Blacktown Local Drug Action Team held an International Women’s Day art exhibition on March 8 2020. It was hosted by Blacktown Women’s and Girls Health Centre (BWGHC) and the invitation was extended to all local community members.
“The exhibition and International Women’s Day event was a fantastic opportunity for our community to learn more about the work we have undertaken to support local women and girls,” said Jhan Leach, LDAT spokesperson and Executive Officer at the Blacktown Women’s and Girl’s Health Centre.
The exhibition showcased artworks created by women and girls attending Blacktown LDAT’s art therapy workshops. Artists included local students, Wolkara Elders and women from African Women’s Health and Support Organisation.
Luckily, the forecast rain did not prevent a large turn out to the event.
“There was lots of laugher, chatting, women mingling and enjoying the day,” said Sylvia Tiet, Senior Community Development Officer for the LDAT program.
Entertainment at the event included a drumming band from a local high school, a student taking the stage to present her art and share what empowers her as a young woman and a morning tea with freshly made pizzas.
In 2019, Blacktown Local Drug Action Team began to implement its first Community Action Plan (CAP). The aim is to mobilise community partners to build protective factors with intercultural women and girls in the City of Blacktown.
The funding was allocated towards conducting a series of life skills and art therapy workshops aimed at empowering and uplifting local women. The workshops covered a range of topics such as resilience, healthy eating, positive mental health and building communication skills.
Through the workshops and art exhibition, women were encouraged to showcase skills learnt and confidently build networks, moving towards improving their quality of life.
This could include making more informed decisions around drugs and alcohol or through forming stronger connections in their community. This could result in better employment, a healthier lifestyle or social pathways.
Blacktown Local Drug Action Team is a partnership between multiple local organisations, including Blacktown Women’s and Girls Health Centre and the Blacktown Domestic Violence Forum, the North West Sydney Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service and Blacktown City Council.