The Relationship is the Project: Working with Communities Conversation Series

Thursday 04 April 2024

L to R: Panellists Scotia Monkivitch, Jen Rae, Alex Kelly, Claire G Coleman and Host Jade Lillie

The Relationship is the Project: Working with Communities Conversation Series

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.

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


Join us for a conversation with The Relationship is the Project contributors, Claire G. Coleman, Jen Rae, Alex Kelly and Scotia Monkivitch. Facilitated by Curator and Editor, Jade Lillie, the discussion will focus on climate justice, disaster readiness and recovery and reworlding in our current social, cultural and environmental contexts.

Thursday 4 April

Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford

Community and Linen Rooms

Join us drinks and light snacks at 5.30pm

Panel 6pm-7.30pm

Books will be available for purchase.

Entry free.

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 has recently launched is available here. (a collaboration between Jade Lillie and Kate Larsen) is set to launch in early 2024, published by NewSouth Books.

Books will be for sale at the event.

About the panellists


Claire G. Coleman is a Noongar author based in Naarm/Melbourne, Victoria. Her debut novel, Terra Nullius, won a Norma K. Hemming Award and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Lies, Damn Lies won the University of Queensland prize for non-fiction, and Enclave was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Claire is Co-founder and Writer at the Centre for Reworlding.


DR JEN RAE (pronouns: she/they) 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. 


 Alex Kelly is an artist, organiser and filmmaker based on Dja Dja Wurrung Country. Working across film, theatre, communications strategy and troublemaking, Alex purposefully connects the disciplines of art and social change.

Alex is impact producer onThe Dreamlife of Georgie StoneIn My Blood it Runs and Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything. Alex has been supported by a Churchill Fellowship, a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship and a Bertha Challenge Fellowship. 

Alex’s artistic focus is the futuring practice The Things We Did Next, a hybrid of theatre, imagination and democracy and is a member of the Unquiet Collective.


Scotia is Executive Officer of the Creative Recovery Network, the national lead agency dedicated to developing and embedding the vital role of culture, creativity and the arts in Australia’s disaster management system. She has diverse experience in training, mentoring, strategic planning, project management and research covering all levels of formal education and community engagement. As a facilitator of community cultural development programs and strategies, she has experience in working with people experiencing disability and disadvantage, mental health, creative aging and rural and remote communities. Scotia focus’ on collaborations and partnerships which privilege the contributors to develop their vision, their art, their audience and the cultural and social relevance of their work.

Presented by Yarra City Arts in partnership with Abbotsford Convent.


Location & Contacts

General Enquiries


Date and time:
Doors 5.30pm for 6pm start - 7.30pm
Thursday 04 April 2024

Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Community and Linen Rooms