Our Model

The DPM project model is a proven method of carrying out multi-layered workshops comprising artistic song writing, video production, community engagement, and social impact. It is based on international best practice in community engagement for social impact with a focus on the existing strengths and inherent value within the community.

Our unique collaborative engagement and dynamic workshop delivery / content development process, has been developed by Desert Pea Media over our 17 year history, and finds its roots in an internationally acclaimed workshop technique called ‘Forum Theatre’ taken from ‘The Theatre of the Oppressed’ and ‘The Pedagogy of the Oppressed’ - an academic bible for genuine, meaningful and effective community development and cultural change. 

Traditionally this process would bring together the ‘oppressed’ (i.e. Indigenous communities) and the ‘oppressor’ (e.g. landowners). In a workshop scenario, a facilitator would use the process of art-making as a non-confrontational platform upon which to create conversation – a way to unpack serious issues, and suggest solutions in an objective and positive way.

DPM has perfected a new process that takes elements from this recognised academic format, and incorporates new technology to create a safe space for dialogue to happen for Indigenous people. The process brings together young people, community leaders and experts in the appropriate fields to discuss social issues, and turn that conversation into dynamic, engaging and appropriate cultural media. 

The process focuses on a singular facilitator in association with a Creative Team of mentors and technicians. Each workshop follows the same formula, developed to acknowledge both the realities of a social situation, and the possibilities for change. It’s solutions-based and it forms a joyful, inspiring and celebratory mantra of positivity.

The Real

In the first stage of the process – the facilitator will direct questions in turn to both individuals, to particular age groups, to local community members, and to relevant local agencies and stakeholders.  What has been happening in your community up until this point in time? Both the good and bad – socially, culturally, and relating to health specifically.

Young people are often quick to articulate negative social issues and impacts in the community i.e. substance abuse, mental health, suicide, lateral violence. This, backed up by statistics and health realities from experts in the field, paints an accurate picture of the realities of the issues, and the context for the project. This all happens in a non-confrontational environment, where all voices are embraced and included.

Experts are also invited to articulate the positive strategies used to address health issues by service providers and their impacts/successes and/or limitations/failures. This also brings awareness of services and service providers to the local community, and gets everybody on the ‘same team’.

The Ideal

The next stage involves the group discussing their ‘perfect world’, how would their community look if they could have it any way they wanted? This is often the hardest, as it is often difficult for people to find hopefulness and positivity in a very difficult context.  But luckily for our process, the ideal remains relatively simple - happy, healthy people and communities with good opportunities and strong access and connection to health services.

The Bridge

The final stage of our three-part narrative is the lengthiest and most important.  How do we as individuals, as a community and as a nation move from our REAL to our IDEAL?  How do we get from where we are, to where we want to be?



If you would like more information about our work, our processes, our impact, the kind of outcomes you can expect and the costs associated with DPM facilitating a project in your community, download a copy of our Project Prospectus or call Rachel on 02 8006 4855.