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Ryde Community Engagement for Arts Hub

Small Shift is engaged by Link Housing to provide community engagement services for its residents in Ryde, focusing on arts and cultural activities that communities can actively contribute to and be a part of. Following our first workshop, we will be developing an engagement plan to help further build on the community connection.

In an ideas workshop, a participant selected an image of a coin collection. We have many, many images and he picked one of the few that references collectables. At first, we thought he merely enjoyed looking at different coins, until he quietly said ”I will be right back with my collection, I want to show you”. ”When you collect coins you are called a numismatician”, he added. And what a collection he had, carefully stacked up in a cylindrical fabric pocket. Everyone’s passion is different. All are worth celebrating.


Green Star for New Buildings, Place Credits

Small Shift and Liveable have come together to work with the Green Building Council of Australia and develop a Green Star rating tool for place-related credits. Taking an approach that considers both city-scale, larger complex systems; and small spaces and community interactions, we will conduct research, analysis, stakeholder engagement and provide credit recommendations that can support property developers to embed place and community outcomes in a new building design and delivery in Australia.

More about Green Star Future Focus

DIO Community Mural

Small Shift was engaged by Hume Community Housing Association to provide community art facilitation services for its residents. Based on the community directions, we designed an interactive painting through which the residents can communicate via messages and drawings; and co-created a mural with the community through a workshop.

Often communities’ challenges, values and aspirations come out when they are working on a project together, not through formal surveys. The participants, who didn’t think of themselves as creatives in the beginning, inspired each other with techniques, ideas and stories, and created something that represents them. After we finished, we lined up the boards and stared at them in silence as if we had agreed to do so. It was an amazing moment.

The residents are creating a colourful mural by each adding in patterns and shapes that are meaningful to them.


The mural is nearly complete.

DIO Darlinghurst

What we now call the Small Shift Model was first piloted in Darlinghurst in 2015-2016, when Julia Suh (Urban Toolbox) partnered with Rough Edges, a community café for people experiencing homelessness. The project had over 30+ participants including members of the street community and local residents who contributed to mural painting, street library set-up and gardening. The positive impact of the project was measured through before-and-after surveys, interviews, behavioural studies and social media responses. The learnings from this pilot project and Julia’s Westpac Social Change Fellowship informed the operational and strategic plans for Small Shift.

With DIO Darlinghurst as a case study, this documentary explores urban inequity that we face today, global practices that we can learn from and the purpose of our work.
Taking advantage of the project location on a main street, we invited the public to be curious and engage with the project and the community.

Funded by:

Project partners:

DIO Telopea

Julia Suh was selected by City of Parramatta to pitch her idea to the Parramatta and the wider community in the Pitch for Good Parramatta program. She raised over $14,000 from the 30-day crowdfunding campaign to take the Small Shift model to Sydney’s west and implement a DIO project in Telopea. Small Shift is now working with the Telopea community, well supported by local organisations, to come up with great DIO ideas for the area.

> Are you part of the Telopea community and want to get involved? Sign up here.

DIO Telopea crowdfunding campaign video
A Community Ideas Workshop was held in Dec 2018 and led to a series of ideas for Waratah Shopping Centre’s public spaces.

Funded by:

This project received support from the community and the City of Parramatta Council through the Parramatta Pitch for Good program.

Major supporters: