Mr Kosta Lucas1
1Synq Up, Perth, Australia
The concept of “community resilience” is at the heart of all community-initiatives that aim to prevent and counter violent extremism. However, like the term “radicalisation”, it is a loosely defined term, and the conceptual gaps are becoming much clearer in the face of emerging extremist groups and ideologies, particularly right wing extremism. The purpose of this presentation is to highlight, from a practitioner’s perspectives, how current conceptualisations of “community resilience” are limited, and how they can be adapted, with a particular emphasis on cross-discipline collaboration and multi-stakeholder partnerships.
Kosta Lucas is a researcher and practitioner in preventing and countering violent extremism in a wide range of policy, research and grassroots program development roles. Most notably, Kosta was the Chief Program Director of People against Violent Extremism (PaVE), Australia’s first bespoke countering violent extremism non-government organisation founded by the Hon. Dr Anne Aly MP in 2013. He has since moved on to start his own initiative, Synq Up, an independent initiative aimed at preventing community harming behaviours through the use of creative media and arts, communications and conflict resolution. Through Synq Up, Kosta works with a broad range of public and private organisations to create a greater community consciousness around the myriad of factors that contribute to violent extremism in Australia and abroad. Most recently, Kosta was selected to be a member of the European Union’s Radicalisation Awareness Network’s Expert Pool, contributing expertise on areas of youth engagement, prevention and community resilience. In addition to his work through Synq Up, Kosta has been a sessional academic with Notre Dame University since 2016, tutoring in areas such as Terrorism and Intelligence and Global Development. He is also in the process of completing his Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney.