MAY 2019 - Nightcliff Seabreeze Festival

The DJ /Mentoring workshop started with an introduction of each participant's name, age and future aspirations. This ensued with a quick mentoring discussion. We discussed the concept of Focus, self-belief, dedication, hard work and commitment and how these values can translate into creating success into a youth's journey in life. 

After a very constructive discussion, questions & answers, we, then proceeded to discuss what the DJ gear represented. They learnt about the aspects and function of CDJs, controllers - mixers - DJ Software & Hardware and were explained how the gear is set up before any DJ gig.
The youth also learnt the basic principles of mixing by:
Selecting a track on the computer  

loading it into the software
Pre-listen the song through the headphones
Adjusting the BPM/ speed of the track if necessary
Press play - pause – stop

April 2019 - Binjari Community Disco

We headed to Binjari Aboriginal community to provide entertainment. An alcohol & drug free event with the aim to promote healthy behaviours. The youth enjoyed various prizes that were given during the dance competitions and other games throughout the night. Refreshments and snacks were provided by the local organisation, parents came massively to show support. We were satisfied to contribute to the youth well being, positive activity and provide mentorship. 


December - Visiting youth at the Jodie orphanage, Bali.
In December, we spent a weekend with youth at the Jodie Orphanage in Bali, Indonesia. We provided mentoring sessions and fun activities for youth. The orphanage was established by Alison Chester, who was inspired to help the most vulnerable children of Bali in the wake of the 2002 Kuta bombings. There are a bit less than 95 children at this orphanage. Their age ranges from 3 to 20. Basic medicines are a good thing to donate along with reading books tailored to the different ages.  Visiting this orphanage and providing mentoring sessions to allow these kids to dream, was one of the highlights. 

  November 2018 International Children week
 Children week is an annual event celebrated in Australia. It is held around the fourth week of October. Children week celebrates their needs, achievements, right to enjoy childhood. To help for this celebration, we volunteered to provide free DJ lessons, mentoring sessions and fun activities to youth. Teaching them skills associated with DJing was fun and it was a delight to see how much they enjoyed themselves.                         

OCT 2018 - Mentoring at a school using turntables 
Mentoring using turntables is always exciting and engaging for disengaged students. I got called to help re-engage a small group of students who disrupt the classroom during school hours. After the initial connection, it was apparent that these students enjoyed music. We discussed respectful behaviours, social understanding and connection through a DJ experience. 
This mini workshop explored relationship issues such as: - Peer Pressure - Bullying - Dealing with emotions - Identity - Social responsibility – Teamwork and every time we discussed each topic, students were allowed to use the turntables to play a track or scratch.  Seeing the success of this encounter, more of this will be proposed to various schools to help students. Keeping a good attitude, maintaining high standards and having a burning desire to learn & improve are all paramount in everything we aim to do. 
SEPTEMBER 2018 - Katherine DJ/Music workshop

The Local member for the parliament organised a fun day activity for youth. There was a great variety of activities youth learnt from to provide them with the opportunity to make a career pathway choice: Health education, park & wildlife program, arts & crafts... We volunteered to hold a DJ/Music workshop. The kids absolutely loved it. Some of them were able to make the crowd dance. Standing and steering the momentum of a party has some substantial cultural cache. It was visible how their peers were envious. A moment we captured and passed the message to youth.  You can do anything as long as you put your mind to it. Enjoy!!!  

AUGUST 2018 - Barkly Regional DJ workshops
Last month, I drove 7h to a remote Northern Territory Aboriginal town to provide 2 Music & DJ workshops. A 14 years old young & shy boy showed real interest. His attention span was greater than his 30 other peers... While I left the community, he kept working very hard. I returned to the community last week. During the 5 days training leading to the festival, we put in countless hours to perfect the craft of mixing, discussed various mentoring topics (hard work, focus, resilience, determination...) to instil confidence, break barriers and face their fears.
Seeing Boyd courageously performing for few minutes on the stage's festival in front of his whole community in the afternoon, and run/dj the youth disco that same evening for his peers was a moment of joy that set off a chain reaction for positive development that will be hard to quell.
As a role model and mentor to these young impressionable youth, setting such a positive example to them of what can be achieved in life by aiming high and sticking to their visions in order to accomplish their objectives is what keeps me motivated. There’s a whole new challenging world outside of their small worlds, but baby steps are necessary in order to achieve bigger goals. #Dream #Impact #Inspire 

