ISSUE 25 / JUNE - JULY 2013
How To Break Into The Music Industry Is Same-Sex Marriage Inevitable? Sydney Alliance - Working Together For A Better City
news • opportunities • action • opinion June - July 2013 unleash
unleash 25 June - July 2013
In this issue of unleash...
unleash is Youth Action’s magazine of youth opinion and action.
Is Same Sex Marriage Inevitable? A vibewire opinion
Amy Ma asks: what is the Cost of Wealth?
Young artist Analise Vella’s Ancestral Analysis is featured in this edition’s YOUexpress
editor Bridie Moran
Sallie Geary takes us on an adventure - with a charitable twist
graphic design Emma-Lee Crane: Milk Thieves Art & Design www.milkthieves.com.au
Charlotte Brew reviews Australian book Chasing the Sun
Nikola Kantarovski checks out Artemis Fowl – The Graphic Novel
We meet the Nepean Youth Channel – a team of young TV changemakers
The Youth Participation Grants Program helps create a program for GLBT young people in Manly, Sydney
Youth Action intern, Joanna, gets to know the Sydney Alliance
Have you ever wanted to get into the music industry? Indent wants to help you – and we have an awesome giveaway on page
If you are under 20, unleash gives you the opportunity to express your opinions on issues that concern you. It also supports and encourages you to take positive action to improve your community and young people’s lives.
Youth Action is the peak organisation representing young people & youth services in NSW. Youth Action is not religious and not party political. Youth Action receives core funding from the NSW Government - Department of Family and Community Services. More at www.youthaction.org.au get unleash unleash is published 6 times each year. See the subscription details on the back cover, or go to www.youthaction.org.au/unleash feedback We want to hear what you like, what you don’t like, and what you would like, in unleash. We also want to hear what you think about the issues discussed in unleash. Just email: firstname.lastname@example.org contribute unleash is a space for young people aged 12-19. See how you can contribute on page 21, or go to www.youthaction.org.au/unleash advertise If you would like to advertise in unleash, please contact Youth Action on (02) 8218 9803 or email email@example.com. legalities unleash is © Copyright Youth Action 2013. Individual articles are copyright the individual authors. Contact us if you would like to copy something from unleash. Opinions are the authors’ and not necessarily Youth Action’s. contact us Bridie Moran - Editor unleash magazine Youth Action Suite 403, 64-76 Kippax Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org (02) 8218 9800 fax (02) 9281 5588 www.youthaction.org.au/unleash
unleash June - July 2013
Plus our regular features: Editor’s HELLO Opportunities and events NEWS STAY IN TOUCH
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front and back cover
This editon’s cover art is by 14 year old photographer, Christie Grandemange, from NSW. Christie will receive a voucher for $50 for her amazing art submission. If you would like to see your work on an upcoming unleash cover, email images to email@example.com
How We Connect Hi unleashers!
I know I say this all the time, but the articles in this edition of unleash inspired me so much! Our awesome team of writers and artists got to know the active work of the Sydney Alliance, reviewed some new books, went on adventures for social justice, made new networks for young people and found out how to crack into the music biz. You might notice that there is a theme of connectivity running through all the stories in this issue. The Youth Action Participation Grants Program connects young people’s ideas with money, our friends at Indent connects up and coming music industry legends with knowledge from the sector and writers like Sallie Geary connect with our world.
It’s amazing what we can do when we work together – this issue, I challenge you to look at a new way you can connect in your world – whether it is connecting organisations to help a common goal, like Sydney Alliance, or making new contact with someone who inspires you.
I also encourage you to connect with unleash – if you have ever wanted to start connecting with journalism, art or editing, get in touch – we have opportunities for young people to work with us all the time. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our Facebook and Twitter profiles for more info. Can’t wait to connect with you,
June - July 2013 unleash
Young Social Pioneers Applications for Young Social Pioneers 2013 are now open. An initiative of the Foundation for Young Australians, Young Social Pioneers (YSP) connects inspired young change-makers, develops their leadership skills and supports their vision for social change. The Young Social Pioneers program is a 12 month fellowship for young change-makers aged 18 to 29 who work with purpose and passion for a social cause. As a Young Social Pioneer: •
You will receive 12 months of professional training, mentoring, networking opportunities and skills building
You will become part of a dynamic community of like-minded individuals who learn from and inspire each other
You will become part of an influential force of young leaders of social change.
