Community Engagement Grants Scheme
2010 Project Recipients
From improving the nutrition in Meals on Wheels food to teaching Illawarra refugees key employment skills and reducing the risk of cancer in people with disabilities – the results of University of Wollongong’s 2010 round of the Community Engagement Grants will have far-reaching consequences. Read more
An educational resource for peers of students with autism spectrum disorder
Professor Sandra Jones will partner with Dapto and Wollongong High Schools to increase the awareness and understanding between high school students and their peers with autism spectrum disorders.
The project will produce a resource that will be developed and trialled and will then be available for all schools in the region.
Professor Jones said that it was a common misconception that people with autism were happy to be left alone at school and not interact with other children.
“Students actually want to be involved with other children and they face lots of problems in understanding how other children interact with them,” she said.
“What we want to do is work with willing peers of children with autism spectrum disorder to help them interact.”
AIME – connecting to success
Professor Lori Lockyer will work with AIME Wollongong, Careways Community and participating schools in the AIME Wollongong Project to ensure that existing transport arrangements for Indigenous students and mentors involved in the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) can continue.
Opening doors between families and schools
This Eden-based project hopes to open doors to between the families and schools by identifying the parental beliefs, aspirations and practices of the local community regarding their involvement in children’s education in the various stages of schooling.
Dr Sue Duchnese will work with Eden Public School, Preschool, Childcare Centre, Eden Marine High School and Eden Land Council to more effectively engage families in their children’s education, leading to improved educational outcomes for students.
Illawarra Science on Show – enriching community understanding of science in the Illawarra region
Dean of Science Professor Will Price will work with the Illawarra Science Teachers Association, Wollongong Science Centre to make the research and teaching resources of the University’s Faculty of Science more accessible to the community by creating a collection of materials and resources titled ‘Illawarra Science on Show’.
This project will increase the accessibility of the existing Howard Worner Collection and the planned Hobbit and Climate Change, Geode and Fossils exhibits.
“In Science we do engage well with the local community but we wanted to take it to another level and involve a range of community groups.” Professor Price said
Improving the nutritional status of clients of Meals on Wheels services
Working with Northern Illawarra Meals on Wheels, health science researchers Dr Karen Walton and Associate Professor Karen Charleton will identify how the service can be improved to better target those most at risk of malnutrition.
The project will undertake collaborative community-based research in with Meals on Wheels to determine the nutritional status of homebound clients receiving meals, the nutritional content of meals available from Meals on Wheels and to develop and evaluate the introduction of a ‘snack pack’ program and nutritional screening resources pack.
Reducing the incidence of cancer in people with mild intellectual disabilities by providing information and resources for early detection and cancer prevention
Dr Elias Kyriazis and Dr Alan Pomering from the Centre for Research in Socially Responsible Marketing will help develop a guide for people with mild intellectual disabilities to learn how to participate in cancer prevention activities such as skin cancer checks, bowel, breast and cervical cancer screening.
Speaking at the breakfast Dr Pomering said it was important to provide people with intellectual disabilities with the correct information about cancer prevention because they were at the same level of risk as the rest of the population.
“We’ll be looking at how you communicate this information intense material to these different audiences,” he said.
Community stakeholders - Cancer Council NSW, Disability Trust, NSW Council for Intellectual Disabilities, Department of Human Services, Greenacres and the Illawarra Forum - will provide finance, knowledge and resources to the project.
This project – led by UOW Faculty of Science student Ingrid Errington - supports the development of the GreenCONNECT recycling team, a social enterprise founded by Strategic Community Assistance to refugee Families (SCARF).
It aims to provide refugees who have been removed from the labour market a bridge back to the world of work by improving employability. The program provides experience in the Australian workplace, training in first aid and occupational health and safety and the opportunity to practice applied English skills.
Funding from CEGS will help GreenCONNECT to pay the wages and continue the recycling programs that have been a success in the past.
“At the beginning of the year we had a team of 24 from the refugee community around Wollongong that helped sort the recycling at the Illawarra Folk Festival,” Ingrid said.
“That was a massive success – only 8% (of the rubbish) went to landfill. So we thought that we could turn that into a more ongoing project.”