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Community leadership: insights from artefacts and storytelling.

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Publication date26/04/2017
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventThe Asia Pacific Humanitarian Leadership Conference - Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 26/05/201728/05/2017


ConferenceThe Asia Pacific Humanitarian Leadership Conference
Internet address


Artefacts are human-made creations that have cultural or historical significance (Kafai, 2006). These objects facilitate the recalling of important events and the creation of a story to which it is associated (Clandinin and Connelly, 2004). The use of artefacts and storytelling are mechanisms by which individuals can engage in the process of sense-making and sense-giving. As such, they assist us in our identity construction process – they help us understand who we are and communicate that identity to others. Storytelling with the use of artefacts help capture the biographical and lived experience of the storyteller and often affords a voice to under-represented groups (Rosile, Boje, Carlon, Downs and Saylors, 2013). Therefore, artefacts are especially important to migrants as they transition to a life in a new location under difficult circumstances (Pahl & Rowsell (2012). Storytelling with artefacts can be a useful tool to help promote leadership development. To help illustrate this process we offer up as an example a session delivered by one of the authors in December 2016 at the African Australian Community Women’s Programme, hosted by the City of Melbourne Council. The participants were asked to bring an object of leadership significance to the session and be willing to share with the group the story associated with it. The artefacts were primarily photographs and the stories were varied, often highly sensitive, and personal and gendered in nature. The significance of leadership through the objects and stories was in relation to the work the ladies now carry out in community initiatives around the Melbourne area and in Africa. All were involved in projects to help educate others and address some of the challenges they faced as African Australian women.