Recognition for young achiever

STORY: CHRISSY GUINERY

PHOTO: MARGUN CARLESS

16 Apr, 2008 08:30 AM

ALYSON Murray, a volunteer youth worker who gives generously of her time and talents in Ulladulla, has been presented with a statewide award. Her Excellency Prof Marie Bashir AC CVO Governor of NSW awarded Alyson for her volunteer work with the Ulladulla Youth Centre's dance and drama program.

The young achiever was the outstanding winner of her nominated category, Chosen Careers. Alyson was presented her NSW Department of Housing Volunteer Award trophy at a formal ceremony at Powerhouse Museum in Sydney last week. Alyson was entered into the awards by Youth Centre leaders Jody Quinnell and Mark Ettridge, in recognition of her fantastic commitment to the young people who use the centre.

"Ulladulla Youth Centre management and staff are very proud of Alyson's achievements with the dance and drama program," Jody said.

"Alyson's interest and passion has ensured a fantastic opportunity for young people and is an excellent example of a young person making a positive contribution to her community," Mark added.

The inspirational young woman has had to overcome an unsettled childhood through foster homes and refuges and now puts all her energy into encouraging others. "Awards like this show me there is recognition for young people that make an effort to make a change in their community," Alyson said. "It's good to know that my time and my dedication to the youth centre is valued. "The support of youth workers Mark and Jody has also showed both my students and myself, that when someone believes in you, you can make a difference," she said. "I was really pampered throughout my stay in Sydney," Alyson, whose driving-force to help young people came about through her own adversity, told the Times.

Alyson's passion arose after teaching dance at a local studio and noticing a real need within the community for a place to train youth in drama and dance without any significant cost. "I didn't want young people to miss out on anything because of their family situation, background or any other prejudice that may prevent them," Alyson explained. A series of events led this talented young woman to write a play, present it to the youth workers for their approval, secure a government grant and train young people to successfully perform it to a packed house at Milton Theatre. Alyson is currently undergoing training to be employed within the Youth Centre and has a vision for another production later this year.

"In December there will be 17 young people performing a play called 'Beauty is a Beast' written by DM Bocaz-Larson," Alyson explained. "I selected this play for its message - that if you can find the beauty within you, you become a beautiful person."



Holiday fun on offer

STORY: CHRISSY GUINERY
24 Sep, 2008 11:50 AM

AFTER much success with its school holiday program in July, kids are in for a real treat again these holidays at the Ulladulla Youth Centre. With plenty of fun stuff to sink their teeth into to, 10 to 12-year-olds will be set for a great couple of weeks.

LIVE THEATRE AND CIRCUS WORKSHOP:

On Thursday, October 2 Blackbutt Youth theatre Group will be presenting ‘Imagine If’ at Ulladulla Harbour at 10am. This group of talented performers, made up from youth in the Shellharbour social housing estates, was a smash hit last year with ‘Fairy Wings’ and returns on its annual tour of the South Coast again these holidays. From 2pm at the Youth Centre the Blackbutt Youth Theatre Group will run a free workshop and circus performance open to young people.

FREE SKATE MOVIE:

In a combined effort, Ulladulla young people will be able to see the Australian premier skating movie Ride The Sky – free at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre. A free bus, courtesy of Shoalhaven City Council, will depart from Ulladulla Civic Centre at noon on Sunday, October 5 and will pick up through the Bay and Basin areas. The movie, sponsored by Fallen Footwear and Society Streetwear and Boards, will be shown at 2pm. For bus enquiries phone 4429 3418.

CHRISTMAS CUT-OUTS:

One of the popular highlights of the holiday program is the Christmas Cut-Outs Art Workshop – so popular last holidays, children had to be turned away! These hands-on workshops will be held from 11am to 2pm on Tuesday, September 30; Tuesday, October 7; Wednesday, October 1 and Wednesday, October 8 at a cost of just $2, with lunch included. This program caters to the 10 to 12-year-olds and will inspire a new enthusiasm for Christmas. “The Youth Centre has envisaged an amazing ‘Ten Nights of Lights’ festival in December, and the continuation of the art workshops commenced last holidays provide an avenue for younger kids to get involved in this coming community attraction,” youth centre coordinator Josy Quinnell said. “Ulladulla Lions Club generously donated their wooden Santas that were beyond repair for kids to design new large, wooden Christmas characters. “The Lions helped with the cutting out of the wooden decorations, and the kids are able to creatively decorate them – but they will have to get in quick, as bookings are essential for this one!” Jody said. The school holiday art workshops are just the beginning of seeing young people engaged during the next six months in the creation of many Christmas cut-out displays.

Community-minded Mark Ettridge, instigator of the Christmas ‘Ten Nights of Lights’ community festival, said he wants young people to lead this project. “I want the young people to rise and lead this coming festival – to be involved in every aspect of the planning and celebrations,” Mark said. “During December will have 200 kids showcasing their stuff at our Ten Nights of Lights running in the week leading up to Christmas Day and culminating in a huge community celebration on December 23. “This will provide our vibrant young people an opportunity to contribute into their community,” he explained.



