YWCA Youth Arts Cafe Creates Pathways to Employment

The Goonellabah Youth Arts Café in Northern NSW will offer an innovative program to young people to help them create pathways to employment, thanks to a $195,000 grant from the NSW Government and the dedicated work of YWCA Australia.

Local partners will bring together live training in hospitality, customer service and employment skills as well as collaborations in creative arts, design and technology to help young people get a start in their career.

Ms Kayeleen Brown, Regional Manager of YWCA Australia in Northern New South Wales, said the program is about putting young people first.

“We are absolutely delighted to have this opportunity to work with local young people aged 16-24 to co-design and create a safe space at YWCA Goonellabah for young people to connect, develop confidence and enhance their skills and wellbeing,” Ms Brown said.

“This Youth Arts Café with an arts component is the first of its kind in our region, and will offer many opportunities for young people to shine and showcase their skills and talent. We expect to be able to open the Café from August 2020 and invite all young people and other local providers to contact us on 02 6625 5800 if they are interested in being involved.”

YWCA with Ben Franklin MP at the announcement of the Youth Arts Cafe

The Youth Arts Cafe will run two days a week during school terms. Our five key aims are to:

  1. Create a safe space for young people to socialise and contribute to the operation of the café and arts projects through a co-design process. This will give young people the skills to collaborate, share ideas, create solutions and achieve their goals.
  2. Create opportunities for young people to increase their employability through hands-on training in a café. Partner organisations will provide training in the commercial kitchen.
  3. Deliver a Creative Arts program in partnership with local artists and mentors which will focus on building resilience and connecting with the community through mentoring, community-developed projects and events within a 100-seat auditorium.
  4. Provide access to an outreach technology hub program giving young people skills and confidence the use of technology and design, including STEM.
  5. Facilitate access and referrals to support services such as learner driver programs, employment and training, health and wellbeing programs

The structure of the Café is designed to connect young people to community through events and exhibitions; create a sense of place and belonging by providing activities that build resilience and self-worth; develop confidence and increase youth participation in the local community.

The Goonellabah Youth Arts Café is part of YWCA’s post COVID-19 recovery plan to support local communities and young people when life gets ‘back to normal’.

Want to get involved with the Goonellabah Youth Arts Café? Call 02 6625 5800 or email lismore@ywca.org.au for more information.

YWCA Australia wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work, live and play and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We recognise First Nations people as the custodians of the lands, seas and skies, with more than 60,000 years of wisdom, connection and relationship in caring for Country.

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