Community development trainer in Kenya

News abroad:

Our Cert IV in Community Culture trainer, Deevah Melendez-Morales has been volunteering for the Mama Anns Odede Health Centre in Western Kenya, home of the Lou tribes of Kenya (as well as Obama’s’ fathers tribe).  Deevah has been developing project scopes , a draft Strategic Plan and an international online fundraising campaign for the village hospital and Maternal Child Health program.  The Odede Health Centre just opened its doors in March through the financial sponsorship of Australian and other international volunteers.

deevah mama and babies

Deevah’s connection to Western Kenya goes back to 1997 when she first arrived in the village of Mutumbu  on a 6 month volunteer stint working as an English teacher, and hosted by her friend Fred Mito, who is the founder and  now Director of the Mama Anns Community Health Centre.

Deevah has been staying with Fred’s family of 15, mainly young girls to whom she teaches yoga and goes on daily excursions  exploring the many lovely trails around the village of Yala where she has been based for the past 6 weeks. The next stop for Deevah is  Rwanda, Ethiopia, Turkey , Europe , NY , Puerto Rico and then back to Queensland in November!

Creating Links Students:

– Graduating Student, Lee-Ann Dawson is currently working on a Buskers Competition as part of the Mitchell Creek Rock n Blues Festival.

– Our Cert IV in Community Culture student, Toni Allayilis-Hepi entertained the crowds at Woodford Folk Festival with her ‘Las Fridas’ troupe, inspired by the exotic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The humorous troupe of singing Senoritas created her beautiful and iconic self-portraits awash with colourful swirling skirts, Spanish vocal harmonies and Latina hot blooded madcap antics.

Toni Las Fridas 1

Toni Las Fridas 2

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Creating Links News

Certificate IV in Community Culture students graduate!

CCIV Graduation 2013

Top Left: Robbie Murray, Audrey Hutchison, Wendy Francis, Andrea Smith, Claire Fletcher and Lisa Binge.    Bottom Left: Camilla Stephens, Hari Kotrotios and Cassy Harvey. Image below: Wendy Francis and Santa Claus.


We’d like to congratulate all our students this year on their hard work. Students were treated to a Christmas party at The Box Gallery  in the West End, and Santa kindly dropped by to present many with their certificates.

We would also like to congratulate many of the other graduating students who couldn’t attend.  We wish you luck with your future endeavours.

Christmas Wrap-up:

Please note that our office will be closed from 23 December to 2 January 2014. If you wish to contact us, please send us an email to and we will get back to you as possible.

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy festive season and we look forward to connecting with you again in 2014.

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Creating Links October News

For those who took the time to fill out our survey, we’d like to thank you for your feedback.

The information you’ve supplied will assist us to continue to provide and develop relevant and up-to-date courses that will benefit you, your peers and your community.

We asked Sam Nicolosi,  the General Manager of the recently defunded Creative Industries Skills Council, to draw a name from our training survey respondents.  Our congratulations go to  Laine Loxlea-Danann, who has won the $50 voucher.  Laine is the Head of Music at the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA).

Student News

Robbie Murray – SANDS Walk

Our Certificate IV in Community Culture student, Robbie Murray’s community project, the SANDS Walk wrapped up last weekend. The SANDS walk commemorates  International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day.  Robbie spoke about her event:

‘Finally the  BIG day had arrived and  I wasn’t even nervous as I knew I had gained the confidence and skills to stage my event…

The  committee and team of volunteers excelled on the day as they were all well briefed and knew their roles.

My event was a tough one in many ways because of the fragile emotions of parents who have experienced the death of a baby during pregnancy, newborn death or early loss. I had to be very focused and not lose site  of the magnitude of grief a family suffers when putting this event together,  I even attended a grief workshop to help with the understanding of emotions.  Research is a very important tool taught early on in the course and an integral part is knowing what your client is wanting to achieve [milestones].

Our project scope kept on growing, which has helped  build a strong foundation for SANDS in our community linking many services which were not in our original brief.