“Your YSP cohort instantly becomes family. A family of fellow dreamers, all of you having decided to dedicate your time to making the planet a better place...” - Rosie O’Halloran, Young Social Pioneer 2012 If you’re a young changemaker looking for your tribe, register to apply for Young Social Pioneers on the website or contact Rhonda on 03 9670 5436 or email email@example.com. Applications close on Friday 14 June 2013. www.youngsocialpioneers.org.au
National Youth Awards The Gillard Government will be holding the first National Youth Awards in August to recognise and celebrate young people as well as promote the important contribution they make to the nation. Minister for Youth Peter Garrett said young people are one of the most important assets any nation has. “Our young people are the leaders of tomorrow. When I visit a school or meet with young people, I am blown away by how engaged and enthusiastic they are,” Mr Garrett said. “These new National Youth Awards aim to recognise the dedication young people have and how they are making a difference in their communities. Importantly, these awards will be designed by young Australians for their peers.” Applications close at 11pm (AEST) on 23 June 2013. No late applications will be accepted. Check out http://www.youthweek.com/nya for more information. http://youthaction.org.au/unleash-events-opportunities/nationalyouth-awards/
AYAC 2013 National Youth Affairs Conference! The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) 2013 National Youth Affairs Conference will bring together 400 youth sector representatives, community-minded young people & young change-makers, youth policy makers, and youth researchers & academics to Adelaide, SA over three days that showcase the depth of Australia’s youth affairs sector -- for all the nation to see. The AYAC 2013 conference will be an opportunity for the four corners of the youth affairs sector to connect, have fun, hear more about what we can learn from the latest research and innovative programs, learn from each other & influence the national debate on young people and youth affairs. With the federal election to take place on 14th September this year, it will be more important than ever that AYAC 2013 provides a platform for emerging youth issues to find their place on the national agenda. The conference will contribute to AYAC’s key goals of driving research for better practice, advocating for change, supporting the sector & building youth participation. It’s all happening from the 5 -7th August in Adelaide, South Australia. For more information, check out www.ayac.org.au/ayac2013 4
unleash June - July 2013
My24 – TV Opportunity Do you know a young person whose life changed forever in just 24 hours? The producers of upcoming youth TV series ‘MY24’ are currently seeking open, honest young Australians aged 13¬21 who want to be a part of an exciting television event that celebrates the extraordinary achievements of ordinary young Australians. Youth Action has spoken to the producers and believe that they will be respectful and ethical in their dealings with young people. Contact me at Youth Action if you have any concerns about this. Otherwise contact the producers directly - more information: MY24 Call Out Info Sheet PDF 335KB http://youthaction.org.au/unleash-events-opportunities/my24tv-series/
Find more great opportunities on the unleash website: http://youthaction.org.au/unleash/news-opportunities/
YOU In The News
unleash’s take on how young people made the news in the last month or so... and any extras that might be relevant to you! NSW signs up to Gonski reforms
Newcastle Gets A Little Headspace
New South Wales has become the first state to sign up to the Gonski school education reforms, in a breakthrough likely to put added pressure on the other premiers to settle a deal.
Newcastle gained an important new resource at the end of May 2013 with the opening of the Newcastle Headspace service. Headspace works to help young people stay on track during challenging or difficult periods and provides much-needed advice to young people in the region.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and NSW Liberal Premier Barry O’Farrell announced they had reached a deal and signed the paperwork in Sydney on Tuesday afternoon. Ms Gillard said she was pleased to join with Mr O’Farrell for ‘’an historic announcement’’ that would affect the 1.1 million schoolchildren in NSW. NSW schools stand to gain an extra $5 billion under the proposal, more than any other state. This would require about $1.7 billion from the O’Farrell government. Mr O’Farrell said the NSW government would achieve the needed $1.7 billion in savings through further savings across government; a new efficiency dividend applying from 2015-16; and changes to vocational education and training fees and subsidies.
Headspace is funded by the federal government under Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Initiative and offers support for those aged 12 to 25 years on a range of issues. This can include depression, anxiety, stress, alcohol and drug use, sexuality, sexual health, work and study, personal or family relationships and bullying. Headspace Newcastle will provide counselling, drug and alcohol and GP services, in addition to linking young people with other clinical services. It also helps young people to access the other services they need to get back on their feet, such as housing, employment, education and training. By giving young people access to health care, mental-health assistance, employment and more, Newcastle’s Headspace is an investment in the future, as young people lead more functional lives. Find out more about Newcastle Headspace here: http://www.headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/headspacenewcastle
First National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy Announced. Mid-May 2013 marked an announcement by the Australian Government that $17.8 million dollars in funding will be used to establish the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy.
