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Blacktown youth showcase talent and community harmony

Blacktown Future Youth Festival (800x533) Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello tonight attended Youth Lead the Way – Future Youth Festival in Blacktown, an initiative which brought together hundreds of local young people in an effort to uncover creative ideas to promote inter-cultural harmony.

The event, held at Blacktown PCYC, saw seven youth organisations vying for $20,000 in NSW Government funding for the most innovative project proposal to build bridges between young people from multicultural backgrounds.

Hip-hop artists Soul Benefits and X Factor Contestant, Stephanie Lambell performed, with popular youth personalities Kween G and Ran Dee acting as MCs. Western Sydney Wanderers players and local sports stars also participated.

“This initiative puts young people in the driver’s seat, empowering them to put forward ideas about how to strengthen understanding, acceptance and respect among Blacktown’s diverse migrant communities.

“Tonight was an opportunity to bring together people from diverse cultural backgrounds by focusing on things which unite young Australians, including music, dance, sport, and our shared interest in maintaining community harmony.

“We saw some great proposals, including a project to boost young people’s engagement with NSW Police, a documentary film project, a social media campaign, a road safety campaign and a rap music partnership.

“I am delighted to see the positive response to this event and look forward to seeing the winning proposal come to life,” Mr Dominello said.

CRC Chair Vic Alhadeff said the festival was an important step forward after community harmony in Blacktown was impacted following the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl in Doonside in February.

“After this terrible incident, a partnership between the CRC, Blacktown City Council, Blacktown PCYC, White Ribbon and local organisations was formed to create this event.

“It is a truly innovative approach to community relations – encouraging young people to come up with good ideas and then providing the funding to make their vision a reality,” Mr Alhadeff said.

The seven organisations which pitched for funding were: SydWest Multicultural Services, Blacktown Youth Services Association (BYSA), Mount Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency, (MECA), Riverstone Neighbourhood Centre, Mount Druitt Street Uni (Ted Noffs Foundation), Com4Unity – Blacktown Youth Team and PCYC Blacktown.