AUGUST 2018 - Kalkarindji  activities

I drove to a remote Northern Territory Aboriginal community of Kalkarindji to provide a mentoring session & a community disco to Youth. Upon arriving, I saw a bunch of kids hanging around. So, I decided to set up a pair of turntables, speaker and a Mic. Shame is a common in Youth gathered in group and to take a first step, you have to demonstrate while motivating them to express themselves. I started rapping and encouraging them to sing/rap to instil confidence, break barriers and help them face their fears.

Within 10 minutes these kids conveyed messages of their daily life coupled with some fun and well-articulated stories. This went on for 1h before I realised that this moment should be captured on Camera. I only got few segments at the very end when full confidence was at its highest point. This particular kid in the pic below is very talented. English is his 3rd or 4th language, yet real vocal bars were thrown/spat to the little crowd in awe. 
There’s a whole new challenging world outside of their small worlds, but baby steps are necessary in order to achieve bigger goals. 

JULY 2018 - Tennant Creek DJ/Music workshop
The day before the workshop during the silent disco, it was an opportunity to create a close relationship with the youth, get to know them to make the process of learning how to DJ during the workshop easier. They were ecstatic and highly delighted as it was their first time.
The workshop started with an introduction of each participant's name, age and future aspirations. This ensued with a mentoring PowerPoint presentation. We discussed the concept of Focus, self belief, dedication, hard work and commitment and how these values can translate into creating success into a youth's journey in life. Several examples were showed on the presentation to illustrate how someone went from having nothing to something through the values suss-mentioned.
After a very constructive discussion and questions & answers, we, then proceeded to discuss what the DJ gear represented. They learnt about the aspects and function of CDJs, controllers - mixers - DJ Software & Hardware and how to assemble the gear before any DJ gig.
They youth also, learnt the basic principles of mixing by:
Selecting a track on the computer loading it into the software Pre-listen the song through the headphones Adjusting the BPM/ speed of the track if necessary Press play - pause – stop 

AVRIL 2018 - Koh Samui BBVC visit

We visited Bhavana Bodhigun Vocational College (BBVC). It was a day full of exciting activities we conducted with the students building Skills and reaching out. From teaching the skills associated with basketball, volleyball, to providing free haircut, mentoring sessions and guitar lessons, it was certainly an experience we will never forget. BBVC is a non-profit, self-sufficient, vocational college in Koh Samui offering students a free education to approximately 160, 16-18 old students. Most of the students are from the very poor & underprivileged communities. All costs are supported through donations, i.e., tuition, uniforms, books, other materials as well as room and board. 
 Support them:

MARCH 2018 - Pattaya orphanage visit
During our time in Pattaya, Thailand, we spent a full day at the local orphanage with youth.  Most children are brought to the foundation by their mothers for several reasons. Some children come from poverty-stricken families, but what makes the majority of reasons is the problem of broken families, parents separating from each other. The Orphanage takes such children in order to help promote them for full development, being ready to develop themselves, to live a normal, happy life. Any little can go a long way. We provided a bit of financial donation that will helps the nuns and staff to shop for kids' clothes. We shared experiences while playing with kids, providing haircut, smiles and mentoring sessions. It was a learning curve and a life's lesson on how giving back to society proves to be rewarding.

January 2018 - Kalkirindji two days visit
We headed to Kalkirindji for 2 days to conduct a series of activities with youth. We provide a structured program that included the following:
- Clean Ups of the community
- Dress Up Photo Booth
- Personal Fitness Programs
- Dance Competitions & various games
The 2 days visit also included BBQ, lunch and dinner that the youth helped prepare and we ended the visit with a disco.
We want nothing more than to create positive change for the youth. Being able to conduct these activities and include youth was an achievement. We will return to Kalkirindji later this year. 