Sydney’s State Rail to trial high-pitched devices to get vandals to buzz off State Rail is set to trial high-pitched Mosquito devices to drive young people away from graffiti hot spots. The technology emits an irritating high-frequency buzzing noise only people aged 13 to 24 can hear and is used by police forces and councils around the world in areas where teenagers are known to cause trouble. “We’re looking at a range of initiatives and technologies to crack down on graffiti vandals, including this idea for graffiti hot spots on railway land that is away from public areas,” Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said. “This is a silly idea – millions are already spent on graffiti removal when we know it should be spent on providing legal, safe options for young people,” Eamon Waterford from Youth Action said, “And let’s face it – a $2 pair of headphones will defeat this expensive system!” http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/buzz-beats-graffitivandals/story-fni0cx4q-1226651709640
The CEO of mental health awareness group Young and Well CRC, Associate Professor Jane Burns, said Indigenous people under the age of 35 are five times more likely to suicide than their nonIndigenous peers. The move has been welcomed by organizations like the Young and Well CRC, Blackdog Institute and leaders in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health, such as Dr Tom Calma. Dr Calma, chaired the working oversaw Council the Youth Image:who Closure in Moscow by Melissa group Jones forthat Campbelltown development of the strategy, said suicide affected all Australians, but 15- to 19-year-old indigenous men and women took their lives at 4.4 and 5.9 times the national rate respectively. “A dedicated, well-funded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander strategy is the only appropriate response, and I commend the Australian government for supporting its development and implementation,” he said. Read more here: http://youthaction.org.au/unleash-news/suicidepreventionstrategy/
More news, and links to full articles are at: http://youthaction.org.au/unleash/news-opportunities/
June - July 2013 unleash
Same Sex Marriage:
unleash June - July 2013
By Harriet, in-house writer at Vibewire OK, so New Zealand just legalised same sex marriage. What are we doing? On the 17th of April this year, New Zealand’s Parliament approved the Marriage Equality Bill, making it the first country in the Asia-Pacific to legalise same-sex marriage. This decision coincides with a similar bill passed in France, and follows an increasing number of countries worldwide where equal marriage rights have been created. So naturally, this leads to the question of whether Australia will follow suit. Public support for same-sex marriage has been very similar in New Zealand and Australia. Support in Australia is steadily rising, with 57% of Australians in support as of December 2011 in a Fairfax/Neilsen poll, increasing to 64% in August 2012 Galaxy poll. Within this, 81% of 18-24 year olds support marriage equality. Last September a marriage reform bill was put before Parliament, but did not gain enough support to pass through. Notably, our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, as well as Abbott, Rudd and Turnbull, the closest contenders for leadership over the last few years, all voted against marriage reform. Member of Parliament Tony Windsor has likened the Australian political stance on same sex marriage to that of gun control in the United States - that is, out of touch with what the public want. The suggestion of holding a referendum on same-sex marriage in Australia has been put forward by Tony Windsor. He believes a referendum will allow the population to have their say in the issue. But why does a referendum even need to be proposed at all? With international change happening, and the topic regularly featuring in the media, a decision happening on same-sex marriage now seems to be inevitable.
It has now turned to the question of timing – will this be a progressive move in support of equality? Or a conservative reform either in support of maintaining the family unit, or simply following the international trend? Right now both sides of politics are sidelining the issue, and perhaps a referendum would be a way to break the political standstill. Unfortunately, a referendum seems unlikely to go ahead, and has received little support. At the same time as the political discussions of marriage equality, there has also been much talk in the press about the controversial removal of Oxford Streets rainbow crossing in Sydney. The rainbow crossing was painted onto the road for Mardi Gras this year, as a celebration of the LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/ Transgender) community. Most expected it to be left there permanently, but the City of Sydney Council removed in April, claiming that it was a safety hazard. In its wake, the DIY ‘rainbow rebels’ have sprung up, protesting the crossing’s removal by drawing chalk rainbows. These have appeared across Sydney, from the backstreets of Darlinghurst to the Opera House foreshore. It’s a positive movement celebrating gay rights in the spirit of the original rainbow crossing, rather than a direct attack at the City of Sydney Council and is supported by the City of Sydney Mayor, Clover Moore. It’s a movement that has also spread across Australia, and even to other countries. Locally and internationally we can see clear and increasing support for same-sex marriage. That we are still questioning whether to legalise same-sex marriage in Australia ignores the public support for changing these laws, and instead caters only to the interests of our politicians.
