Get in with FreeZA
THE opportunity to develop new skills and work collaboratively with other young people is again being offered to Alpine Shire youth if they join their local FreeZA crew for 2019.
Under the guidance of council’s youth event and project support officer, Elisha Hazeldine, the teams are responsible for organising and running several events for youth in their town and the shire.
Alpine Shire Council development officer for youth and communities, Jenny Corser, said it was an excellent way for young people aged 12-25 to get involved in the community and volunteer outside of school.
“It’s something that employers, universities and scholarship granters will look at and take notice of,” she said.
“Our young people come away having had some amazing experiences working alongside Elisha going through every stage of planning and running an event.
“They also gain experi- ence with public speaking and have the chance to take up special opportunities like judging at youth awards, participating in workshops and training and representing young people at events, including Anzac Day and Remembrance Day.”
The three FreeZA crews, which will be based in Bright, Myrtleford and Mt Beauty have replaced the role of the Alpine Shire’s Youth Council.
Last year the shire’s Youth Awards were organised by the young people in Mt Beauty who also planned activities for the Mt Beauty Music Festival and a skatepark event in the town.
In 2019 the local youth awards will be held in Bright which will also host a Battle of the Bands event midyear while the Colour Fun Run will move from the Upper Ovens Valley to Myrtleford where they’ll also be a skatepark event.
“We try and move our key events around each year and work really hard to make the events a reflection of the individual crew and not a reflection of what Elisha or I want,” Ms Corser said.
“Last year we only had a small team in Bright but we need a decent crew for next year with the two big events in the Youth Awards and Push Start Battle of the Bands.
“We’re now doing a regular free movie night in Myrtleford and Mt Beauty just to even out those opportunities for young people and always trying to do music events as well.
“With youth council dissolving a couple of years ago we see the FreeZA crews as a better way to engage with young people and more young people.
“Previously you would have six to eight people on youth council and this way we get 20-30 young people involved in organising our events.
“It feels like a lot more young people get the opportunity to be involved, sometimes they might only come on for one event, but most will stay for all three or four events in their area.”
For more information or to get involved young people can email [email protected] vic.gov.au or call 0419 915 319.
WORKING TOGETHER: Myrtleford teenagers Chloe Breen, Erin Bourke, Angel Lunardi, Louise Saric, Tom Scott, Aysha Wheeler, Hannah Masin and Lucy Anderson with support officer Elisha Hazeldine (third right) have been involved with the town’s FreeZA team.