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Dirty Hands: Community engagement through practice as research

Lee McGowan, Donna Hancox, Alex Philp, Jenny Roche, Rachael Haynes, Courtney Pedersen, Sandra Gattenhof, Nathan Sibthorpe, Sorin Oancea, Tricia King, Evonne Miller, Geraldine Donoghue, Yanto Browning, Kiley Gaffney, Kathryn Kelly, Emily Coleman, Andrea Baldwin, Mark O'Connor, Maria Stadnicka, Melanie Faith, Marco Yan, Justin Lowe, Tony Beyer

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Community engagement can be understood as a practice, an aspiration or a philosophy, and encompasses many forms and a multiplicity of processes. Despite the diversity of ways of seeing or doing community engagement it is always, at its heart, a collaborative endeavour which can lead to lasting change in communities. The role of creative practitioners in community engagement is often directed by disciplinary traditions and skills. However, those established ways of doing are undergoing a profound change: communities demand more agency in community engagement practices, and there is an increased need for demonstration of impact by funding bodies. At this moment of flux, researchers and creative practitioners within universities are designing research projects which attempt to support, consult and engage with community members in innovative ways to reimagine community engagement as a more focused, situated and cooperative process.


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