Helen is the founder of the Hot House Community Projects; an emerging social enterprise, based in the west of Melbourne, with a focus on learning and development through transformational pedagogies and community development principles. Hot House specialises in community leadership, community development, civic literacies, community governance and community research. Her work involves both the community sector workforce and active community members and volunteers.
Helen has 30+ years’ experience working at the intersections of the community, education and youth sectors and working with diverse and intersectional communities including culture, age, gender, ability and people from all levels of educational experience.
This thread of work has been a consistent part of Helen’s career trajectory since the early 1990s where she supported the development of the Western Young Peoples Independent Network (WYPIN) and worked in school settings to promote the rights and participation of young people with a disability, with both positions set in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Helen was the lead Facilitator and part of the team that designed Wyndham’s Building Blocks program for which she was awarded the Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (VET) in 2017. She has intimate insights into community leadership theory, practice and emerging trends, sound knowledge of the structures and processes of local government including from a civic participation and community influence perspective.
Terori is a First Nation Artist, cultural knowledge keeper, cultural educator, cultural mentor and water ceremony holder. Her cultural knowledge journey comes from her elders and traditional knowledge keepers. Terori celebrates her First Nation songlines of Papua New Guinea, Saibai in the Torres Straits and Samoa. She is the founder and managing director of Avaivilla Group.
Avaivilla Group started as a creative studio back in 2012 called Salt Studio Consultancy. It was originally a platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander female artists to grow their brand within the visual art space. The consultancy half of the business was added later to combine Terori’s love of sharing her creative culture, ceremony and cultural knowledge sharing.
Terori comes from a health, community services and cultural consultancy back ground with many years of strategic and project planning, policy advice, community development, and project management. Terori has a passion in project collaboration, community engagement, program design and cross cultural partnerships facilitation, as well as having wide and various networks within her First Nation communities in Victoria.
Terori’s work and practice are framed on the principles of human rights, social justice and cultural strengthening. The consultancy’s current work engages First Nations peope and African Nations community to come together in shared knowledge building and healing.
In 2005, Terori was the recipient of Victorian State Training Awards, Trainee of the year. In 2015, Terori was the recipient of the Fellowship for Indigenous Leadership – Emerging Leader Award, for her commitment to Women’s Health Education. And in 2020 she was awarded the Indigenous Employment Partners ‘Strong Sista’ award for her work and commitment to her community.