The events below are about events/activities that our team (Dream, Impact, Inspire) either organised or participated in (2016 - 2017)

 February - Gove Tennis competition
We drove into Gove town with few kids to assist at the junior tennis tournament. It was a fantastic & very exciting experience for them. At the end of the 2 days competition; they looked more confident, less stressed,  socially interactive. More importantly, they learnt a new skill in a discipline they barely play and won few prizes.


March - BasketBall drills with Sydney King players

Basketball is very popular as a casual way to exercise and as a competitive team sport. It is a fast-action game with lots of running and jumping, and provides a good physical workout. The youth in remote communities enjoyed learning from 2 professional players from the Sydney Kings team. They who came up here to teach few drills to local kids & talk about the Health benefits playing Basketball.
It provided a whole lot of fun to my kids. They learnt & were able to socialize and meet other people with similar interests. And It is always fun to meet likeminded people.


 MAY 12 - Yilpara Footie Comp

This week, our team helped transporting a group of young Aboriginal from DHALINIBUY to YILPARA (also known as Baniyala) for a footie game. Yilpara is a community of approx 150 people nestled in North East Arnhem Land of Australia. It was our first trip to this community. I knew a bit about it, but during the trip, I learnt a lot from the kids. It took us 2h drive to get there. Using the passion Young Aboriginal have for rugby and Aussie football, the event aimed at attracting the kids to Yilpara to encourage behavioural change, develop positive attitude and help them to finish school to be able to secure employment. Clontarf foundation organized the Footie event. A Teacher from Yirrkala Homelands School and myself assisted as part of the existing collaboration to render better services to people living in the homelands.

 Clontarf is a Foundation that exists to promote the education, discipline, self-esteem, life skills and employment prospects of Aboriginal people. By doing so, this equips them to fully participate in the society in a meaningful way. The game was played at the airstrip. Sometimes during the game, we had to stop for the plane to land.  At the end of the day, we had a meeting with all the kids who came from different homelands at the local school.  We left the community late in the afternoon, drove the kids to their homeland before getting back home. It was a long and tiring day, but I was very glad to have helped. I like the fact that every day provides me with a different experience that even most of the people reading this blog know little about. Enjoy the pics! 

April 22, 23, 24 - DRUMBEAT TRAINING
Our youth team has attended a rewarding training in Darwin City. The program is called DRUMBEAT (Discovering Relationships Using Music - Beliefs, Emotions, Attitudes & Thoughts) It is really important and critical to the job that we do with Indigenous. It promotes social understanding and connection through a team drumming experience. Being Pro DJ and loving Music, we enjoyed the training and learned a lot.
DRUMBEAT explores relationship issues such as: - Peer Pressure - Bullying - Dealing with emotions - Identity - Social responsibility – TeamworkDRUMBEAT was developed in Western Australia in 2003 as means to engage young Aboriginal men. It is now taught and used by young people and adults across Australia in schools, youth services, drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities, child protection...
DRUMBEAT is a flexible program that combines experiential learning with cognitive behavioural therapy, and engages young people and adults who may be anxious or resistant to 'talk based' therapies. It is a therapeutic program using rhythm, developed by Holyoake to reach alienated young people of those at risk of problematic health and social outcomes. During the training that involved 22 participants coming from different Indigenous remote areas, participants lifted their self-esteem, learnt to work cooperatively and we were exposed to the therapeutic and recreational benefits of music. My colleague and I ordered a set of 12 drums that we will use to facilitate the training that we will provide in our work environment. Another adventure! Another experience! Another lesson learnt! 
PS: Check the clip on VIDEOS link.

