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Projects bring social justice to the fore

Published 02 May 2019
Projects bring social justice to the fore

Producing bags from textile scraps and documenting the experiences of refugee and migrant communities in Tasmania are among projects funded in this year’s Sandy Duncanson Social Justice Bursary.

Three projects have been awarded grants this year with the bursary scheme helping to support passionate students to pursue social justice initiatives.

The bursary is awarded annually in honour of University of Tasmania alumnus and social justice advocate Alexander (Sandy) Duncanson, who died of cancer in June 2010 at the age of 37.

The bursary is valued at up to $2,500 for a project or activity costs.

Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Law student Sancia Bingham aims to establish a social enterprise focusing on waste reduction and reuse.

“My project is focussed on reducing textile waste while also preventing the need for single-use plastics,” she said.

“My first endeavour will be to create produce bags from textile scraps and old clothes with profits from the sales going towards waste reduction and clean-up initiatives.

“The grant will enable me to purchase a new sewing machine to make my bags.”

Masters student (Journalism, Media and Communication) Mashuka Tabassum will curate an art exhibition with paintings from local students across high schools, colleges and the university, showcasing their views and thoughts on the refugee and asylum seeker situation in Australia.

“What I am really hoping to do as part of the project is work with refugee communities, identifying treasured items which refugees brought with them to Australia,” she said.

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Law student Stephen Cronin will use his bursary to develop social mobility and employability initiatives for undergraduate students with a disability.

In particular, Stephen will aim to design an employability and career development program.

Sandy Duncanson was a graduate of the Faculty of Law at the University of Tasmania and dedicated his working life to advancing social justice, working in community legal and housing sectors and acting as an advocate for the vulnerable. 

His family and friends worked with the University of Tasmania to establish an endowed fund to honour his dedication, and support students passionate about social justice issues.