Module 6: After advocacy, creating sustainable change
- Olisana Mariner. Co-founder of Mango and Lime Co, an artist collective based in Samoa; co-founder of Onelook Studio, a social enterprise that advocates for better youth mental health resources, support services and policy outcomes for Samoa.
- Ally Zlatar. Founder of The Starving Artist, an artist initiative that helps broaden perspectives on eating disorders and mental illness through the artistic voice.
Throughout our fellowship with Orygen we had remarkable sessions discussing life post-advocacy and tools for measuring the impact of advocacy work alongside some much-needed self-care post advocacy.
Listening to Rachel Piper and Caitlin Figueiredo we learned about what post-advocacy life actually looks like, how to continue to be a sustainable advocate and how to take time to care for ourselves during this period.
For us as change-makers, we realise that there is so much work that needs to be done and that sometimes it feels like we must never stop! However, it is incredibly important to discuss the reality that we can’t save the world, unless we take care of ourselves. For Ally, self-care is painting and just getting physical space from the advocacy work and for Oli, self-care looks like gardening and grounding in the ocean.
In addition, we learned about measuring specific outcomes of our policy work. One key take away was self-evaluation tools used in advocacy projects. It is very important to reflect on both our own personal growth and our projects to make sure we are achieving what we set out to do. Reflection is key, and by writing down or even just asking ourselves “What went well? What can we improve for next time? Where do we want to go from here?” we are creating a feedback cycle within ourselves for growth through planning, acting, reflecting and adapting!
Overall, some of the most important takeaways for post-advocacy life is that we need to find moments to focus on our own growth. Part of that is stepping away and celebrating successes, whether that be hitting a milestone or seeing the growth from where we started. Acknowledging and reflecting is such a quintessential part of advocacy both during and post advocacy life!
Keep inspiring change-makers!