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Shaping our Fate – Somali youth project

Mon 3 December, 2018

Portrait workshop

Works of art produced by young Somali Australians involved in the Shaping our Fate project will be unveiled at an end of year celebration in December.

The 12 month project, funded by a $50,000 grant awarded to Banyule Youth Services from VicHealth, focused on empowering young Somali Australians living in Banyule. Participants in the Shaping our Fate project worked to promote diversity and challenge stereotypes about African young people in the community.

The young people involved in the project participated in a number of workshops including: filming; communication skills; leadership; community development; activism; leadership; and volunteerism, and used these new-found skills to create a range of content aimed to increase understanding and change negative attitudes about Somali Australians in the community.

Banyule Mayor, Cr Wayne Phillips said that this project had been an innovative way to support young Somali Australians in the community to build on their passions and create content that was important to them.

“I’m so impressed and inspired by these young people who have effectively challenged the myths about young Somali Australians while developing a range of practical skills.”

The skills will help boost their employability and increase their understanding of health, wellbeing and local services. Some of the content created that will be launched in December includes: short films; a series of photographs; podcast; spoken word videos and more.

The young people who are part of this project have been involved in a range of programs and events throughout the year, including:

  • Mental health awareness raising events
  • Running cultural awareness activities and local festivals and events
  • Filmmaking program
  • Portrait photography program
  • Podcast program
  • Self-care and wellbeing workshops
  • Spoken word workshops and performances
  • Traditional dance performance at local event
  • Self-defence session for young women

The content produced as part of this project can be viewed at or on the Banyule Youth Services Facebook page.