Here’s the recipe for another State government cost saving measure that further disadvantages those young people who might otherwise have fallen through the cracks.
Kim McLoughry and Liz Carter
First take a region that has a significant level of suicide.
Add to this unemployment and a dash domestic violence.
Place on the extremities of a city.
Gather community representatives, local businesses and a lot of eager volunteers.
Add the young people … and stir.
Mix in a generous helping of funding, say $250,000 odd.
Sit back and watch it rise to become exciting and very successful.
Now smash it to pieces.
This is what the NSW Government has effectively done to the Youth Arts programs in the Central Coast region.
Regional Youth Support Services (RYSS) received notice in January there will be no funding from NSW Arts for the Regional Youth Arts Coordinator position in 2009. This effectively hinders the operation of the facility and places into jeopardy the operation of over ten youth arts programs – not to mention the half-million dollar investment and countless hours and months of business and community effort.
Asked for a comment from the Member for Gosford, Marie Andrews, she said, “I am speaking to the Minister and trying hard to reverse the decision”.
The Youth Arts development programs and the subsequent Youth Arts Warehouse (YAW) facility are not some esoteric concept. They provide real contact, support and training as well as a progressive place for activities and events in an area so clearly under-resourced. The YAW also provides vital training courses, workshops and an opportunity to reach out to some of our most ‘at risk’ young people. For over a decade the results of programs have been outstanding with the training and support leading directly to young people gaining careers in the media and the Arts.
“RYSS have delivered to the Central Coast Region the kind of multi purpose Art space young people would want to use for there own Artistic expression, development and education” says Kim McLoughry Service Manager RYSS “it gives a place and sense of belonging in our community that has been absent for decades”.
“For the two years since opening the new Youth Arts Warehouse facility it has been successful beyond the community’s expectations, giving young people skills and a hand up, not a hand out”. Liz Carter, seen pictured sitting on the right next to Kim McLoughry, has been the full time Youth Arts Coordinator for three years. She joined the unemployed list in early February. Without funds for the co-ordinator position, the entire future of the program is at risk.
With Sydney boasting its ‘biggest ever’ explosion of fireworks on NYE one wonders just when the Sydney City Council can no longer profess it will be bigger and better than ever before! The secrecy surrounding the event borders on lunacy! Its fireworks for goodness sake.
Fireworks that explode from the Harbour Bridge and a few strategically placed barges on the harbour. maybe some surrounding skyscrapers will ‘go off’, as will Darling Harbour. The Opera House will be ‘dressed up’ in pretty colours, and a million people will start to gather from about 10am. Where’s the secret in that? No, its not a cynical approach being made here.
Obviously Sydney does not believe in a global financial meltdown, and the Sussex Street cafe latte brigade who pose as politicians dont care too much about a spending spree of millions that last a few minutes!
Surely at some time, someone, must consider the folly of spending bucket loads of cash and holding their heads up high in light of a failing health system, schools being unable to carry out general repairs, transport systems breaking under the strain etc etc.
As for Gosford, well its slightly different. Actually, hugely different. Sort of poor cousins to the Sydney scene, and certainly wont get any global coverage. However, it will still put on a days fun. Starting early afternoon with the races, continuing in the early evening with the football, and ending with its modest firework display. A fairly big day out on anyones calender.
The Mariners take on Perth Glory with a 6pm ko. After they kick some West Australian backside some 20,000 odd people will gather on the waterfront to see our mini Darling Harbour show. Grand it will be.
The old folks and families go home, the younger ones find parties and clubs to see in midnight. Usually by 12:30 most everywhere is quiet, with pockets of revellers here and there justifying a greater police prescence than the previous night. Still, an intimate family day out when compared to the Boom Crash Opera of Sydney, and one where intimidation/aggression and violence through drunkardness, is minimal and joy is maximised. And, it doesn’t end there!
Bluetongue Stadium is putting on a film extravaganza by erecting a 45ft screen for three day film festival on the 16 to 18th January. You can bring a picnic and sit on the same hallowed turf where the ‘twinkle toes’ of Gumps struts his stuff. Gates will open at 7pm for a kick off at sundown, 8:30pm. Tickets are priced at $40 for a family of 2 adults and 2 kids, $10 for a child or concession and $15 for an adult, slightly cheaper if pre-purchased. Tickets are on sale now through ticketek. Films showing are Bonds Quantum of Solace, High School Musical and Australia. Stadium Manager, Monique Marks promises to look at this being an annual event for Gosford.
“Its going to be a very relaxing way to enjoy the movies with a Bluetongue Lager, Wine or Soft Drink and plenty of food available including BBQ, cheese platters along with pies, pizza’s, hotdogs and of course popcorn!” Marks said.