Our press release played a very important role in achieving wide exposure, we featured in four articles in  local newspapers, two magazine full page spreads, an interview on local radio  and on the day a documentary was made by the students from the Sunshine Coast University. Our team never lost sight of what we needed to  accomplish . [keeping them on task was my  role]  Debrief is next week and the “Thank You “to the community will hit the paper by the end of the week.

I have no doubt that without the skills attained (through the course) I would not have achieved the successful outcome of this event.’

Helga Phillips – Back to Greenvale

Helga Phillips has just finished her project: ‘Back to Greenvale’ (B2G) 40th Anniversary Celebrations over the weekend of the 4-6th  October,  which encouraged current and former locals to support their community and local businesses. Helga said:

‘The Greenvale Progress Association had some funds which had previously been ear tagged for other things that didn’t eventuate, so it was decided that this was a worthwhile project to put this funding towards. In total we put $10,000 to B2G another $2,000 was sponsored by Metallica Minerals and $1,000 from the Three Rivers Hotel toward the entertainment. The rest was funded through registrations, a BBQ that was put on by the B2G Committee and a temporary loan from our Rural Transaction Centre to cover the initial cost of alcohol for the event.  Our team worked together amazingly well.

The History display (which was my area of interest) proved to be popular ..taking people back to an earlier era and reliving the past with others, recollecting some of the stories, activities and interaction between people.

Though we haven’t worked out the final outcome (financial) the feedback has been very positive and already many are looking forward to returning should we hold a similar event. (At this stage there is some talk about opening a time capsule in 2016) so who knows where this will lead us.’

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Community Culture Survey & News

We are currently circulating our 2013 Training Survey and seeking all past and current students, associated organisations and networks to complete our five minute online survey  It is through this input that we can keep our training current and relevant.  We will also use this information to advocate for government subsidies to support the accredited training fees to make the training more affordable and accessible. To show our appreciation, when the survey is completed, respondents names will go into a draw to win a $50 voucher.  The draw deadline is 20th September 2013 at 5pm.

Congratulations to students, Hari Kotrotsios and Sally Charlton, who are our first two graduates of the Cert IV in community culture.  More students will complete the course over the next three months.  A  ceremony is planned for December for our graduates. We will keep you posted.

Creating Links Student News

African Children’s Choir

The African Children’s Choir performed in Coolum last month and audiences were treated to vibrant and colourful performances  as they spread their message of hope and joy during their first visit to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.  The Queensland visit was supported by the Cool Harmonies Choir and choir member,  Hari Kotrotsios, used this activity as her project to complete her community culture coursework.

The 18 children, aged between nine and 12, were hosted by members of Cool Harmonies community choir as part of a five-week tour of eastern Australia.

This tour offered a unique cultural exchange opportunity where participants sang, drummed and danced with the African Children’s Choir on a personal level, while helping to raise awareness of Africa’s destitute children and raise funds for educational programs.

While here, the African children interacted with Coolum State School at a music workshop and mini concert for 1000 students and their parents at morning assembly, finishing with a combined song with students and Cool Harmonies members.

About 350 people attended the public concert which featured local support acts by Human Rhythms, Linsey Pollak and Cool Harmonies. A special Sunday morning concert at Noosa Christian Outreach Church attracted more than 500 people.

In between performances, the African visitors also helped plant 100 baby trees with Coolum District Coast Care and enjoyed some fun time swimming at our local beaches.

Three years after Kwaya Australia first began taking choral groups to Uganda on a cultural exchange program, participants and their choirs opened their homes to the African children and their chaperones.

Everyone who saw these children perform could see what an incredible potential future they have; despite being kids from the slums in Uganda, they have a world of opportunity ahead of them.

ACC 03_farewell[2]ACC 02_group[1][2]

Photos suppiled by Hari Kotrotsios

 The Capricornia Arts Mob at the Articulate Conference

Current student, Brownyn Fredericks and her group, The Capricornia Arts Mob were conference presenters at the Articulate: Regional Arts and Culture Conference this year in Rockhampton.

