Wingecarribee Shire Council received a Youth Opportunities grant from Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) to run a full year’s program of creative multimedia arts events led by young people, for young people, in 2022 and the first half of 2023.
This funding aims to build the vocational and artistic skills of our local youth while developing their leadership capacity and sense of belonging. A group of young locals, aged 12 – 24 years, has formed a consultative Youth Committee to plan and organise a diverse range of workshop programs and exhibitions. The program also promotes mental health awareness, highlighting the 5 Ways to Wellbeing.
Fun‘Da’Mental’s youth panel currently consists of 5 members and is open to 15 in total. Meetings are held fortnightly at Creative Space in Bowral. These will be increased to weekly meetings as we draw closer to the grand finale of the project in July 2023. Please contact Council's Community Development team if you are interested in joining the Committee.
The group is aiming to complete a collaborative artwork with a vision to display it in the Bowral's Empire Cinema corridor through the July 2023 holidays focusing on the theme of 5 Ways to Wellbeing.
In early 2023, Fun‘Da’Mental hosted a series of taster programs in four art media - photography, videography, Aboriginal art, and ceramics. In the April 2023 school holidays, circus, ceramic, singing and performing arts workshops were run and TAFE Moss Vale facilitated an introductory barista course.
Fun'Da'Mental youth committee members helped to transform Mittagong's Ward Lane into a creative hub at the Paint the Town Wingecarribee laneway street art festival on 15 April 2023 by suggesting topics for the free creative workshops hosted during the event.
Fun‘Da’Mental sponsored a round-robin workshop tent that featured five workshops to engage the public via activities such as a waste-to-wearables activity, a bush tucker presentation, a painting class and a weaving workshop.
Fun‘Da’Mental will continue to subsidise workshops throughout Youth Week and beyond until the end of July 2023.
The Committee has also requested several other workshops, which are currently in development. These include a leadership and team building retreat, jewellery making, comedy, street art and puppetry workshops, and under- and over-15s barista training.
Council and the Youth Committee are currently collaborating to provide young local artists with opportunities to exhibit their work, with a month-long art exhibition at the Civic Centre in Moss Vale throughout April, with a focus on Youth Week (20-30 April 2023).
A grand finale exhibition is planned for July 2023 at Creative Space in Bowral.
Council adopted the Wingecarribee Youth Strategy and Action Plan 2016-2026 on 14 December 2016 following an extensive period of community engagement that included community surveys and forums.
The plan aims to support young people in our Shire and encourages and promotes the improvement of services and opportunities for young people.
The Youth Forum is held biennially to gather up-to-date feedback and perspectives from young people to ensure that information in the Youth Strategy and Action Plan is representative of their needs from the community.
Council offers to a wide range of activities, support services, and opportunities for young people aged between 12 and 24 years old.
These opportunities are open to any young person that lives, works, attends school or further education in the Shire, or participates in sporting activities in our local government area.
Apart from the projects already running, Council's Community Development team welcomes any other ideas on youth initiatives from the community.
The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a set of evidence-based actions to improve wellbeing. Based on international research, these 5 ways to wellbeing include simple and effective ways to improve your psychological and emotional health day-to-day
The Five Ways to Wellbeing were developed by the Centre for Wellbeing at the New Economics Foundation (NEF) as part of the UK Government’s Foresight project.
Evidence suggests that building these 5 action areas into our everyday lives has a benefit for our overall mental health and wellbeing.
Connect with people around you; with family, friends, neighbours or people you meet, at work, school or at the shops. Think of these social connections as important in your life and spend time developing them. Building these relationships will support and strengthen you every day.
Ways to connect: Catch up for a drink or meal, ask people how they’re going and really listen to the answer, schedule a time of the week to talk to someone (it can be face-to-face, over the phone or emailing).
2. Be active
Keep your mind and body active. Find something you enjoy and do it regularly. Exercising makes you feel good and helps to clear your mind.
Ways to be active: Have walking meetings, play a sport, try gardening, step outside and go for a walk or run.
3. Be aware
Take time to stop and be aware of your surroundings and the moment you are in, paying attention to your thoughts and feelings. Doing this can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach life’s challenges.
Ways to be aware: Notice the smells, sounds, and sights around you, try practising meditation and mindfulness exercises, notice how you feel at different times, keep a journal.
4. Keep learning
Try something new or rediscover a past interest. Learning is about challenging ourselves to do something in a different way to what we’ve done before. It can give you a sense of achievement and build your confidence.
Ways to keep learning: Read a new book, take on a new role at work, learn to play a musical instrument, try something artistic, or do a new course.
5. Help others
Helping others can give you a sense of purpose and belonging, build friendships and make your community a better place. Do something kind for a friend or stranger. It can be as simple as sharing your appreciation, giving your time, knowledge, or goods to others.
Ways to help others: Volunteer in your community, make a donation, or share your skills through a mentoring program or helping out on a project.
Create & Celebrate was a project funded by Department of Communities and Justice in 2019.
The original goal of the project was to bring together a group of young people to develop and host a series of youth events, activities and workshops.
Shortly after the group was established the Covid-19 pandemic took hold around the globe, but the group of young people involved in Create and Celebrate were not to be stopped and continued to meet goals by developing their program in an online format and hosting events a range of events on the SouthernHighlandsYouth Facebook page.
After the break in Covid restrictions, the group developed and participated in a range of in-person workshops that focused on skill development in the music industry, as well as skills to assist with employment. They were also able to host the Fools Festival that saw over 700 young people from different high schools in the local area connect to celebrate their skills in a live performance at Moss Vale Showground