uld ink? Sho h t u o n y st happe u What do j e g ia r mar ple sa m e- sex o un g p e o y e r A e? ? this issu a l ready n o o t e n ed bein g list
Image from: www.abc.net.au
June - July 2013 unleash
The Cost of
Wealth By Amy Ma of Sefton High School - Year 11/12 Winner, 2012 Whitlam Institute What Matters? Competition
Often, if you step back to gaze at the bigger picture, you miss the small, fine details and, on particular occasions, these are the most important perspectives of all. It is this that adolescents are able to provide; a different standpoint, an original view of the world through fresh eyes. We are able to hone in on the small-scale issues, that make a huge tear directly through our young lives. What is more important to us during this critical stage of our being than what shapes our values, morals and ethics? It may be difficult to face the simple reality that the lives of all children are mapped out based on their socio-economic factors with little hope of being able to alter their fate. But perhaps society just miscalculated how a teenager lives in the 21st century. Perhaps the poor are rich in self-determination and independence. Perhaps the rich pay the real cost of wealth. The perfect word in this context would be ‘affluenza’. In the book, ‘Too Safe for Their Own Good’ by Michael Ungar (PhD), he makes mention of the ‘disease of affluence’ which plagues teenagers today. Society is under the impression that children from wealthy families will live a blessed existence because they are handed the best of everything. But more often than not, it is the lower-class and middle-class families who live in ‘highcontext’ communities with strong networks of support to feed the self-growth and positive development of a child. Children from upper-class communities can struggle to find vital support through their excessive wealth. Although their parents have provided for the physical needs of their child, they lack emotional support and frequently end up spoiling their children; in turn crippling their child’s independence. 8
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In fact, research by child psychologist Suniya Luthar found the lowest levels of happiness among the most affluent of children. Society wonders how children from wealthy families, especially teenagers, can possibly be unhappy with the luxuries they possess and the great opportunities they are given, but it cannot recognise that these children can actually be victims of a designer lifestyle, forced upon them. Wealthy parents are able to provide their children with every need and want, but may deny their children the satisfaction that comes with reaping the rewards from hard work. These children are unable to assert themselves or take chances and responsibility and never receive the opportunity to discover their self-worth. The result is a whole population of unhappy, unfulfilled children who demand success from their wealth, rather than trying to obtain success through their actions. It is unsurprising to realise that teenagers who move from one purchase to the next are likely to end up feeling empty and depressed, even if they are well pampered. When children are being suffocated by the world around them, their next action can only be to rebel. This can take the form of drugs and alcohol - an understandable solution to a lack of attention. Abusing their bodies is seen as a way to prove themselves and gain attention. It comes as no surprise that as a group, this population is more likely to use drugs than less wealthy young people. What we need from the parents of these children is not to remove all the privileges that come with being part of an affluent home but rather to provide more than just material goods. Children need the opportunity to experience risk and accountability and that can only come if their minds are stimulated and they are able to think for themselves. It is vital that teenagers make life-changing decisions, face impossible challenges and suffer the consequences of terrible mistakes. How else will we know we have become adults?
Ancestral Analysis Analise Vella
To be featured in YOUexpress, send a file of your drawing/painting/collage/photography/poetry/rap/ (anything!) to firstname.lastname@example.org
June - July 2013 unleash
Adventure Times – Laos By Sallie Geary, 18, an explorer, volunteer and high school student
A Note From The Editor: Meet Sallie – she’s a high-school student who has a passion for exploring the world and working to help communities less lucky than her own. In upcoming issues of unleash, we will be getting to know Sallie and finding out what overseas volunteer work is really like. In this edition, Sallie tells us all about her work with the World Challenge team in Laos. World Challenge is an organisation that teams school students with projects, hoping to aid personal growth while assisting communities in need around the world. Details about World Challenge can be found at the end of this article. After spending eight days sleeping on bamboo floors, eating plain sticky rice and not showering, surprisingly I wasn’t missing Western civilisation too much. In the past eight days I, along with my ten other World Challenge team members, have helped to ensure that the 43 children in the village of Ban Naluang, Laos, no longer have to trek two hours each way to get to school. That is, if they were lucky enough to be able to attend at all. We had been waking at sunrise to mix clay and straw with our feet to make homemade mud bricks, and laying older stones in order to construct the three-roomed school. We were far from accredited brickies, but we put in all of our effort to construct the straightest walls possible. By the end of it my feet were covered in scratches and scabs, but to be honest I didn’t really notice the pain until we had moved on from the quaint jungle village and into Thailand... Probably because by that stage they were pretty infected. Nonetheless, one round of antibiotics later and I was fine!
