Locked Out

Locked Out is a project initiated by Ola Elhassan in partnership with BYDS.

Locked Out is based around the concept that mothers and other female family members take on the primary responsibility for maintaining relationships when a father, son or husband is incarcerated.

Throughout the lengthy process of inquiry, arrest, remand and finally court and imprisonment – mothers, sisters, aunts and other female family members take on a huge burden to keep a family together whilst supporting the person in prison.

The project began in 2013: to date, Ola has facilitated the formulation, writing and recording of a series of stories which were compiled, published and launched at Bankstown Arts Centre on Monday 9th March 2015 to a large and appreciative audience.

BYDS employed Saarah Chaabo to take photos for the accompanying exhibition. Almasi Mohammed, a local visual artist created original sketches and drawings to accompany the Mothers’ stories.

BYDS’ also recorded a number of women reading out stories in Arabic for a series of podcasts that will be available in the following months on Soundcloud.
Ola is looking forward to expanding the project, bringing greater awareness to the issue and welcomes any opportunity to bring additional resources to this important project and the families affected by imprisonment.

Under the same umbrella of Locked Out is the Linked Up Project. Linked Up creates the path of self discovery and personal development as the students from Year 10 and 11 participate in a series of workshops facilitated by key community leaders, mentors and experts in their fields, around identity, belonging, health and wellbeing, vocational skills development, leadership and much more, leading to positive outcomes and experiences. In the words of one of the students, “This is a life skills program.”  Another student also said that Linked Up has inspired him to think more about his future after school. The pilot project was launched at Sir Joseph Banks High School.

Workshops are focused on interactive discussions and proactive and hands-on experiential learning that at the end of the program students learn how putting what they have learnt together into practice, can lead to really positive changes in their own self development and in the community.

Ola El Hassan, creator and social worker, said, “These cross generational workshops have been very delightful to design and be a part of, seeing these young men coming together and teaching a different generation from very different backgrounds you can already see only a few weeks into the program has already resulted in positive experiences for everyone involved.”

The project would not have been made possible without the generous support of local organisations and businesses. A warm and massive thank you our following supporters:

  • Valar Pty Ltd
  • ADN Earthworks
  • Ausrelief
  • Lakemba Travel Cente
  • Bankstown Canterbury Bulldogs

Contact info@byds.org.au for more information about ways to support Locked Out or Linked Up. You can keep up to date with Locked Out here