National Youth Week: Let's celebrate young people
Themed Unity Through Diversity this year, National Youth Week is the biggest celebration of young people in Australia and engages thousands aged 12-24 across the country. Organised by young people, for young people, National Youth Week began as a NSW government initiative in 1989 and is still going strong today. It’s an opportunity to share ideas, showcase talents and make voices heard—not to mention have fun!
In honour of this, Hawkesbury City Council teamed up with the North Richmond Youth Project to create the fourth Hawkesbury Youthfest, which Wesley Mission was proud to take part in. Held on 13 April in Richmond Park, Youthfest 2018 embraced all the young people of Hawkesbury with a variety of free and fun-filled events. Although the festivities were aimed at young people, it proved to be the perfect opportunity to unite the community, with people of all ages enjoying the afternoon with their families and friends.
There really was something for everyone, with a multitude of options on offer ranging from inflatable rides to photo booths and wood-fired pizza to live music—none of which cost a cent. Wesley Mission got into the spirit of the event, offering wristbands and headphones, as well as a giant slide and mechanical surfboard, which proved to be highlights. Youthfest didn’t just stop with the activities and delicious food options; there were a multitude of useful resources available for young people as well. Information on drugs and alcohol, family planning, mental health and homelessness services was on-hand for those wanting to learn more.
Wesley Youth Services made an impact later in the week as well, when young people connected with our community services participated in a Futsal competition on 16 April. We had the only majority female team and came ninth in the competition, with one of our players being awarded the best and fairest player of the match. We were proud to support Team Wesley; everyone involved showed great sportsmanship, skills in social inclusion and leadership. The experience didn’t finish on the court though; the Wesley Youth team were on-hand with slushies while partnering agency Youth off the Streets provided a BBQ lunch.