WATU Australia

African Australian stories as we weren't hearing them: in their own words. A co-designed storytelling model.

African Australian stories as we weren't hearing them: in their own words. A co-designed storytelling model.

Project Category
Creative
Digital presence
Sector Development
Project Expertise
Co-design labs
Creative platforms
Cultural research
Design
Editorial
Multicultural community strategies
Upskilling workshops
Website design and development

The Brief 

At a time where negative stereotypes and unbalanced representation of migrant communities was prevalent within the Australian media landscape, the Scanlon Foundation, Incubate Foundation and Think HQ recognised the need to challenge stereotypes about African communities in Australia. How do we rectify the narrative with positive and truthful representation? How can African-Australian youth to take back their own story and remedy incorrect beliefs about their communities?

 

Idea

Think HQ would provide communications expertise to co-design a storytelling platform with a committee of African-Australian youth appointed by the Incubate Foundation. Together, through 
a series of workshops, the platform was to be conceptualised and developed. 

Think HQ would undertake branding, development and event management to help realise the platform. 

To support the committee, a curriculum of communications skills would also be undertaken with both Think HQ team members and guest presenters facilitating learning.

 

Outcomes

Watu Australia has provided a co-designed communications platform for a vibrant and active community, winning the prize for Best Project with a focus on African Communities at the Afroshine Awards 2018.

The committee arrived at the name Watu, which in the Swahili language, the most widely spoken in the African continent, means ‘PEOPLE’.

Think HQ began by mentoring and building the capacity of a young African-Australian, Abbey Mag, to curate content for Watu’s communication channels. Abbey researched and recruited young people to contribute, resulting in more than 20 published stories to the website in the first five months of activity. 

Think HQ’s creative team then developed all branding based on workshops with Watu committee members. The end result is a colourful, meaningful brand that resonates with the people it represents.

Think HQ designed and developed watuaustralia.com.au. The site features a series of videos filmed by Think HQ to showcase the personal stories of the Watu community members and break down stereotypes.

Think HQ helped to plan and manage a launch event held in Footscray in August 2018, involving more than 200 attendees that represented a multicultural snapshot of Melbourne and surrounds.