The Relationship is the Project: Working with Communities Conversation Series #2

Tuesday 29 August 2023

L to R: Jade Lillie, Tristan Meecham, Simona Castricum, Timoci O'Connor and Dr Jen Rae.

Yarra City Arts presents a series of conversations led by Jade Lillie, curator and editor of The Relationship is the Project joined by some of Victoria’s leading creative thinkers.

The way we view and navigate working with communities has shifted in the post COVID world and continues to evolve.  The importance of community voices and self-determination was made strikingly evident by mistakes made. New opportunities exist to interrogate the way in which practitioners, artists and cultural workers can better engage with community-based projects.

Join us for the second conversation in the series, featuring panellists Timoci O’Connor, Tristan Meecham, Dr Jen Rae and Simona Castricum as they delve into a range of topics including: climate justice, the arts and campaigning; culturally safe evaluation; intergenerational queer practice; and gender and public space. They will also give you a sneak preview of what to expect in the second edition of RITP.

Join us for this conversation series and opportunity to come together as a sector.

Tuesday 29 August

Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford

Community and Linen Rooms

Join us drinks and light snacks at 5.30pm

Panel 6pm-7.30pm

Entry free.

Catering by Cultural Catering.

The Relationship is the Project was initially conceived and curated by Jade Lillie in 2019. Pitched as a go-to resource for practitioners wanting to better understand how to work with communities, it is a collection of short essays showcasing practitioners from across Australia who are working with communities. With the first edition now sold out, the second edition (a collaboration between Jade Lillie and Kate Larsen) is set to launch in early 2024, published by New South Books.

Please note: Due to circumstances beyond her control Alex Kelly is no longer able to attend the panel. 

About the panellists

Timoci O'Connor is an I-Kiribati-Fijian-Kiwi community member, evaluation capacity building (ECB) dreamer, learning facilitator, and program evaluation pragmatist. He has a strong commitment to lifelong learning of culture and the use of evaluation to empower communities to make informed decisions. His professional background is in Public Health, Education and Community Development and currently dedicates his time to providing ECB mentoring and facilitating evaluative thinking and promoting the use of evaluation in learning and improving program practice and delivery. His expertise has been sought by community organisations such the Local Government Professional Inc (LGPro), the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA), The Victorian Aboriginal Children and Young People’s Alliance (The Alliance), the Victorian Kiribati Association (VKA), Arts Centre Melbourne, Colour Them Safe, Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC), and ILBIJERRI Theatre Company. Since 2012, Timoci has taught and mentored Indigenous and non-Indigenous University of Melbourne students enrolled in Masters of Evaluation, Master of Public Health and Masters of Teaching and Education.

Tristan Meecham is a Queer Artist, Performer and Co-Artistic Director of All The Queens Men. All The Queens Men (ATQM) is a queer, artist led and community committed organisation. The company unite people of all shapes, sizes & identities together in distinct, creative & communal experiences. Founded by Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid, ATQM believes dynamic artistic collaboration, bound by ethical partnerships & shared values, activates positive social change. The companies work reflects the way we and our collaborating communities want to be in the world; fearless, joyous & inclusive.     ATQM projects are presented by leading cultural institutions around the world including: Ansan Street Arts Festival (South Korea), ANTI Contemporary Arts Festival (Finland), Arts Centre Melbourne, Arts House (Melbourne), Bleach Festival (Gold Coast), Brisbane Powerhouse, Darwin Festival, Galway Capital of Culture 2020, Salisbury International Arts Festival, Sydney Festival, National Theatre of Scotland / Luminate Festival / Eden Court, Taipei Arts Festival and West Kowloon Cultural District (Hong Kong), to name a few.

Dr Jen Rae is an award-winning artist-researcher of Canadian Scottish-Métis descent based in unceded Djaara Country/Castlemaine, Victoria. Jen's practice-led expertise is situated at the intersections of art, speculative futures and climate emergency disaster adaptation + resilience – predominantly articulated through transdisciplinary collaborative methodologies and multi-platform projects, community alliances and public pedagogies. Jen is Co-founder and Creative Research Lead at the Centre for Reworlding.

Simona Castricum is a multidisciplinary creative and academic working in music and architecture on Wurundjeri land of Kulin Nation. Simona is a solo musician and producer. In architecture, she is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne, and an Associate at Parlour: Gender, Equity, Architecture. Simona’s speculative and activist creative practice embarks upon queer and trans autofiction and autoethnography. She reimagines radical relationships between the spatial, tactile, virtual, and affective conditions of gender and sexual nonconformity.  

Location & Contacts

General Enquiries

The Relationship is the Project: Working with Communities Conversation Series

The Relationship is the Project: Working with Communities Conversation Series


Date and time:
5.30pm arrival for a 6pm start - 7.30pm
Tuesday 29 August 2023

1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford VIC 3067, Australia