The Relationship is the Project

A guide to working with communities

Edited by Jade Lillie, Kate Larsen, with Cara Kirkwood and Jax Brown
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Community-engaged practice is not an art form. It’s not an add-on. It’s a way of working; a deep collaboration.

The Relationship is the Project features provocations, tools and practical tips for working with communities. This includes the ethics and logistics of working on community-based projects, from First Peoples’ leadership to climate justice, cultural safety to class, intersectionality to disaster recovery and more.

This updated and expanded edition features contributions by more than 40 thought leaders across the arts, cultural and community sectors. It is a must-have resource for all community-engaged practice.

Contributors include: Genevieve Grieves, Ruth De Souza, Lia Pa’apa’a, Dianne Jones, Odette Kelada, Lilly Brown, Alia Gabres, Tania Cañas, Eleanor Jackson, Samuel Kanaan-Oringo, Rosie Dennis, Caroline Bowditch, Chelle Destefano, Claire Bridge, Jeremy Smith, Tristan Meecham, Bec Reid, Lenine Bourke, Daniel Santangeli, Simona Castricum, CQ Quinan, Alysha Herrmann, Anthony Peluso, Nina Ross, Lizzy Sampson, Jessie Scott, Esther Anatolitis, Anna Reece, Adolfo Aranjuez, Fotis Kapetopoulos, Karrina Nolan, Alex Kelly, Scotia Monkivitch, Jen Rae, Claire G Coleman, Seb Chan, Paschal Berry, Timoci O’Connor.

‘This should be the go-to book for every community practitioner and budding change maker.’ — Aleem Ali, CEO, Welcoming Australia

‘This book is brilliant and full of sound advice and wisdom from the incredible list of contributors.’ — Torika Bolatagici, Founder, Community Reading Room

Contributor Bio

Jade Lillie (she/her) is a facilitator and specialist in community and stakeholder engagement. She has worked throughout Australia and South-East Asia in strategy, advocacy, program design, community-engaged practice and industry development. She conceived The Relationship is the Project following her role as Director and CEO at Footscray Community Arts and as a Sidney Myer Creative Fellow.

Kate Larsen (she/her) is a writer, arts and cultural consultant with more than 25 years experience in the non-profit, government and cultural sectors in Australia, Asia and the UK. She is a thought leader in the areas of arts governance and cultural leadership, workplace culture and wellbeing, online communication and communities, and inclusion and community leadership of under-represented groups.

Cara Kirkwood (she/her) is a national advocate and influencer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, art, culture and creative industries. Currently the Head of Indigenous Engagement and Strategy with the National Gallery of Australia, Cara has previously worked with the Department of Parliamentary Services, Creative Australia, AGSA’s Tarnanthi Festival and Desert in Mparntwe (Alice Springs).

Jax Brown (they/them) is an esteemed disability and LGBTIQA+ rights activist, writer, educator and consultant. Their tireless commitment to LGBTIQA+ disability human rights and advocacy has been recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). Jax utilises their experience as a queer, trans wheelchair user to explore intersectional identities.