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When we left, we had completed all but one room of the school - which was to be finished by another group the following week. On our last night in the village, we presented some of our fundraising money to the chief to cover the cost of furniture and supplies for when the school was complete. His speech in response to our week’s work was probably the most inspirational and humbling thing I had heard in my life. He said; “We are so thankful for the work you have done for us, through the translations we cannot accurately express our gratitude. As a community we have no items to give you, we have no money or jewels, but we hope our blessings and goodwill you will cherish forever. And with you we send our luck for a happy life and hope you will live it, and all your opportunities, to the fullest. Although we may be thousands of miles apart, our hearts will now always beat as one. We will never forget you, you have given us so much hope for the future and for our children, for that one day they may now receive half the education you have.” It sounds corny to say that moments like these cause some sort of profound realisation about yourself, the world or just life in general. But the truth is it does. From my personal experience, it doesn’t happen like you see it in the movies; where all of a sudden you’re hit with some sort of affirmation and the universe aligns. It happens when you get home, because when you’re sitting by the river at sunset, watching the shadows of tigers parade the jungle ridges above, you’re just trying to take it all in and convince yourself it’s real (and not pass out from exhaustion). Then one, three, six months later, you’ll be sitting at home in your bed watching Disney, in your ordinary life reminiscing about what was, remembering different details every time you think about it. I guess you don’t really realise the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
Every time though, one thing will be the same; you’ll remember how much of an impact you made. You expect to be filled with this wonderful, fuzzy feeling of self-fulfillment, that you’ve accomplished something good... but it doesn’t come. Instead, you sit there and can’t help but feel like you haven’t done enough, that there is so much more to do, to see, and to change. It is at this point you realise that as a well off, educated young person in a developed Western civilisation, you have a moral obligation to share what you have, what you know, and what you’ve seen. And as much as a downer on high spirits as that sounds, it doesn’t suck. Why? Because by fulfilling your passion and making a difference, you also get to travel to some super cool places and meet some incredible people who will ultimately inspire the rest of your life. I can’t wait to share more of my stories with you…
Stay tuned to Sallie’s story on the Youth Action website – www.youthaction.org.au/unleash/opinion/
If you are keen to find out more about the World Challenge program that Sallie participated in, check out their website, at http://www.worldchallenge.com.au/
June - July 2013 unleash
Chasing The Sun – Book Review
By Charlotte Brew, 16, Bathurst Chasing The Sun by Australian author Robin Baker is a darkly humorous novel about vampires, Feng Shui and mortality. We follow the story of Mr Civic, a geomancer and a vampire. By day he sleeps, by night he hunts for drunken teenage girls to feed on. Life as an immortal has forced Civic to build friendships only within the immortality circle. He leads a life of scamming, partying and killing, without the slightest hint of emotion. It is the only way he can survive. But when his very existence is threatened, Civic forms a bond with a woman and her child. He’s reminded of what it’s like to be human again, and what it’s like to have everything to lose... It’s interesting to note that the author, Robin Baker, is a young former English teacher – turned funeral director and novelist! Baker uses his experiences with death and knowledge of unhappy endings to write about the darker aspects of life. He artfully raises the question of the morals in regards to the very existence of vampires, an aspect which many other vampiric stories lack in the pursuit of a forbidden, and quite often impossible, romance. Baker’s not afraid to discard stereotypes with his unusual characters and unexpected plot twists. He’s not afraid of displaying the truth of life, in that it does not always end well. His use of subtle humour tends allows the novel to refrain from becoming a depressing tragedy, and enables the reader to enjoy the book amongst all the death. This is a quirky, delightfully refreshing read, but it is definitely not for the faint hearted. Fair warning, it involves a lot of gore, death and swearing, but if you can stomach it is well worth your time. I’d recommend it for 16-25 year olds though younger teenagers may be interested.
A Geo-what? Deciphering Chasing The Sun Geomancer: somebody who practices a method of divination – a type of fortunetelling that interprets markings on the ground or the patterns formed by tossed handfuls of soil, rocks, or sand. Feng Shui: is a Chinese system of geomancy believed to use the laws of both Heaven (Chinese astronomy) and Earth to help one improve life. Vampire: mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person/being Editor’s Comment: Sounds way better than Twilight. Chasing the Sun is available now in bookstores and online.
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Artemis Fowl – The Graphic Novel By Nikola Kantarovski, 17
Originally released in 2001, Irish author Eoin Colfer captured the attention of adults and younger adults alike with his magical, adventurous Artemis Fowl series. Now, over a decade later, a graphic novel adaptation of the first book has been released in Australia. Following the adventures of a teenage criminal mastermind who captures mythological creatures and uses them to restore his family’s fortune, Artemis Fowl, our “hero”, slowly develops a sense of morals as he goes on a ridiculous and incredible series of adventures… Will it live up to the original? One of the most appealing features of the original Artemis Fowl series was the peculiar ability of the book to hold you in sway and keep you turning pages well into the night. The graphic novel adaptation, released many years after the first novel, can only be said to be an improvement. Undoubtedly, among many other features, this is the hallmark of a truly great children’s novel; and it must be noted that this is truly a work that can appeal to any age group. Whether you read the original, or just picked up the graphic novel for the first time because of the swanky cover makes no difference; as the gripping, fantastical and thematic narrative only plunges you deeper and deeper into the Fowl universe. In a fascinating world where all manner of mystical creatures comes under the fairy banner, and where a 12-year old criminal mastermind can hold an entire magical society in the grips of a hostage situation, we find ourselves exploring hungrily.
