Refugee and the post-trauma journeys in the fuzzy front end of co-creative practices
Co-creation with people who have experienced being refugees, particularly those with histories of varied traumatic experiences, is an endeavour that requires both care and rigorous conversation among design researchers. In this paper, we reflect upon our co-creative journey that took place alongside young Australians who have recently arrived in Australia as refugees, focusing on their first twelve months of settlement. We identify design opportunities for providing greater care for young people who have experienced being refugees in Australia where there are considerable current legal and social constraints, so that beyond simply coping, they may be supported in experiencing posttraumatic growth. Further, we detail the difficulty in ensuring participants are ready to envision potential futures throughout the co-creative process, alongside the potential in creative activities found in this process to become space for participants to reflect on and form a cohesive narrative of their experiences, and identify their care needs. We argue for the need for creative activities such as those found in our co-creative workshops and creative kits to take place beyond the research realm; to address frictions within trusted networks as a means of improving the settlement experience and the care that it entails towards experiences of posttraumatic growth.