Amplify empowers young people of diverse backgrounds to amplify their voices through a Humans of New York meets Instagram-like app.
The team and the issues:
What problem would Amplify solve, and for whom?
Bad news stories outweigh good news stories in the media by up to 17 to 1. There are social implications of negative narratives being the norm and shaping the conversations we have and how we see our world. In particular, negative mass media plays a significant role in the marginalisation of certain groups within communities. It also has detrimental effects on an individual’s identity, sense of belonging, and to community cohesion. Young people who feel targeted and marginalised by negative narrative relating to their identity are more vulnerable to a range of at risk behaviors.
We spoke with a focus group of young people from culturally diverse backgrounds and learnt that a major contributing factor to the disempowerment of young people, particularly those from already marginalised groups, is that they feel they lack a voice to challenge the mainstream media’s obsession with negativity. They have no means to challenge negative narratives and representations, but they are keen for opportunities to express their own stories.
How would Amplify solve that problem?
‘Amplify’ counteracts the impacts of negative representations in the media that divide communities and disempowers young people, particularly those from marginalised communities. Amplify aims to provide young people with an online space and community in which they can engage and share newsworthy stories that are excluded in mainstream media. It provides young people with an online space and community in which they not only belong, but can own their stories.
We will enable young people to ‘amplify’ their voices, by creating a mobile app to showcase the positive stories and real opinions of young people. We will enlist “Amplifiers” to collect and present these stories and views. “Amplifiers” will be young journalists, photographers, artists, designers, bloggers and satirists, who will use community networks to engage young people and give them a voice.
These positive stories will be easily accessible and highly relevant for the end user to engage with. The app will ask users to input their areas of interest and location, so that the stories they receive on their feed will highlight community change-makers and homegrown solutions that deeply resonate with them. Stories posted by our Amplifiers will use a Humans of New York-like lens to break barriers and humanise young Australians from diverse backgrounds.
Amplify is a project for people from all backgrounds but with a particular emphasis on giving a voice to marginalised young people. Young Australians who do not see themselves, their communities or their identities reflected accurately in day-to-day public narratives, whether film, news, or in public discussions. Amplify aims to encourage young people to connect with one another through the sharing of stories and experiences. Amplify will promote learning through interpersonal interactions and avoid one-sided forms of communication that reinforce stereotypes and do not encourage consideration of marginalised and alternative points of view.
Who is in the team behind Amplify?
Ilona is the team’s holistic strategist. She is the founder of Ignite Mentoring, a WA youth-run charity that supports high school students from low socioeconomic backgrounds and champions the social inclusion of marginalised youth. She studied Law and Economics at The University of Western Australia and will start the Teach For Australia program next year.
Haweya develops Amplify’s messaging and makes sure that the app is true to its social inclusion roots. She is a Research Analyst at a Perth think tank, and a UWA undergraduate. Haweya previously participated as Global Voices delegate to World Bank and IMF meetings in Washington and has deep interests in community development.
Jeffrey is the team’s creative thinker and designer. He’s the founder of DrawHistory, a creative agency that connects businesses with nonprofits to work on solving the world’s toughest issues together. Jeffrey is also a passionate advocate of social inclusion in youth communities, acting as UNICEF Australia’s Youth Ambassador in 2014-15.
Jess has extensive experience as a campaign organiser, having worked with WA Labor and Australian Council of Trade Unions. You can often find her rallying people to a cause, and that’s exactly where she fits in at Amplify – getting young people on board.
Mary is our resident marketer and knows where our target demographics are. She is a marketing graduate from Curtin University and has helped grassroots community organisations with fundraising efforts.
REFUGEE RIGHTS ACTION NETWORK SAYS NO DEPORTATIONS TO WAR ZONES
WE CALL FOR PEOPLE OF CONSCIENCE TO STAND UP TO PREVENT THE FORCED RETURN OF A VULNERABLE ASYLUM SEEKER TO AFGHANISTAN
There is to be a decision TODAY at 4.30pm in the Perth Magistrates Court on the forced return of a young man to the war zone that is Kabul. An urgent injunction against that deportation was sought yesterday and Judge Lucev will hand down his decision today. If he refuses the injunction this young man will be deported TONIGHT to what is now an active war zone.
