Learning and Teaching Investment Fund 2008

Summary of Projects

Project Title

Breaking new ground: transformative education and applied human rights

Project Leaders

Dr Diane Sisely

Funds Approved


Summary of the project, outcomes, impacts and dissemination

The Breaking new ground project proved an innovative response to the opportunities for education and training emerging from the progressive implementation of the Victorian Human Rights Charter by state and local government authorities, and the growing interest in the Charter as an important advocacy tool in the non-government and community sectors.

In 2008 the Breaking new ground project developed four courses within the new programs in Applied Human Rights:

Introduction to Applied Human Rights

Human Rights Campaign Studio

Transforming Organisations and Applied Human Rights

Ethics Practice & Applied Human Rights

These courses have laid the foundations for RMIT to pioneer, domestically and internationally, a non-legal social action oriented approach to human rights.

The programs developed are producing human rights leaders capable of using their skills to change organisational practices, and develop policy that influences cultural change.

As part of the development and innovation in applied human rights, the new programs have fostered a number of partnerships across a range of disciplines, professions and industries. These partnerships with the Association of Neighbourhood Houses and Learning Centres, Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA), Department of Human Services and the Federation of Community Legal Centres Vic. Inc, have placed RMIT in a position of leadership in a field of growing public interest and debate.

The capacity and foundations now exist for further steps in developing the practice and pedagogies of applied human rights, forging new partnerships and expanding academic programs.

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