Swinburne’s Sa’ili le ala program is empowering Pasifika youth with skills that could kickstart their creative journeys in media, design, animation and film. Meaning ‘discovery path’, the Sa’ili le ala program is a first-of-its-kind educational opportunity for marginalised youth across Australia to develop life skills, promote inclusion and build community resilience.
The program was launched by Attorney-General The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus on Friday 14 April, and is in partnership with the National Rugby League (NRL), NRL Victoria and the Centre for Multicultural Youth. The program is funded by the Safer Communities Early Intervention Fund and builds on ongoing Swinburne research to understand the cultural complexities driving Pasifika youth interactions with Australian educational processes, and co-design sustainable and scalable practice.
Swinburne Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pascale Quester says, “this program is all about helping young people discover their passion, unearth new knowledge and develop new skills, including digital fluency. It will kick start an education journey that will lead them to be part of the workforce of the future. We believe it will help them achieve their dreams.
“This funding from the Federal Government allows us to bring innovative education opportunities to Pasifika young people. This program brings life-changing opportunities for these young people and their community.”
The program is held over three discovery sprints where participants get the chance to create graphic designs, animations and creative works that connect personal identity, culture and community. At the first discovery sprints in April 2023, young participants learnt fundamental design concepts and skills, including image making, sketching and typography, to generate designs for NRL jerseys and footballs. The designs will be adopted by the NRL for their diverse community games.
Project lead and Swinburne Chair of Education, Professor Sivanes Phillipson says “we are proud to be a strong interdisciplinary team across education, creative arts, technology, and STEM, bringing this important project to life.
“Working together with our partners, the Le Mana team of the Centre for Multicultural Youth and the NRL, we are helping to build capacity within Australian Pasifika communities to develop positive life trajectories that are sustainable and long term.”