Theatre is about human connection; stories are told not just through words, emotions are conveyed through the non verbal language of the body and images. This is especially relevant when working in the CALD communities, as we go beyond information delivery and connect to the heart, drawing out the power and truth of people’s lived experiences. 


Over the years, Catherine Simmonds has successfully run workshops, devised and directed ten different performance scenes within the Vietnamese Community in collaboration with Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association (AVWA) and Springvale Indochinese Mutual Association (SICMAA)

These scenes were devised with and performed by family members who’d been directly harmed by gambling or gambled themselves. They performed in/at community events, to the police, seniors groups, play groups and in the Dame Phyllis Frost prison. 


In collaboration with Arabic Welfare and Victorian Arabic Social Services, Catherine Simmonds conducted consultations and ran a series of workshops with the counselors and people of the community. For most people the workshop experience was the first time they’d shared and unpacked their experiences of gambling harm within a group context. A scene with the bi-lingual workers from the Turkish, Greek and Arabic communities was devised and performed. 


We presented performances at Galliamble men’s group which enabled conversations about communities’ experiences of gambling – for some it was the first time they had spoken about it. 

Series of eight workshops in Ngwala (residential AOD residential treatment centre) with ten women. The workshops built stories and performance scenes that were conducted as a ‘rehearsal for life’.

Here is a beautiful video capturing the workshop process and performance impact by Vietnamese Community at SICMAA in front of the Springvale police and other community members.

Watch this vid to see how we can facilitate important conversations withion your community. Catherine Simmonds describes how this empowers both participants and organisations.


Read Arnold Zable’s article about the experience of storytelling through theatre in our collaboration with the Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association.

Three Sides of the Coin have facilitated community conversations with:

Arabic Welfare
Cambodian Assocn Vic
Chinese Gambling Concern
Dame Phyllis Frost Women’s Prison 
Darebin Intercultural Centre
Galiamble Men’s Recovery Centre 
Greens – Yarra, Stonnington
Indian Care
Libraries After Dark – Broadmeadows, Glenroy, Brimbank
Morwell Youth Space
New Life Program

Outlook Community Centre, Pakenham
Seniors Orgs – E.Bentleigh, Boroondarah
St Kilda Baptist Church
Tarrengower Women’s Prison
The Basin AOD Rehab
Vietnamese Seniors Groups – W.Footscray, St Albans, Sunshine N, VASA
Winja Ulupna AOD Residential Rehab

If you need support, contact Gambler's Help 1800 858 858 or Lifeline 13 11 14

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation provides funding to Self Help Addiction Resource Centre to support people to tell their stories of gambling harm through the Three Sides of the Coin project.