Although one should never listen to naysayers who want to destroy a book’s reputation, it has to be agreed that some of the negative feedback the original garnered was deserved. Despite the story being spellbinding, it does use many clichés associated with the criminal mastermind genre, using plot devices you can see coming from a mile away. The dialogue, similarly, is incredibly simplistic in structure, but manages to save face through sophisticated wording. That being said, anyone who truly enjoys a good story won’t notice these things. The reason Eoin Colfer has used these triedand-tested plot points is because they have been shown to work, and the formula for success is definitely at work within the graphic novel. This timely combination of fantasy and modern themes, coupled with impressive visuals serves to create something refreshingly original. Fascinating, surprising, and worth the re-read. Three stars.
Artemis Fowl – The Graphic Novel, is available in bookstores and online now.
June - July 2013 unleash
Channel With the Nepean Youth Channel
When you switch on the TV, the stories you hear don’t often come from young people. Instead, on the news, in documentaries – even on Home and Away – the stories we hear are created to represent the ideas of politicians, media companies and screenwriters. What would happen if young people were given their own media company to make what ever they would like? You’re about to find out. The Nepean Youth Channel is the initiative of a group of emerging media makers from across the Nepean who took part in a series of workshops and a mentoring program, facilitated by CuriousWorks and Substance.org. The crew is made up of young people from the Penrith/Nepean regional area in Western Sydney and is the first step for many in starting a career in the media. The Nepean Youth Channel have decided to tackle issues that are relevant to the young people in their area - content that has been produced initially for the channel is focused on bringing awareness to young people on the issue of Binge Drinking. The crew embarked on a journey to create a series of short videos that feature wide ranging interviews across the spectrum of health and community. The crew also spoke to their peers to ask what binge drinking means to them and how it has affected them or their friends. In addition to the doco style videos, the crew also engaged in comedy writing workshops and produced short comedy sketches that bring attention to the serious side of the abuse of alcohol. Check out the ‘You Know You’re Drunk When..’ series. With the help of media masters CuriousWorks and Substance.org, the Nepean Youth Channel have produced an amazing website and are starting to gain a real audience.
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unleash got an insight into the Nepean Youth Channel from key member, Steph: Steph is born and bred in Penrith. Her passion is writing for film and her roles in the Nepean Youth Channel have included Camera Operator, Interviewing and Sound Recorder. She was involved in the comedy writing for the ‘You Know You’re Drunk When’ series. Steph has enjoyed working on this project as it has created new opportunities and opened doorways for her, and her community. “Nepean youth channel (NYC) is a group of young filmmakers that make videos and other media for youth on issues and events in the community. We started our project through a partnership with CuriousWorks and Substance.org. The NYC crew has come a long way from start till now and along the way we’ve learnt so much! We now all know how the filming process works, how to edit, how to conduct interviews (even for high profile people like the Local MP David Bradbury) and what not do when it comes to drinking. The crew is made up of individual people with different ideas, that come from all different backgrounds, they have a very particular way about them and they enjoy all aspects of filming and you can see all these differences this in their work. NYC’s first big hit was a documentary style video on binge drinking in the community to bring awareness to the youth’s of the Nepean area.
They focused on facts like what binge drinking is, its long and short term side effects, what it does to your brain and body, what a standard drink is, how to control binging and of course what binge drinking does to your relationships and family. Most people interviewed have been fallen into the trap of binge-drinking before and know what they are talking about. Some content is very touching – and it is all real. You can find this video on our website www.nepeanyouthchannel.org, and also on Facebook. But working with the Nepean Youth Channel hasn’t been all serious faces and documentaries. We have also created a comedy workshop called ‘You Know You’re Drunk When…’ because let’s face it: nobody likes to be a party pooper but they still want to get their point across. We used a funny internet-meme style to make our message accessible and powerful. This video is also on their website along with photos of the crew, stories about the crew, more facts on binge drinking and other stuff. So at the end of the day the NYC crew is pretty cool and we really know our stuff. Remember that binge drinking may not feel bad but it usually turns out bad. If you want to know more – or would like to get involved - don’t forget about their website www. nepeanyouthchannel.org and that they are on Facebook. Don’t turn a night out into a nightmare…”
unleash would like to thank Stephanie Kyriacou, Nepean Youth Channel, CuriousWorks and Substance.org for their awesome work!
About CuriousWorks: CuriousWorks enables communities to tell their own stories: powerfully and sustainably.
Constantly innovating the connection between art, education and technology, they are steadily building a future where all Australians have regular access to self-directed, compelling stories from the margins of our society. Step by step, CuriousWorks are growing a new generation of storytellers by building cutting-edge arts and media capacity in the most under-resourced places in the country.
