Voice Lab

“Voice Lab is the best thing I have ever done; it made me feel like I was being heard.” Child participant

Voice Lab is a unique creative installation module for collecting the thoughts and opinions of children. It is the embodiment of Polyglot’s child-centred approach to creativity, putting the child literally in the centre of a powerfully theatrical experience. Voice Lab also embodies Polyglot’s vision – to empower children – as its purpose is to listen to children’s voices and use the information they provide to make changes that improve their lives.

When engaging with Voice Lab, children are invited one at a time into a beautifully designed, serene dome – entirely alone. In this space they have a conversation with Voice Lab – a voice driven by a concealed live performer that asks questions and regards the child as the expert. Voice Lab encourages reflective thought and the articulation of opinions and feelings. The discussion can be completely tailored to explore children’s world views or to gather feedback on their experiences at school or in their community.

A strategic objective for Polyglot in 2021-2024 is to leverage our body of distinctive expertise in child-led creativity by seeking opportunities to apply our knowledge in sectors beyond the arts. Voice Lab is one of Polyglot’s key assets in this regard, enabling us to bring children’s voices to the fore in vital areas such as the health, education and justice systems.

Voice Lab aligns with the Australia Council’s objective: Arts and creativity are thriving. Voice Lab is an independent income stream for the company with huge growth potential through partnerships and collaboration – reflected by the demand from a wide variety of clients who seek the input of children in order to make positive change. Opportunities to engage with government and social sector organisations showcase the power and impact of the arts to drive innovation and progress in our society. Voice Lab demonstrates Polyglot’s distinctive ability to turn artistic ideas into sustainable, in-demand projects that earn income for the company, contributing to Polyglot’s resilience and agility.

Clients and partners

Anglicare Victoria – Communities for Children Frankston and Gandel Philanthropy: The Voices of Children on Transition was a major two-year partnership aiming to gain a deeper understanding of school transition experiences and to improve processes around transition and children’s services as a result of listening to children’s thoughts and ideas. The project was evaluated by Monash University.

Bankstown Communities for Children – The Smith Family: The Children’s Voices Out Loud project aimed to discover what children thought about life in Bankstown NSW and to use their voices to help shape the development of the area as a child-friendly community.

City of Port Phillip: Voice Lab was engaged by RedRoad Consulting for City of Port Phillip’s Adventure Playground upgrade consultation.

Connie Benn Centre: This is an integrated and inclusive Centre for children 0-12 and their families living in Fitzroy VIC, with a strong focus on children’s rights, education, health and wellbeing. It used Voice Lab to explore children’s aspirations and their sense of belonging in the community.

Satellite Foundation: This organisation runs programs for children of parents with a mental illness, and has used Voice Lab over two years to offer children a safe environment to discuss their lives.

Other partners

City of Melbourne
Dandenong Communities for Children – Mission Australia
Ipswich Communities for Children – Mission Australia
Melbourne Fringe
Wyndham City Council

Prospectus

Download the Voice Lab prospectus here (909KB)

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