Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety – ANROWS


Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Limited is an independent, not-for-profit research organisation established to produce evidence to support the reduction of violence against women and their children. ANROWS supports 24 Projects in Action Research in CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) communities and engaged Digital Storytellers to establish a way for them to creatively shared their findings.  Digital Storytellers and ANROWS, jointly developed the program, with the tremendous investigative and ethical rigour that is elemental to ANROWS’ work. Finally, ANROWS provided CALD PAR projects with the opportunity to undertake training from Digital Storytellers in making digital stories over the span of 5 months.

Seventeen of the twenty-six CALD PAR projects in the ANROWS porfolio expressed interest in taking up digital storytelling options to share their findings from the CALD PAR initiative with 14 of them finishing the process and coming away from it with a finished media piece and skills to do it again.


CALD PAR ANROWS-funded projects deal with some of the most sensitive subject matters in some of the most vulnerable communities throughout the whole of Australia. Supporting the storytellers and their communities was a highly process-oriented journey. We put great care into developing the framing and conducting the process. The geographical spread of projects, and the lack of time of many staff members, poised a unique challenge on how to provide the best remote and in-person user experience.


We drew on a mix of face to face and remote facilitation. Digital Storytellers created a small team and assigned projects to facilitators based on geographical location, to promote face to face support when possible. Starting with an introductory one-on-one session on the Story Canvas approach, facilitators launched participants on the journey. Concurrently,  the team at Digital Storytellers set up a tailored ANROWS specific and exclusive online course platform, for participants to follow along on the sections and access a community forum. Participants, often a small team of two or three per organisation, gained access to this resource for a year.

With story ideas brewing, Digital Storytellers held a full-day workshop in Melbourne. Thanks to ANROWS funding, most participants were able to attend. The session was divided into a MAKE session and an EDIT session. Participants and facilitators were overjoyed to spend a day together, making personal connections and engaging with the process. After the workshop, participants received further individual support in the areas they needed it – for many, planning their productions, structuring a narrative and crafting interview questions. After their shoots, participants were able to draw on the skills from the workshop and support themselves through the step-by-step online course and their consultant’s one-on-one support.

Finally, the Digital Storytellers team, collected and created closed captions for the stories before delivering them to ANROWS, who created this page showcasing all the wonderful stories along with their project findings.


The projects’ digital stories “exemplify the grounded, community-centred and creative process of change that their projects are initiating in local communities across Australia.

The stories feature empowering and culturally responsive messages about prevention and pathways to support from community leaders, participants and services involved in CALD PAR projects” (ANROWS).  Fourteen stories came to live through the program.


Valeria Edsall and Toni-Marie Strange from the Safer Pathways for CALD Women Project at The Neighbourhood Hub draw on their community to tell emotional stories of the challenges they faced on their arrival to Australia and the of the significance of the Mackay Women Services in establishing human connections in a fun, safe, friendly environment. They leverage the video as an invitation to other CALD women to seek support with them.