The Capricornia Arts Mob (also known as CAM) is a collective of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual artists, sculptors, photographers, carvers and writers based in the Rockhampton Region. Its members are eclectic and include an 18 year old through to Elders. CAM has already had a major exhibition in Rockhampton and is submitting work to a range of arts festivals, events and exhibitions. CAM recently won a submission for a public art work that will be installed in Toonooba Park, Rockhampton later  this year. CAM’s achievements are steadily growing since they formed 18 months ago. They will formally incorporate in the next 12 months. As a new group they have been learning how to work together along with enjoying the exhilaration of working collaboratively as artists from diverse Indigenous cultures who utilise different mediums. This has resulted in an incredible vibrancy in their creative praxis.

You can view The Capricornia Arts Mob’s and other speakers presentations on Arts Queensland website here.

Student’s  supporting political candidates in the recent elections

A few weeks ago, a few of our Certificate IV in Community Culture students took time our from their busy sheducle to volunteer at their local polling booth. Robbie Murray was a Booth Captain in Nambour, Claire Fletcher worked in the polling booth in Kooralbyn Valley as the Issuing Officer, and Wendy Francis in Bundaberg as a polling officer.

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Community Culture News – August

Some of the students from the first delivery of  our Certificate IV in Community Culture, which started late last year, will be awarded their accreditation at the end of July, and  well underway to becoming savvy community cultural workers.  All of our students have  been putting their coursework into practice working on community projects, events and festivals.

One student, Wendy Francis, the President of Bundaberg Arts Festival,  has just finished packing up the Bundaberg Arts Festival for another year. Wendy recently mentioned that the training has been so relevant to her work in community:

‘I was first hoping that this Certificate IV Community Culture would assist me in the here and now. As it has turned out I am finding that the skill base I have is being reinforced by added input and the training to assure me that I am operating from a secure foundation. As the course progresses I am finding avenues of opportunity in front of me that were not being accessed…Can highly recommend to anyone with the desire to achieve in the field of Community Development.’

Another student, Claire Fletcher, is currently working on North Stradbroke Island’s Art festival, Lines in the Sand as a Market Stall Organiser. The organisers are currently looking for volunteers to assist with  taking registrations for the workshops,  helping the workshop facilitators and gofering. Transport and food is provided, however, volunteers need to access their own accommodation on the island.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Josephine Ellis at

Lines in the Sand runs from 22-25 June.

We would also like to congratulate our student, Helga Philips on receiving a Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grant to conduct research on behalf of her Greenvale Community Project.

A couple of weeks ago, Audrey delivered a RADF committee training and Being a creative community workshop (picture below) to the Barcoo RADF committee in Jundah.  Audrey mentioned it was a great weekend of shared insights, and Doreen Pitman, their hard working RADF Liaison Officer, and the committee were keen to explore local  and regional initiatives to put Barcoo on the map and bring more tourists into the region.  We’ll keep you posted. To find out more about Barcoo, click here.


Our next nationally accredited short course is ‘Develop an idea and secure funding’. In this skill set, students explore creative thinking processes to develop a project idea, and then research and develop a funding proposal to support the project.  Our trainer for this delivery is Melissa Robertson, who has spent the last decade working in the north of the State as a community cultural development worker, trainer, facilitator and event manager.  To find out more about this training and what else is on offer, click here

We would also like to welcome our new intern, Amer Alsubaie who is assisting us improving our website.

We still have a Marketing internship available. To find out more click here.

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Community culture update and Student News

Starting soon, we are currently offering three short accredited courses linked to our Cert IV in community culture, they are:

1. Creative community development and research Australian Indigenous cultures

2. Develop an idea and secure funding

3. Manage a project

Each course will provide the training candidate with a Statement of Attainment for the units completed in partial completion of the CUA40311 Cert IV in community culture.  The courses are partially subsidised, unfortunately, no jobseeker (fully subsidised) places are available. For more information, please see our Accredited Training page.

Creating Links is also on Facebook! Keep up to date with what we’re up to by liking our page.

Student News 

Sally Charlton has been busy with Gallery 107 @ Dalby. 68 people participated in networking at the Myall Youth Community Network Centre where the workshops were held. Sally and her group received a brilliant response from the community considering it was their first project.

