Author Archives: Graeme Stuart

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), environmentalist, Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace, sustainability.

Interested in postgraduate study in family studies?

If you could be interested in postgraduate study in family studies, the Family Action Centre is offering an online, interactive information session on Wednesday 10th April, 2019 at 7.30pm, Newcastle time. Continue reading

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My current projects (April 2019)

I’m employed as a lecturer at the Family Action Centre (FAC), University of Newcastle (Australia) which is a great place for somebody with my interests as the FAC incorporates teaching, research, and the delivery of family and community programs. There is always something interesting going on. Here are some of the projects I’m currently involved in. Continue reading

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Strengths-based measurement and collective impact

Data driven approaches like collective impact often prioritise shared measurement and collecting data, particularly quantitative measures, and do not consider the impact of what questions they ask, how they collect data, and who is responsible for interpreting the data. If … Continue reading

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A strengths-based approach to collective impact

Collective impact is an approach to addressing complex social problems. As discussed in the previous post (Collective impact and community engagement), community engagement needs to be at the heart of collective impact, but the (sometimes subtle) message underlying too many initiatives is that the community is part of the problem. When initiatives take a top-down approach and do not involve the community from the start, they are implying that the community has little of value to offer. Continue reading

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Collective impact and community engagement

Kania and Kramer 1 argue that collective impact involves “the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors.” There can be a great deal of variation in how these “important actors” are defined and identified. Some collective impact initiatives are quite top down with a focus on government agencies and professional community services rather than adopting a more bottom up approach that starts with community members. Continue reading

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What is collective impact?

Collective impact is a multi-sector/multi-agency, collaborative leadership approach to large scale social change in communities that is usually place based (i.e., it is focused on a particular town, neighbourhood or community). Continue reading

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Exploring the impact of Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP)

The AVP International Research team, which I’m part of, is exploring how we can measure the impact of workshops, while maintaining the experiential, flexible approach of the workshops. Continue reading

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Power and strengths-based practice

Despite the wide spread acceptance of strengths-based practice—What family or community service would not claim to be strengths-based?—practice does not always live up to the rhetoric.
One of the things that often undermines practitioners’ claims to be strengths-based, is that they fail to recognise the way in which strengths-based practice challenges traditional power relationships. Continue reading

Posted in Families & parenting, Social change, Strengths-based approaches & ABCD, Working with communities | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

4 types of power: What are power over; power with; power to and power within?

When I first started as a youth worker in 1991, I was working in a medium-term accommodation unit for young people who were homeless. I really struggled with being in a position of authority having just graduated from a welfare … Continue reading

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9 things we can do to challenge fast fashion

In my last post I discussed some of the environmental and social issues involved with fast fashion. If we are serious about sustainability and social justice we need to find alternatives. The following are eight things we can do to … Continue reading

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