The Grunt has secured two 2×2 family tix to the event. We will give these away to two [lot of two's here eh!] lucky winners who post an answer to this question. “Which of the three films showing at Blutonge Stadium in January would you most like to see, and why?” Simply post your answer by clicking on the comment link below and filling out your response. Rules are you must be a current financial member of the Gosford District Chamber of Commerce to enter. Monique Marks and Kath Robinson will pick the lucky winners. Get Grunting and good luck. Giveaway closes at midnight on the 14th Jan 2009.
Bill Kerr addressing the Chamber Luncheon on Wednesday 12th November
“The CBD is a disgrace and those who conduct business or visit the area deserve better”. These are some of the words uttered by a relaxed and confident Bill Kerr during his address to the Gosford chamber luncheon yesterday, 12th November, at Iguana Joes.
With over 90 guests attending the luncheon, some travelling from Sydney to hear him, he concluded his address by fielding tricky questions with authority. This alone shows he has done a bit of homework on the city.
After so many past disappointments at getting the regions capital city into line with the ‘living city concept’ we might just have the right chap to take us there. We had John McInerney the Architect a Town Planner with special interests in transport and heritage. And as a past National President of the Planning Institute of Australia and former Manager of Planning for the City of Sydney and City of Melbourne, had high hopes for his deliverance.
Then came Frank Sartor, but not much happened there, now we rest our hopes on Bill Kerr. He openley stated how important it is to consult with all stakeholders for their views on Gosford’s future. He has discussed issues with local education specialists, looked into the social fabric of Gosford, beaten a path to local property holders and generally talked his pants off to get to the root of the problem, before looking to implement anything at all. For this he is to be congratulated.
“Gosford is located in one of the most beautiful settings in Australia,” Mr Kerr said, referring to the nearby waterfront and the scenic hills. “But it puzzles me why the waterfront and the town centre have not been connected,” he said.
It seems every man/woman and his/her dog wishes that derelict building gracing Donnison and Mann to be redeveloped. Spurbest also has been brought into the equation. We all know we have the basic ingredients for a beautiful place, all it needs is a team with creative insight and the ‘nouse’ to get it going. Make those hard decisions which will not please everyone, Kibble is an example of that, and get moving.
Kerr dispeled some of the myths surrounding Gosford Public School, and wonders just where the local media get their stories from. He openly states he knows not what outcomes will eventuate, but the demands made of his team will ensure the highest quality by the time they are formed in 2009 and promises to give future development an edge. Glossy brochures alone do not impress this bloke!
The Gosford Challenge Launch
The Grunt agrees with the Mayor Chris Holstein and Bill Kerr when they openly tell those who consistently knock our city by the water to move somewhere else.
The Grunt asks the question. Do we start at the waterfront and move development toward the CBD? Or do we start within the CBD and work toward the waterfront? Either way the waterfront is our oyster and forms an integral part of any development plan. Check out the Gosford Challenge website. And more here.
Get involved here, ‘cause your thoughts are not only welcome, they are vital.
Barack Obama’s candidacy forced the US to confront the worst of their 9/11 fears and their lingering racism. Barack Hussein Obama was, arguably, the country’s most unlikely candidate for highest office.
He embodied, or at least invoked, much of what America feared. His color recalled its racist past. His name was a reminder of an anxious present. His spiritual mentor displayed a streak of radical Afro-nationalism. He knew domestic terrorists and had lived in predominantly Muslim countries. There was hardly a specter lurking in the American subconscious that he did not call forth.
And that was his great strength. He robbed fear of its ability to work through quiet insinuation. He forced America to confront its own subconscious. Obama actually is black. His middle name actually is “Hussein.” He actually does know William Ayers. He actually was married by Jeremiah Wright. He actually had lived in Indonesia. These were not smears, though they were often used as such. They were facts. And this election was fundamentally about what happened when fear collided with fact.
For the first time, America had to articulate what exactly it feared. Did it truly believe that the middle name “Hussein” suggested a terrorist threat to their country? Well, no. Did it genuinely think Obama a radical Afro-nationalist who had dedicated his life to serving a country he loathed? Probably not. Did it actually seem plausible that Obama wanted to become president so he could finish the job the Weathermen started? Unlikely. The shadowy terrors that animated American politics in the dark aftermath of 9-11 receded. Time had passed. To borrow a line, it was morning in America, and their country looked different in the clean light of the dawn. And so too did its problems. As did Rudd with Howard.
In Washington, residents poured into the streets. Hundreds of people gathered on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House, dancing and cheering. George W reportedly lounging in a chair eating cake whilst watching the election unfold on TV.
As the 44th president he is the first African American elected to this position and could well take race out of politics in much the same way as Kennedy took religion out of politics, as the first Catholic to be elected president. Perhaps now the fear mongering that has been dished out to us for so long, will evaporate.
For a run down on who won what, if your interested, click here.