Movement in The Streets

    The Streets Movement Organisation (TSM) is an Indigenous community development organisation which provides programs, pathways and opportunities for the disconnected, forgotten and wayward, helping them re-engage with opportunity, education and community. TSM has been situated in The Cairns Institute for a number of years now and is appreciative of the infrastructure and support which has been provided by the staff and people associated with The Cairns Institute. These relationships have been an important factor in the creation of many programs and initiatives over the years.

    As an organisation with humble beginnings from the south side of Cairns TSM has grown to being able to provide and facilitate opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander youth in the region and across Australia. While COVID has had its impact on the operation of community centres and international initiatives the team at TSM have been doing a lot of hard work behind the scenes and are currently working on building relationships internationally in order to continue to provide opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations on the international stage.

    The experience and lessons of over 15 years working in the charitable, social impact and community spaces have demonstrated to those within the organisation that traditional models of operation cannot and will not address systemic issues within the First Nations realm.
    TSM today has evolved into a more adaptive and independent organisation which is seeking to build an operational model which does not rely on external corporate or government funding. The need for financial independence, governing self-determination and an unfiltered voice from First Nations communities is what is required and TSM as an organisation is seeking to facilitate this as best it can.

    This has led the organisation down the path of international engagement tying into a broader strategy delivered by ATSIIEO (The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander International Organisation) in its mission to ensure First Nations representation internationally from a First Nations perspective.

    On his travels, an important aspect of the message Jesse is delivering is the push to change the narrative surrounding how organisations and government departments approach Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This involves having the real conversations about self-determination, representation and power that regularly get over looked when trying to address larger issues affecting indigenous communities. Over the past few years Jesse has been leading discussions surrounding the improvement of indigenous governance and economic development opportunities which he believes is the foundation that will lead to better outcomes overall in indigenous communities.

    As Jesse explains, "The dominant narrative which has persisted in this country around First Nations “issues” and needs are centred around social impact. Ways in which to address crippling social issues such as criminal justice contact, mental health, housing, health outcomes, alcohol, drugs and violence are all based on the underlying assumption that these indeed are the issues themselves rather than the symptoms of the root cause of these symptoms.
    Those being lack of political autonomy and control and the limited economic development opportunities put into community. The complete negligence put onto these two critical components in community and indeed nation building has meant that we are now effectively putting band-aids on a broken leg when it comes to address the symptoms which plague our people. Through empowering our own systems and economies through international engagement we can begin to change the narrative in this country and begin to see what real self-determination looks like."

    From here, Jesse will travel to China, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia to continue to initiate dialogs in relation to including First Nation voices and perspectives into their international partners list.
    “Through ensuring that this representation on an international level is made available, we are able to ensure that whether politically, economically or through social impact we are able to find partners and build connections whom we can work with on an equal footing with and build an approach to community development that fits with First Nations peoples rather than having this narrative dictated and driven for us. It is time we sat in the driver’s seat again in rebuilding our world. In this space also, we can not only learn and build from our international counterparts but also ensure that we are able to assist in our own unique ways; i.e. climate change, land management practices, helping to build regional dialogue across the Asia-Pacific in relation to a consensus on climate changes strategy and approach”.

    Aside from various speaking events Jesse and the team at TSM have been strategically building relationships across the Asia-Pacific region in order be able to facilitate the MI-Experience, post COVID. 
    The MI-Experience is a cross cultural and educational experience for young Indigenous change makers from regional and remote areas of Australia which has traditionally seen students travel to the United Kingdom and America to visit universities and institutions such as NASA and the University of Cambridge. TSM is now building towards also providing this experience across countries such as Singapore and China.

     

    If you would like to know more about The Streets Movement organisation, refer to https://thestreetsmovement.org/.

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