Youthworx Media

Youthworx Media (YWX) is a newly established Youth Media Training studio in Brunswick, Melbourne.

It is the first innovative program for disadvantaged and homeless young people developed by YDA. Youthworx commenced funded operations in 2008. The program offers an ‘access’ component whereby young people can engage in activities or short projects without a further longer-term commitment. A more structured accredited training program is provided at Certificate I, II, and III levels and this is highly successful. The Youth Media program is also part of a large-scale research effort to document all aspects of this innovative development. Swinburne’s Institute for Social Research is a partner responsible for this component.

Youthworx uses media to engage extremely marginalised, disadvantaged young people and youth at risk, in a process of participation and development that seeks to reconnect them to society. Fundamental to the YouthWorx approach is engaging young people in ‘real world’ activities that have value, purpose and that make sense to participants.

Our purpose built studio is fully equipped with Macintosh workstations for film and audio editing and a radio training studio modeled on the studios at SYN. We broadcast live to air weekly on SYN radio and run a range of Open Access programs in radio and film as well as delivering Certificate II in Creative Industries (Media)

Youthworx Media is Youth Development Australia’s most successful demonstration project and involves a number of project partners including The Salvation Army (Brunswick Youth Services and Crossroads Youth and Family Services), SYN Media, Swinburne University’s Institute for Social Research and NMIT TAFE in a close on-going collaboration. Youthworx Media is the subject of a major ($600k) research collaboration that explores youth media participation, the Youthworx model of transformative youth engagement, and the role of training, learning and education for disadvantaged young people.

In January 2010 Youthworx Media received funding from the Victorian Office of Housing and the Homelessness National Partnership Agreement.

YDA is developing YWX along four strategic paths:

  • Social enterprise to create employment opportunities and experience for YWX trainees
  • Foyer-like development that is able to provide support and stable accommodation for young people involved with Youthworx who are in need of this
  • Outreach capacity to take the YWX program to other sites in Melbourne
  • Franchise of the Youthworx model to other sites throughout Australia in partnership with community agencies.

Youthworx Media has two 12month pilot/research projects happening in 2011-12.

  1. Mirror Project – The
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    Mirror Program is a youth centred, digital media training and lifeskills program for young people who are in contact with the justice system. The Mirror Program aims to support young people to think about where their life is at and where they want it to go through the process of making a short film. A youth worker will facilitate their participation in the entire process linking them with other services they need and a counsellor will be available to assist young people and their families to make changes.

  2. InSite Project – As part of the Commonwealth Attorney Generals Building Community Resilience Program Youthworx Media has been funded to run InSite a 12month Media Mentoring project that works with 3 groups of 10-12 young people using the process of collaborative media making to reflect on issues of tolerance, understanding, community and cultural sharing in the context of race/ethnicity/religion. Alongside the facilitation of the project Youthworx Productions (social enterprise) will also produce a 20-30min documentary that will be published as a DVD with accompanying teachers notes for use in schools as a means of further exploring these issues. Independent research and evaluation into the project will also be conducted

Go to the Youthworx Media website to see student work and to find out more about our programs and training and how to get involved.

Youthworx Productions – a new social enterprise

The introduction of Youthworx Productions saw the development of the social business is focused

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on the delivery of film and DVD products and fee-for-service media training. Some of this income earning work that has occurred to date includes Promotional and Training DVD’s and Webcasts, Documentary Films, Artist EPK’s, Music Videos and Digital Story Telling Training. Youthworx Productions has been established on the basis of the success of Youthworx Media and shares the same core philosophy – the engagement of highly marginalised, disadvantaged and homeless young people in a creative and transformative experiential process that reconnects them to mainstream society. Youthworx Productions operates as a commercial enterprise with financial as well as social imperatives. Young people are offered traineeships in a real-world enterprise that will give them valuable skills and a higher level of employability in the future.

Youthworx Productions has received one-off seed funding under the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Round 2 Jobs Fund – Get Communities Working program.

Visit the Youthworx Productions website to see examples of

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our work, find out more about our trainees and employees, and to find out how to support this social enterprise.

National Youth Commission into Youth Homelessness

In 2007-2008 YDA conducted the first National Youth Commission inquiry into youth homelessness. The process held 21 hearings throughout Australia, received input from 319 people, and examined

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91 written submissions. The inquiry was resourced by philanthropic funds from the Caledonia Foundation.

The NYC report ‘Australia’s Homeless Youth’ was launched by Minister Tanya Plibersek on April 8, 2008. In conjunction with the NYC,

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a feature film called The Oasis on homeless youth in Sydney was made over two years by award-winning documentary filmmaker Shark Island Productions. The Oasis was shown on ABC national television to an audience of 1.1 million Australians. The report and film had a major impact and informed the development of the Federal Government White Paper on Homeless. A second NYC is under development on young Australians and the youth labour market in the 21st century.

For more information on the film and curriculum materials go to The Oasis.

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