Nurturing diversity on the Coffs Coast
Naomi Steinborner and Andrew Davis are community cultural development professionals who run a small company called Two Thumbs Up. Their contribution to the Coffs Coast sees them nominated as this week’s community champions.
What do you do?
We’re community cultural development professionals who run a small company called Two Thumbs Up which is the natural progression of our experiences together working for some very dynamic and innovative community arts and cultural development companies across the east coast. We've been privileged to work with amazing people of all ages and cultures since arriving on the Coffs Coast delivering local arts and culture based projects like Walking in Two Worlds, which brings a diversity community members together to explore Coffs Harbour’s evolving cultural identity while building a more inclusive community. We have lots of experience delivering events and large scale projects but our heart is in community empowerment and we love collaborating and joining forces with all levels of community to together create powerful affecting art and meaningful positive outcomes. Andrew works full-time with Mid Coast Communities as a Linker on the Ability Links program where he supports participants who may be socially isolated due to a disability, a mental health issue or trauma.Juggling a toddler with a baby on the way, Naomi manages Two Thumbs Up on a smaller scale for now by facilitating arts workshops with young people through the STARTTS program most recently creating a dance for Harmony Day.
What’s your favourite part about your job?
Naomi: One of my favourite things I got to do early on when living on the Coffs Coast was to do Gumbaynggirr language classes at Muurrbay Aboriginal Language Centre when we were working in Bowraville . I also love working with young people, unleashing their creativity and harnessing their energy in creating performances together.
Andrew: One highlight was being in a packed out room with Christina Monneron from Kulturithmik facilitating a Latin dance workshop with more than 100 participants - students, teachers, older people from refugee backgrounds across diverse cultures and genders-- it was just one of those magic outcomes and I'd be hard pressed to think of a better way to break down the barriers.
How to you hope the organisation will grow in coming years?
Whether it’s is through Two Thumbs Up or other opportunities, we both hope to be able to use our diverse artistic and community development skills to continue to work on new community-driven projects that deliver positive outcomes for our local community and bring people together.