If the injunction is refused Refugee Rights Action Network members, along with other concerned citizens, intend to flyer passengers on flights destined for Kabul. TONIGHT from 9.30pm we will be asking these passengers to show support for a young man they don’t know; a frightened young man who knows that Kabul is not a safe place for him due to his ethnicity and religion. We will be asking these passengers to do for him what they would do for a son, a grandson, a brother, a friend. We will be asking them to stand up and refuse to sit down until this young man is removed from the plane.
We will be explaining to passengers that ongoing Taliban attacks in Kabul have increased the risks to ethnic and religious minority groups in Afghanistan. The Australian government when assessing refugee claims by asylum seekers from Afghanistan admit that some regional areas are extremely dangerous for Hazara and Tajik minority Shia Muslims. They state that Kabul is safe and determine that regardless of where in Afghanistan a person comes from that person can be resettled in Kabul. This is UNTRUE.
Recent events show this is not the case. On 21st June the Taliban launched an attack on Afghanistan’s parliament, killing five innocent people. On 30th June a suicide car bomb attack on the Kabul airport road killed two civilians and injured 26 others. On 7th July there was another suicide car bomb attack in which civilians were injured and in a separate incident a building was occupied by armed gunmen. RRAN considers that these ongoing attacks by terrorist groups have turned Kabul into an ACTIVE WAR ZONE and calls on the Australian Government to halt forced deportations to Afghanistan.
The threat of imminent deportation looms over other asylum seekers doomed by our flawed processing regime. The new "Fast Track" system will increase the number of vulnerable people for whom Australia refuses to provide protection despite our obligations under International Laws. The use of outdated country information and the refusal of the Government to take new developments into account will lead to more people deported to danger and possible death.
A type of workplace stress known as ‘emotional labour’ is taking its toll on the health of workers such as nurses, police and customer service employees. It is also costing the nation billions of dollars a year in lost productivity, according to researchers at the University of Sydney Business School.
The researchers in School’s Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies, say that workers in jobs that involve high levels of emotional labour are absent, require treatment for stress related disorders and change jobs more frequently than other workers.
Emotional labour, explained Dr Helena Nguyen, is the emotional effort some employees must make when interacting with customers, clients or patients. “For example, there is an expectation that nurses show care and empathy when they are interacting with patients.”
High levels of emotional labour, adds Dr Anya Johnson, “leaves the worker suffering from stress, the feeling that they need to take days off work and often the feeling that they are not being effective at work. This can be very detrimental to their well-being.”
Employee absenteeism and ‘presenteeism’ or being at work but not fully functioning, is costing Australian businesses an estimated 12 billion dollars a year.
“In general, absenteeism indicates a drop in wellbeing as workers become demotivated, disengaged and burnt out. In particular, it has been identified as a key long term consequence of emotional labour in areas such as sales, management, health care and law enforcement.” Dr Johnson and Dr Nguyen say in a report on their 10 year study.
“For organisations it means replacing employees who are not well and also dealing with people who are off on stress leave, which can often be very expensive,” said Dr Johnson. “For the economy, it means that people are not staying in their professions, it means that people are moving in and out of professions. The sustainability of the workforce become compromised.”
The report says workers typically deal with emotional labour in one of two ways.
The first is to put on a “happy face” or outwardly display an emotion that matches requirements while privately feeling something very different. The second response is to try to actually feel the appropriate emotion.
Nurses who put on a happy face reported lower job satisfaction, poorer task performance, more often declared an intention to leave a job and talked of being burnt out.
The report by Dr Johnson and Dr Nguyen says their study has important implications for health care managers, “as there are significant costs associated with emotional labour as it drains limited resources and impairs employee well-being”.
“Developing opportunities and support to help nurses and other employees in high stress positions to manage their emotional labour are needed,” the researchers conclude.