Community STaR is the Service for Training and Research. Community STaR is an outreach service of the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE) based in Liverpool. It operates in South Western Sydney, Australia. CHETRE is part of the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity at UNSW Australia and the South Western Sydney Local Health District.
People everywhere deserve the same life chances and opportunities. Yet some people have their opportunities limited by poor access to education, employment, food, transport and housing. Community STaR is the Service for Training and Research. It creates opportunities for change in difficult social and economic environments through:
1. Empowering communities
Many people claim to speak on behalf of people in disadvantaged communities. This is not the same as hearing the voices and stories of people living in difficult social and economic circumstances themselves. Community STaR facilitates community voice and understanding through the Speaker’s Bureau, a series of face-to-face and webinar discussions of personal stories, the online shared history project, and advocacy in social inclusion and community wellbeing.
2. Supporting workers
Frontline service workers in disadvantaged communities have highly complex and difficult jobs. They require specialized skills and support to be effective in service provision and assist disadvantaged clients. Community STaR provides practical face-to-face and online learning through a series of workshops tailored to the realities of working in disadvantaged communities and masterclasses on theory in social inclusion, social cohesion and complex community intervention.
3. Building the evidence base
Intersectoral action in disadvantaged communities is common. Published evidence on the effectiveness of this action is rare. Community STaR produces and disseminates evidence in complex community intervention through workshops, webinars and publication, conducts community based research in social inclusion, and supports small teams of community workers in planning, implementing and evaluating projects to improve service access and delivery.
4. Speaking out