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ABOUT OUR PARTNERS: Deadly Connections

Updated: May 25



Keenan Mundine, a proud First Nations man with connections to the Biripi Nation of NSW and the Cherbourg Nation in Queensland, spent his childhood and teen years at the Block in Redfern. “The Block” being the colloquial name given to an area of residential social housing in Redfern. Criminal activity was prominent in this poverty-stricken area with people relying on petty crime and drugs to get by. Keenan had an incredibly difficult childhood—lost both parents at a young age, was separate from his siblings and sent to live with relatives away from everything and everyone he knew. After running away to find his bother he became no stranger to the crime surrounding him and spent his adolescent years in and out of detention centres. During this time, with the help of his wife and co-founder Carly Stanley, he discovered his passion for giving back to the community. Their combined desire to give back gave rise to Deadly Connections.


Deadly Connections works to break the cycle of inter-generational disadvantage through community connections. Through shared stories and experiences, young indigenous people receive the necessary support to help them overcome adversity; this is particularly true for those who find themselves in juvenile detention. The Deadly Connections website states this very clearly: “true lived experience, culture, healing, self-determination and a deep community connection must be the heart and soul of all work with First Nations people and communities.”


These values strongly align with our own at Woven Threads. We, too, believe that the telling of real stories promotes connection, breaks down stigmas, fosters community and starts necessary conversations for change. The work of Deadly Connections is nothing short of impressive. A notable achievement was Keenan’s presentation of his experiences to the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Switzerland. His passion and skills combined with Carly’s academic experience and her own lived experience make a dynamic and determined couple—trailblazers, changing the narratives of Indigenous Australians. Deadly Connections cares deeply about healing their community and has many programmes such as “Deadly Young Warriors”, an initiative focusing on early intervention for 7 to18-year-olds in Sydney. The work they do is nothing short of amazing, and it is an honour to work alongside them.

If you wish to hear more about Keenan’s story, you can watch his episode in our second series where he shares his life story. It is a really special watch and is linked below alongside links to their website and associated sites.


https://deadlyconnections.org.au/


https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/1970191427710/woven-threads-stories-from-within-s2-ep5-woven-threads-stories-from-within-keenan


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