Helping hands

PHOTO: MARGUN CARLESS
31 Oct, 2007 09:38 AM

HELPING HANDS: More than 100 young leaders from across the Gilmore electorate descended on Ulladulla's Rotary Park on Sunday morning, rolling up their sleeves and doing their bit for the local community as part of the 2008 Gilmore Youth Leadership Program. Assisted by local Rotarians including (from LEFT) Brian Wilkins, Dick Crouch, Alan Wealleans, Wayne Fry and Phil Brown, the students painted, planted trees and performed general maintenance at the popular park before sitting down for a well-earned break and hearing from local youth worker Mark Ettridge.

The park 'makeover' was sponsored by Shoalhaven City Council and was part of a three-day program organised by Member for Gilmore Joanna Gash and attended by students from every high school in the Gilmore electorate, including Ulladulla High School and Shoalhaven Anglican School.



FREE FOR ALL

STORY: STUART CARLESS, MAIN PHOTO: CHRISSY GUINERY
09 Apr, 2008 08:20 AM

HUNDREDS of people are expected to turn out this Saturday (April 12) for Ulladulla's 'Big Free Day Out'.The family event is the highlight of Youth Week activities in the Shoalhaven and will be held in Ulladulla's Rotary Park between 10am and 4pm.

Free transport has been organised to ensure young people from as far north as Bombaderry are able to attend. The Big Free Day Out is being coordinated by the Ulladulla Youth Centre with the financial support of the Department of Community Services and Shoalhaven City Council. The youth centre is also helping to fund the event to ensure it remains as affordable as possible for those people attending. Music will be a major feature on the day with a number of local and top Wollongong bands performing including One Good Reason, Atonement, Three PM and Pathos along with the winner of the 2007 Bluescope Steel 'Battle of the Bands' competition, Moroccan Holiday. Other attractions will include a mechanical surfboard, a rock-climbing wall, sumo wrestling, Koori dancing, circus workshops and performances, hair braiding, interactive drumming, drama, Koori art, face painting, fake tattoos, fairy floss and a jumping castle.

There will also be market stalls and information on many of the youth-related services available throughout the Shoalhaven. One of the organisers, Mark Ettridge, said every effort had been made to minimise the cost for families attending. He said everything on the day would be free except food and drink and that families could expect a "great day out" for as little as $20. It is hoped that the Big Free Day Out will become an annual event with a monster turnout this weekend helping to make it easier for organisers to secure external funding in years to come.

For those people travelling to the event a bus will pick up at Bomaderry Basketball Stadium at 9am before proceeding to Stuart Place, the PCYC, Huskisson White Sands Park, Sanctuary Point Youth and Community Centre, Island Point Rd, St Georges Basin shops, and then back out to the highway. The bus will pick up along the way if it is flagged down as long as it a safe spot to stop. The bus will be identified with an MAA Arrive Alive sign displayed in the front window. It will depart for the return trip from Ulladulla at 4pm.

Other events being held locally as part of Youth Week include the grand opening of a youth gym in Lake Tabourie today (Wednesday). The gym is an initiative of he Lake Tabourie Ratepayers' Association and the Ulladulla Youth Centre with the opening to be celebrated with a barbecue this afternoon at 4pm. Tomorrow (Thursday) there will be a free dance workshop at the Ulladulla Youth Centre in St Vincent Street from 4pm.


Courses on offer through centre

STORY AND PHOTO: CHRISSY GUINERY

09 Apr, 2008 08:26 AM

TAFE Outreach, the Dunn and Lewis Memorial Foundation and the Ulladulla Youth Centre have combined to make three free courses available to the community this semester. These courses including introduction to computers and first aid along with a vocational education course run through OTEN, the Open Training and Education Network, a part of TAFE NSW. The courses are targeted at people in the community that may not have access to these training opportunities.

Youth centre coordinator Jody Quinnell said the partnership with TAFE Outreach and the Dunn and Lewis Memorial Foundation had created a lot of energy and helped provide quality programs for the community. "The youth centre and the courses do not exist just for kids at risk," Jody said.

"The number of students falling through the gaps is increasing and the OTEN course helps them get their Year 10 certificate equivalent, equipping them for a trade and providing a significant pathway into employment. "OTEN can be difficult for young people to do isolated at home, so now we have support and a fully qualified teacher available every week for two three-hour sessions.

"This is great news and we are asking anyone who wants to be involved to come forward and let us know now, as places will be limited," she said.

Mark Ettridge from Ulladulla Youth Centre and Willow Tree Training said he was thrilled to get funding to have OTEN back at the youth centre. "We were able to make this course available to young people a couple of years ago and saw nine kids graduate," Mark said. "It does so much for their self-esteem, self-respect and provides an opportunity for employment," he said. Study groups for students taking on vocational study through OTEN will run on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 9am to 12.30pm from April 29.

The course will be conducted at Ulladulla Youth Centre and is available to anyone under the age of 24. Introduction to Computers for Beginners is a course teaching the basics of using a computer and keyboards on Wednesdays commencing April 30. This course will be run at Ulladulla TAFE campus with Cheryl Hobson teaching, covering a nine-week period to June 26. The First Aid course will be conducted over three Mondays in May - 5, 12 and 19 from 9am to 3.30pm at the Ulladulla Youth Centre. Anyone wishing to enrol in any of the courses must attend the information sessions at Ulladulla Youth Centre on Wednesday, April 16.