About Substance.org: Substance.org is a non-government not-for-profit charitable organisation, governed by a voluntary, community-based Management Committee located in Penrith, and primarily works with the Nepean, Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury communities (also known as the Western Cluster in the Sydney West Area Health Service) since 1978.
June - July 2013 unleash
Grants Program Project: GL@M Out With Youth Action’s Osman Faruqi. Hey guys! My name is Osman Faruqi and I’m the Youth Participation Grants Program Coordinator at Youth Action. The Youth Participation Grants Program (YPGP) is all about supporting young people (like you!) deliver projects that increase engagement and participation in local communities. For the last few months, we have been working with amazing youth projects all over NSW to make stuff happen by providing funding and support. One of these projects is GL@M Out – GLAM is a group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) young people under 24 years. The group meets fortnightly in Manly on Sydney’s northern beaches. Recently, GL@AM Out ran a series of workshops and an exhibition.
unleash spoke with Jude, Jude, coordinator of GL@M Out Manly and the brains behind GL@M Out, to find out more…. Q. Hi! Let’s find out who you are – what’s your first name, how old are you and where are you from? I’m Jude, and I’m a young person from the Inner West/Manly. Q. You’ve recently been a part of a project funded by a grant from Youth Action – what have you created? Well, we had a series of workshops focusing on coming out using creative writing and digital media. At the end of the workshops we held an exhibition night. It was a great experience. Q. Did you work with a team on the project? Yes, I worked with the youth workers who run GL@M, an artist who ran the workshops and of course all the young people who participated. Q. Why did you want to make GL@M Out happen? I felt that the people I was meeting were finding it hard to ‘come out’ – reveal to others that they identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender – so it got me thinking that it would be great if we could share some of our stories to help those who were struggling with it or scared/confused.
unleash June - July 2013
Q. I’d love you to run me through the process of creating these amazing events – in a few dot points, could you outline how everything happened? - Initial Idea I was initially inspired to create a kind of project focusing on coming out. - Getting funding and assistance The next step was applying for grants and we started by looking online. The first attempts got knocked back but then we were accepted by the local council – which was awesome. And then we approached an artist that we had worked with before and were able to get him on board for the project, and start working with Youth Action, and were awarded a Youth Participation Grant. This gave us the much needed money to start the project with. - Organising Once we had funding, we started organising. That part was mostly done with Kate, our youth worker and Tom, the official artist for GL@M Out. Setting dates for the workshops and exhibition was trickier than I expected! - Making It Happen This was the easy part in some ways. But some thought had to be put in what we wanted to express and how we wanted to do that – there aren’t any other organisations like us in the area so I wanted to make sure were creating the right thing. - At the Events On the day, everyone really got into it and had a lot of fun. I think people were glad they got so share their experiences. I know I was. - What happened after? I guess the exhibition came after the workshops, which was pretty great. I didn’t expect many people to come other than us but we were pleasantly surprised. Friends, family and others came to support us and look at what we had produced. We are also going to display the artworks at some of the other events that GL@M is a part of and I’m really looking forward to other people checking it out.
Q. What would your advice be to other young people who want to make an idea happen? Go for it! Almost every idea is a good one and it becomes great when it’s put into action. Q. A key part of GL@M Out is people telling their stories – can you tell us one of the stories you heard as part of the program? I don’t want to talk about one story in particular, however I did find a common underlying theme of inner turmoil/struggle. As most people who have come out will attest to, it’s not as “straightforward” as one might think because of the ramifications of what you are about tell the ones closest to you can be unpredictable and radical. Q. Have there been any challenges so far? Personally I don’t feel like we really had any challenges as such, but we were given deadlines of when we had to have our submissions in by, so maybe shortness of time we had – working with a great team helped me overcome that, though! Q. What has working on GL@M Out taught you? It’s taught me about grants, how to apply for them and what it entails to be founding part of a great project. Q. Do you have any other dream projects you would like to see become a reality? Yes, look out for them! ;)
June - July 2013 unleash
Sydney Alliance – Uniting Our Community By Joanna, Youth Action Intern On Monday May 20, over 300 people gathered in Glebe (a suburb in Sydney’s inner west) for the Sydney Alliance Leader’s Assembly. This event brought together over 50 diverse organisations ranging from Unions, NGOs and Faith-based organisations, united with a vision of making Sydney a more livable city. The Sydney Alliance is a powerful non-party political coalition of civil society organisations, working together for the common good. With a diverse cross-section of the city represented, the Sydney Alliance works on building public relationships in order to work together on issues that unite the wider Sydney community. It’s unusual to have big businesses sitting in the same room as students and midwife associations and, by getting everyone together, big ideas and changes can happen. May’s event was held for two reasons. The first was to show the wins of the Alliance in the Glebe area, which have involved empowering Indigenous young men to gain apprenticeships from Mirvac, a leading development group. The story of this achievement was woven together with stories from a diverse range of community members including youth workers, the police, union leaders, teachers and the young people themselves – before finally inviting the CEO of Mirvac, John Carfi, onto the stage to negotiate an ongoing commitment for 4 additional apprenticeships. The young men got on stage with the CEO of Mirvac and asked him directly if he would create additional jobs for them. He said yes!
