
Photography and drawing
The World Federation of Occupational Therapists includes sexual expression as a fundamental activity of daily living. It takes a mere moment of reflection to appreciate how core it is to who we are and how we construct our identities. In Iran, LGBT persons experience occupational injustice based on sexual expression. Same-sex sexual activity is illegal, punishable by imprisonment, corporal punishment and execution. This deprivation of LGBT occupational rights has been in effect since the early 1930s with the revision of state penal codes. It is more recently however, with the death knell of religious pluralism and the fallout of the 1979 Iranian revolution, that a marked trend of increasingly conservative ideologues have adopted policies of societal intolerance and occupational injustice. To avoid the criminal repercussions enforced upon them, many men in Iran undergo state funded gender reassignment. Our photo highlights the discrepancy in sexual expression in an Iranian context by juxtaposing an Australian one in which the subject is peacefully depicted in contemplation of Iran using coloured pencils, homage to their recurring use in Iranian protest art, with a rainbow flag twist.
This photo is meant to contrast with the phantasmagoria of horror that occupational injustice at such a central level evokes when we think of the suffering enforced gender reassignment produces. The use of dress is meant to vacillate perspective between the two contexts, inducing contradistinction between the multitudes of meanings an Australian man’s wearing might imply with the state prescribed removal of sexual freedom an Iranian man’s wearing necessarily connotes.
Couldrick, L. (2005). Sexual expression and occupational therapy.
The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68
Dehghan, S. K. (2009, October 10).
The art of protest in Iran
. Retrieved from The Guardian:
Jackson, J. (1995). Sexual orientation: Its relevance to occupational science and the practice of occupational therapy.
The American Journal of Occupation Therapy, 49
Khoshnood, K., Hashemian, F., Moshtagh, N., Eftekahri, M., & Setayesh S. (2008). T03-O-08 Social stigma, homosexuality and transsexuality in Iran.
A Slum Girl’s Destiny
Lauren Parsons & Madison Regan
50cm(h) x 55cm(w) x 30cm(d)
Mixed media - pin board, paper, cardboard, photographs, clay, notebooks, key, padlock, chains, jewellery, fake coins, lead and coloured pencils, stickers, glitter glue.
Roughly 3.8 million Indian girls are still out of school despite the country’s ever increasing economy. In the Mumbai slum community ‘Dharavi’, girls are born into poverty and have their destiny pre-determined. In order for their families to survive, these girls are forced to work from a young age and marry as young as 8 years old. If families can afford to send a child to school, this will always be their son. As a result, Dharavi girls are deprived of the choice, opportunity and right to an education, stemming from the poverty-stricken environment they are born into and struggle to escape from.
This dark and dull destiny they encounter is shown on the left. The inward facing hands represent the Dharavi girls’ endeavours to gain an education, and the padlocked book represents their denied access, opportunity and choice. In contrast, the colourful life of wealthy girls is depicted on the right. Since birth they are granted the opportunities, resources, and freedom to access education, as symbolised by the outward facing hands, open book and key. The larger hands in front represent the incredible imbalance of power, justice, and opportunity for education. This could be resolved through advocacy, eliminating stereotypical social roles, and through Government reform and expenditure, providing slum girls with the same educational opportunities, degree of self-determination, and ability to engage in meaningful occupations as wealthy children.
If education is the key to success, why is it not the solution to breaking this vicious poverty cycle for girls in Indian slums?
Borkotoky, K. & Unisa, S. (2014). Female education and its association with changes in socio-demographic behaviour: evidence from India. J. Biosoc. Sci. , 47 (05), 687-706.
Durocher, E., Gibson, B., & Rappolt, S. (2013). Occupational Justice: A Conceptual Review. Journal Of Occupational Science , 21 (4), 418-430.
Mumbai Slum Girls Innovating Where Governments Can't and Markets Won't . (2014). The Huffington Post . Retrieved 19 May 2016, from
Poverty in India: Causes, Effects, Injustice & Exclusion . (2016). Poverties.org . Retrieved 18 May 2016, from
Artwork: The Hourglass of Education
: Georgina Pearce, Dale Scheftz
Apartheid is an Afrikaans word meaning separateness and represents a time in the 1940’s South African of white supremacy where the government imposed a policy of racial separation. During this time no institution reflected the government’s racial policies more clearly then the education system as this was less accessible to the African people, the content taught was a regurgitation of the apartheid belief systems (Heaton & Amoateng, n.d). Although the apartheid is over, residual inequities still exist. The artwork was created to portray government policy and its restrictions on the educational system for African children. The structure is supported by a box covered in the South African education policy and represents the flawed support for African Children. Its policies have led to a large disparity between the rates of students graduating from majority African schools and those graduating from majority white schools (Van der Berg et al, 2002). The pebbles passing through the hourglass are representative of the amount of students entering the education system and, as time passes, the diminishing numbers of graduates. The ratio of black to white pebbles in the bottom of the structure demonstrate that in their final school examinations, predominantly African schools show an average pass rate of 43%, whilst white schools which recorded pass rates of 97% (Lam et al., 2011). Currently, by the age of 18 African children have on average, a two- year educational disadvantage (Ward, Wessels, 2013). In the hourglass this is represented by the black pebbles failing to pass through, the metaphorical significance of this being that black children remain unable to get past the bottleneck formed by society’s educational structures.
This presents us with an intriguing question; with corruption continuing to infiltrate all sectors of an already destitute government, is hope for equality in children’s education in South Africa within reach?
Department of Education. (2004).
National Education and Information Policy South Africa:
2004. Retrieved from
Heaton, T., Amoateng, A., Dufur, M. (n.d).
Race differences in educational attainment in post-apartheid South Africa.
Retrieved from the Princeton website:
Lam, D., Ardington, C., & Leibbrandt, M. (2011). Schooling as a lottery: Racial differences in school advancement in urban South Africa.
Journal of Development Economics
Ward, C., & Wessels, I. (2013).
Rising to the challenge: Towards effective parenting programmes.
Retreieved from the ResearchGate website:
Van der Berg, S., Wood, L., and Le Roux, N. (2002). Differentiation in black education.
Development Southern Africa
, Vol. 19(2): 289-306.
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