Colourful Celebration

April 18, 2013

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There was certainly plenty of colour and there were certainly plenty of youths at the ‘Colour Our Youth’ festival which was held at Milpera Reserve in Wantirna on Friday 12th April.

The festival, which was organised by a youth committee of Interchange recreation volunteers was Interchange Outer East’s contribution to this year’s National Youth Week celebrations.

Under a clear sky and bright sunshine, during the day over 300 young people of all ages got into the activities and the spirit of the Festival, which included giant jumping castle, giant ball,photo booth, a range of sports activities plus much more. For the aspiring performers, Warburton’s youth theatre company, ‘Misfits’, ran theatre workshops, and Festival attendees were treated to an amazing acrobatic display by an acrobatic crew.  Jeremy Samson from ‘Time to Train’ was also there checking fitness levels of participants, perhaps in preparation for the rigours of the paint fight to come!

As well as the physical activities there was also information available on youth related issues.  Jess Barlow, a passionate campaigner for society’s portrayal of women and for social justice, pre-launched her ‘Brainwash Project’ magazine at the Festival and Headspace, Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation, was there to give out information on a range of youth concerns.  Young people are renowned for their appetites and the ‘Food on the Move’ food van did a wonderful job in keeping up the food supplies to the hungry crowd.

There was plenty of music throughout the day, thanks to a number of talented local musicians who donated their time and talent. IOE’s Supernaturals rocked the crowd while Luke Thorne, Tom Teuna and friends, Scott Alexander  and fellow Silverstakes musician, Adrian, and the duo, Violet & Sebastian  played a range of different musical genres to an appreciative audience.

Special thanks must go to Nathan Green (and his mother Debbie). Nathan donated a number of his art works as raffle prizes, plus all the art supplies used on his stand during the day, where an amazing art work for silent auction took shape under his brush.

“It was a hugely successful day” said organising committee member, Alyse Cahill. “Our aim was to bring young people from across the community together in a fun event and at the same time raise awareness of youth mental health issues. I think it achieved all these goals.”

“From the organising committee’s perspective it was a great opportunity to learn the skills involved in organising and managing an event. Personally I gained a lot of knowledge about liaising with many different people … it has definitely given me an appreciation of the amount of work that goes into pulling an event together.”

The finale of the day was the giant paint fight. Put together large tubs of paint, white Tshirts, an enthusiastic band of around 80 young people, no real rules and the result was … Colour Our Youth!!  see the website photo gallery for photos of the fun.

Congratulations to the organising committee on a hugely successful event and in particular to IOE volunteers, Jess Callaway, Alyse Cahill, Elise McClelland, Marcus Andrews and Nathan Green and all others who contributed to the event.

Interchange’s ‘Colour Our Youth’ festival ran true to the slogan for National Youth Week 2013 ‘Be Active, Be Happy, Be You’. It also encompassed all those ideals which are so important to Interchange Outer East – activity, volunteers, community involvement and, most importantly, fun for all.

by Sandra Leehy

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