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Well the *good* news is things haven’t slowed down since we finished up with our Pilot; with more opportunities to meet people, hear ideas and think about The Social Outfit‘s next steps…

Recently I went to Auburn and met with some lovely people from the Australian Afghan Hassanian Youth Association (AAHYA), and then on Monday this week I met with a group of very welcoming women from Al Btool Inc, an Iraqi Muslim support group, in Bankstown. They hosted me, sharing their amazing home-cooked food, and we talked about The Social Outfit. Many of the women shared their sewing experience, as well as their love of colour, fashion, and making clothing. This week I’ve also been out to Fairfield High School, which has both an Intensive English Centre for newly arrived migrants, and also has a very high number of students from refugee communities. We’re developing some exciting ideas, especially when knowing how many young people positively respond to creativity and fashion.

Then yesterday, Nicole and I started another fashion workshop at the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown.

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The Asylum Seekers Centre has recently moved, so it was really lovely to be in a large, light-filled room working creatively with many interested people. We had women and men of all ages involved in making gifts and fashion pieces for their loved ones, or themselves.

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You may have noticed that when doing some workshops we don’t have photos or names of people involved. This is something we’re unable to do, so instead I try and capture the feeling of involvement, community and learning…

One young man, who has been involved in all our workshops, and is very keen on fashion, used a sewing machine for the first time. His stitching skills were amazing! He took to it like a natural…

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I love that he has been involved in every step of making these scarves; from hand eco-dyeing them in our Rocks pop-up space, to then sewing them together here in Newtown. We’re so pleased to be working collaboratively with the Asylum Seekers Centre, their wonderful staff and clients, who’ve all made us feel so welcome.

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I also finished up my university research work this week. As you know, thanks to the Vodafone Foundation ‘World of Difference’ program I can now go full-time on setting up The Social Outfit. Working at the University of New South Wales this past year has been amazing for further developing my research skills; and many of my colleagues have been really interested in The Social Outfit work too. Special mention goes to my manager, Kath Albury, who is a huge supporter of what we’re trying to achieve. She was brilliant to work with. And so here’s me and my colleague Paul – who has volunteered for The Social Outfit, especially for our November 2012 event – on my last day… And seeing as we both research media cultures, a dodgy, fun ‘selfie’ seemed appropriate:

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I’ll be back to show/tell/sharing full fashion outfit posts soon too… xo

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