Western Sydney, Here We Come!
It's a year since Cath stood in Canberra, making a speech in the rain, with the Prime Minister holding an umbrella over her head.
Now, she's going back to Canberra to hand over her crown (cape?) and watch someone else take on the mantle of Australian of the Year Local Hero.
Cath says: "Having this role has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. It's been an incredible year, both personally and, more importantly, for the Sydney Story Factory. Our amazing team ran more programs, and saw more kids, for longer, than ever before. And 2017 promises to be even bigger."
Before we get to the really, really big announcement, here are some of the awesome things we have planned for the next 12 months:
- A year-long in-school program at Canterbury Boys High;
- A repeat of the very successful novella program, this time in Bankstown with the assistance of Bankstown Youth Development Services;
- The Unmapping Project - a two year project working with the MCA and both primary and high school students writing in response to professional artists' creative process (with art installations in our front window!);
- In-school creative writing residencies in primary schools in Western Sydney, working with two different schools each term;
- A continuation of our learning and support needs programs, both private sessions and full groups;
- Photo Faction - a collaboration with the Australian Centre for Photography, playing with written and visual storytelling;
- And of course, we'll still be working with all our favourite friends including National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy, Yurungai Barnardos Learning Centre, the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, the Settlement Neighbourhood Centre, Redfern Jarjum College, Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Alex Park Community School, Plunkett St Public, Glebe Pathways and many more!
But the really, really big news?
In response to growing demand, we will be opening a second Story Factory in Parramatta in early 2018!
We have been working hard on this idea behind the scenes throughout the last year. We were lucky enough to have pro-bono support from Boston Consulting Group to help us scope and plan the second centre, and we spent the latter half of last year building capacity in Redfern so we could take on such an ambitious project.
We still have a way to go.
We need to raise significant sums of money, and we will be announcing our capital campaign shortly. We have already secured some significant support, and we feel confident that - with the help of our wonderful community of supporters - we can make our second centre a reality.
We are so excited about the impact this could have on the lives of thousands of young people in Western Sydney.
In 2016, more than 25% of our students were from Western Sydney and working with them opened our eyes to the great need, and hunger, for writing and storytelling programs. We want all young people to have the skills and confidence to tell the stories that matter to them.
We will have more details for you soon.
If you'd like to get in early and donate, please click here. Every dollar helps get the doors open!
If you have other ideas, or are keen to get involved, drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
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