Lee Duffield

Edited by Lee Duffield
Freedom and Truth

At-risk youths ‘need artistic support’

Current State Government art initiatives are not adequately addressing homeless and at-risk youths in Queensland, a Brisbane-based community organisation says.

Brisbane Youth Service in Fortitude Valley: Ella Cole

Brisbane Youth Service based in Fortitude Valley helps at-risk teens: Ella Cole

Arts and health educator with Brisbane Youth Service, Lani Pereira says there is a need for more government assistance to develop the arts within the community.

“There are some great things happening in schools but they don’t reach the marginalised people who access services such as Brisbane Youth Service,” Ms Pereira says.

“I have engaged with people on many levels but none are as effective as using art and recreational activities.

“Anyone can make an art piece or enjoy the experience of something as simple as cutting out pictures or painting a wall.”

In a statement, Minister for Community Services Karen Struthers says recent youth arts initiatives including the Make a Move competition have been successful.

“Queensland’s young people have contributed insightful entries on a range of important issues, with mental illness, drugs and alcohol, the environment and obesity featuring among the highly commended entries,” Ms Struthers says.

“They’ve expressed a genuine concern for a wide range of issues, as well as tremendous artistic flair.”

But Ms Pereira says recent government initiatives which addressed youth social issues within the community through art have not been enough.

“We have great things going on here but every art-based thing often takes away from the reportable intervention and outcomes we need to satisfy funding bodies,” she says.

“Art gives people a chance to express themselves and explore ways of coping.

 “What I find to be the most effective is that in that single moment people are creating an art piece, they are not in crisis.

“I have seen art change people’s lives,” she says.


For more information visit Brisbane Youth Service website.