The second half of the assembly was dedicated to planning towards the 2015 NSW state election. As a diverse cross-section of the wider community, it was clear that the Alliance has growing power with demonstrated gains in local district campaigns, such as the creation of hospital drop off zones at Liverpool and Fairfield hospitals, and collaborations with the Police Commissioner to address the issue of racial profiling of young people in Western Sydney. 10 districts working across Sydney shared their plans for their local areas, inviting members of organisations and the wider community to begin discussions of how they can work together on issues affecting health, transport, social inclusion and employment. By the end of the event we saw 300 people break out into discussions across the room, striking conversations, finding common ground and planning ongoing collaborations towards a united city.
The Sydney Alliance works across Sydney, if you are interested in getting involved email Eamon or Alex at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or you can just call us on 8218 9800 and we’ll hook you up with your local team!
An NG-what? NGO – a Non-Government-Organisation Non-party political coalition – a group of representatives of political organizations that isn’t linked to one of the Australian political parties, like Labour or The Greens. Mirvac – Mirvac own loads of buildings and a retail network worth 2 billion dollars!)
unleash June - July 2013
- Making It In The Music Industry With Indent and and Scott Fitzsimons of Street Press Australia.
Have you ever wanted to get in to the music industry? unleash’s good friends over at Indent - the peak network for allages entertainment in NSW - are proud to present FEEDBACK – a full day of music industry guest speakers, panels, take-home resources, live music and networking, especially for 12-25 year olds. Happening at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art on Monday, June 10th, FEEDBACK features some of the biggest names in the music biz. Guest speakers and presenters include: Dom Alessio (triple j’s Home & Hosed), Keynote speaker Urthboy (Elefant Traks), Jay Whalley (Frenzal Rhomb), Nick Yates (We Are Unified), Graham Nixon (Resist Records), Stu Harvey (triple j’s Short Fast Loud / Shock Records), Spod (musician / video director), Adam Lewis (GoodGod Small Club / Radiant on FBi), , Nicci Reid (Wing & Gill), Jonno Seidler (The Vine / One A Day), DJ Joyride and representatives from APRA, AAM (Association of Artist Managers), Unearthed and Street Press Australia.
unleash got in touch with Scott Fitzsimons, of Street Press Australia (publishers of Drum Media and The Music) to find out how he got his dream job in the music industry. Q. Feedback is a day full of music industry insider knowledge – what is the role that Street Press Australia play in the Australian music industry? Across the print magazines, the iPad magazines, theMusic.com. au and the Australasian Music Industry Directory we’re the most prolific music media company in the country. There’s the obvious connections we have between the industry and punters but with the online industry reporting we’re also keeping music industry professionals honest! We’re also a media outlet that artists can rely on to be there throughout their career – not just when they’re underground and cool and not just after they’ve been flogged on radio. We’ll give anyone a listen and a go.
Q. Scott, you started your career with SPA while you were still a teenager! How did you get involved and what do you do now? I did work experience from year 10 at Drum Media and then got an internship there after I finished high school. After one year of uni (which sucked) I was offered two days a week paid work, so I took the plunge and turned that into three days, then four days and then a whole week as one of the Associate Editors by just hanging around and refusing to go home. I then became the industry reporter for the company nationally and that’s lead into me editing the daily industry newsletter Your Daily SPA, which spawned theMusic.com.au, which I also edit. Then there’s the bi-annual AMID which I became editor of when the company bought that publication. Q. What’s your advice to young people who would like to break into music journalism? Write as much as possible and get as much experience as possible. I don’t believe that anyone’s a natural (and your first reviews/ features will probably suck), but the more you write and read the more you’ll understand how to write effective music criticism or news pieces. I always hire someone – even if they never been to uni – who have done an internship and/or has proven they can meet deadlines under pressure rather than someone who had an impressive qualification but no real-world experience. Q. What’s something you wish you’d been told when you were starting out in the music industry? Honestly, how much of your life it takes up. A lot of it is networking and going out to gigs or functions five nights a week so it’s hard to balance that with nights off – and I would have like to have balanced personal non-work matters better in the first couple of years. But if you put the effort in the rewards are there and it’s a good community to be a part of. Also, there’s a lot of information out there if you know where to look (e.g. Feedback) and it would have been good to absorb some more advice earlier. Thanks Scott! June - July 2013 unleash
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unleash June - July 2013