            July 10 – Bark petition event in Yirrkala.
The Yirrkala bark petitions 1963 are historic Australians documents that were the first traditional documents prepared by Indigenous Australians that were recognised by the Parliament, and are thus the first documentary recognition of Indigenous people in Australian law. The 50th Celebration was held in Yirrkala to recognize the historic 1963 Yirrkala bark petitions that triggered the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The team helped transporting youth  for the event. Assisted in getting things organized such as musical equipement, stage, food for the homelands people… There were severals important figures such as the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd whom we had the chance to meet and chat with for few minutes...      Enjoy the pictures

August - Athletics Day in Nhulunbuy 
Nhulunbuy high school (located in the mining town of Gove) in Association with Yirrkala Homelands Schools organized an‘’Athletics day’’. our team was called in as part of an ongoing collaboration between working to service the indigenous people living in the homelands. We brought  in 40 youth from 4 homelands to compete against other schools in the area.
The objectives of the Athletics were to promote:

 - Respect and understanding of self and other cultures. 

- Social maturity & inclusion.

- Healthy and fitness lifestyle practises.

- Personal sporting skills and knowledge.

- Development of career opportunities.

Mentioning, the last aim, I recalled how proud and happy I was to see the homelands youth during the track and field activity. There is definitely the next Usain Bolt out here. The kids are just so fast that they broke all the school records in javelin, 100m, 200 and the relay races.
This Athletics gave me some new ideas about our next activities in the homelands, on how to help reinforce existing sporting skills in the youth. More pictures are on the Photos section.

 9 -12 August - Garma Festival

The Garma Festival is Australia's Leading Cultural Exchange event. It is held annually at a remote site known as Gulkula; a traditional meeting ground in East Arnhem Land. The festival drags thousands of people worldwide, who are eager to learn about indigenous cultures & traditions. 
The festival offers a variety of activities during 4 days going fromTraditional dance, Music, Arts, Spear making, exhibition stands, basket weaving to youth forums & more.
The location of the festival is at 25 minutes drive from Yirrkala where I live. It is the road that I drive through while going to work in the homelands every week. Laynhapuy, The Corporation I work for, was actively involved in the organization. As youth mentor, I helped:
-Transporting youth from Yirrkala to Garma site 
- Building a stand where photos of our activities were displayed.
- Contributing to Youth forum (Empowerment through Music, Sports & Mentoring)
- Engaging young people in cultural exchange activities.
- Teaching Djing skills to Melbourne and Homelands Youth (4 groups of 8 young people for a session of 1hour per group)
- Providing refreshments & finger food at the stand.

 13, 14 September 
Alcohol & binge drinking forum in Darwin
The new freshly signed workers, Josiah from Wandawuy & Kelvin  from Dhalinybuy attended a 2 days Alcohol and binge Drinking Forum in Darwin.  The boys were accompanied and mentored by Charly templar. The forum was held at Palmerston recreation center, there were over 110 young people aged from 15 to 22 years old. They all came from schools across Australia to discuss the issue of alcohol & binge drinking that affects youth .

The event was organized by Anglicare & Headspace in partnership with AYF. It was supported by the Australian Government. The panel featured key speakers from the NT government, the NT Police and members of various organizations such as Red dust, Team health, HelloSundayMorning & Early intervention ..One of the defining moment was when the NT Police sergeant mentioned that there were over 50 car accidents this year  and 75% were alcohol related and the drivers were most of the time teenagers.  The hall became quiet for several minutes... 

The boys participated in various activities such as Graffiti workshop, round table discussion & DRUMBEAT. They learnt how to Discover Relationship Using Music Beat emotion Attitude & Thought.  They explored issues such as:
peer pressure, bullying, social responsibility and teamwork.
In the afternoon, they discussed the issue with other youth, gave feedback on youth resources that can be explored to alleviate the problem. They also shared their stories with other students about the effects of binge drinking in Arnhem land.
At the end of the forum, the boys spoke to a TV crew about making healthy choices:

Josiah: ‘ I am very happy that I had the chance to come here. I learnt a lot and I will share the stories with my community members’’

Kelvin: ‘Thanks to my mentor Charly for coming here with us. I liked meeting everyone here and working with others. The forum gave me ideas that I will share with my friends back in my homeland. 


Dream Impact Inspire youth  Thank you for taking the time to read this blog consecrated to working with youth and empoweri...