The exhibition opening was well attended and generously  sponsored by DEEWR (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations) and was opened by Mayor Ray Brown.

Hari Kotrotsios has been kept busy assisting her community choir with organising a visit for the African Children’s Choir. From the 26th August, Cool Harmonies  will host and billet the 18 children and eight adults from the Uganda-based choir, who will provide workshop and concert opportunities for the local community.

Made up of orphaned and vulnerable children from the disadvantaged Kampala and Luwero areas of Uganda, the African Children’s Choir is touring Australia from July-September to raise awareness of Africa’s destitute children and raise funds for its programs.

Having already performed in Melbourne and Sydney, the African Children’s Choir is currently in the Blue Mountains in NSW and will travel to Port Macquarie and the Gold Coast, before spending seven nights on the Sunshine Coast on its final leg of the tour.

While here, the African Children’s Choir will provide two interactive singing and dancing workshops (one public, another at Coolum State School), and three concerts (a public concert which has already sold out, a special performance at Coolum State School’s morning assembly and another concert at Noosa Christian Outreach Church).

Cool Harmonies members have been fundraising over the past two years to help bring the African Children’s Choir to the Sunshine Coast and are covering all local operational costs, including billet accommodation, food, transport and venue hire. Funds raised from concert and workshop sales will be donated back to the African Children’s Choir programs in Uganda.

The tour is a community cultural development initiative of Kwaya Australia Inc, a not for profit organisation based on the Gold Coast.

ACC aust tour kids


Members of the African Children’s Choir who are touring eastern Australia for the first time, including a week-long stay on the Sunshine Coast in QLD.

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Recent Training Survey

We recently requested RADF Liaison Officers and committee members to complete our online 2012 Training Survey. Sadly, only 23 participants completed the online form, the results can be located here.

Candidates who completed the survey by the deadline went into a draw to win a book token. The winner is Cheryl Lennox. Cheryl’s name was drawn by Andrea Pitt, one of our current Cert IV in local government students – who was in the office just after the deadline!

Congratulations are extended to Cheryl, who until recently was on the Charters Towers RADF Committee.

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Creating Links New Training

Creating Links’ Director  connected with industry peers and stakeholders at the end of 2011 to provide feedback on the units designated for the CUA40311 Cert IV in Community Culture. The feedback has been consolidated and the development of this training has started. We are working with a Curriculum Development Advisory Committee (CDAC), who will inform this process. We anticipate the training to be ready for delivery in July/August 2012.

Another training soon to be developed is our Foundation for Learning course (F4L). This training will be useful for participants who may require additional skills and knowledge prior to undertaking a full Cert IV or Diploma level course.

We will keep you posted as the training is developed.

LGA40104 Cert IV in Local Government

We will be seeking interest for our next delivery of the Cert IV in Local Government. If you are interested, please check out the information online, Cert IV in Local Government.

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Certificate IV in Local Government delivery in Brisbane


LGA40104 Cert IV in Local Government Training in Brisbane

In January, training participants from around Queensland attended an intensive contact delivery of the Cert IV in Local Government. The training is fully subsidized by the Dept of Education and Training for unwaged participants; and partially subsidized for waged participants. After the training, everyone returned to their communities to implement their proposed projects and finalise their coursework. We will hopefully profile some of the activities in the following months. For more information, see LGA40104 Cert IV in Local Government.

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Creating Links & YAQ partnership

Early this year Youth Arts Queensland (YAQ) and Creating Links (CrL) formed a partnership to deliver the YAQ Navigation Arts Business Training.  Navigation is a nationally accredited course delivered by young artists for young artists who wish to establish and better their own business practice.

As the Registered Training Organisation, Creating Links ensures that good protocols are in place for working with Navigation participants; that course work, assessment tools and resources and trainers are compliant under the national guidelines and  standards; and evaluation and reporting is maintained.

The Navigation course is currently fully subsidised by The Dept of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) for unwaged creatives living in specific locations.  Kath Quigley, the Program Training Manager, has been connecting with community organisations and councils in these locations to form partnerships for rolling out Navigation to their creatives.  Find out more about Navigation and training locations.

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