All young people in our communities are provided opportunities to successfully engage in education, training or employment.


Introducing Nadia (December 2016)

Elizabeth Pearson

Tell me about yourself > I am 16 turning 17 soon, I love drawing and I've recently found an interest in gardening after doing the Work Inspirations Program with the City of Ballarat and the Highlands LLEN.

Tell me about your school >I attend the LinkUp program. At LinkUp, my English and Maths has really improved as my teachers don't make learning feel like a burden, they really try hard to help me. It's a no stress environment where I can meet new friends and learn.

What do you hope to do in the future? >I would like to study in arts and build a career out of it. Tell me a little about your experience whilst on the Work Inspirations Program? I really enjoyed the three days and learnt more than I thought I would. I really loved interacting with new people and learning about the different jobs in Horticulture. It was actually fun to do something that was out of my comfort zone. Before the experience I hated dirt and mud, but now I really enjoy being out in the garden. I also realized I am able to achieve more than I originally believed I could. I have now found a new hobby in gardening and I am also thinking of volunteering at the Botanical Gardens.

Tell me what your favorite part of the Program was?I really enjoyed being around the plants, handling them and potting them was very therapeutic. I also really enjoyed being outdoors.

Would you recommend the Program to other students? > I would definitely recommend this Program, it's a great opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and also learn a bit more about yourself. I think it's good for students to get out and do hands-on activities and learn about careers.

Introducing Edward Tassel (June 2016)

Edward Tassel

After attending the Federation University TAFE Discovery Day, Eddie decided to participate in the Bricklaying Taster Program, even though he had not previously considered bricklaying as a career.

Now four weeks in to the Taster Program, Eddie says he is "loving it". As part of his academic program at St Patrick's College, Eddie is studying VET Building and Construction, but stated that he had heard that bricklaying is a "boring and hard" job.

His hands on experience through the Taster Program has now led him to consider the bricklaying trade as a future career. Eddie thoroughly enjoys seeing the "finished product" and was very proud of the first wall he built.

He is now focussing on improving his technique. Eddie believes this course will provide him with opportunities into employment and help him to make the decision on which trade he would like to study further and work in.

He feels the Taster Program has given him more to think about and he would like to do more Tasters in the Building and Construction industry sector.

Eddie stated he would recommend the Bricklaying Taster Program to his friends so that they get a taste of what this trade is really like.

When he's not being proactive about his future pathway, Eddie plays football for North Ballarat, enjoys running and loves being outdoors.

Introducing Terrence Curwen-King (September 2015)

Terrence Curwen-King

At just 17, Terrence already has a long list of volunteering hours and recognition credited to his name. His most recent acknowledgement came in the form of the overall 12-17 years of age City of Ballarat Youth Award Winner - 2015. This has come on the back of his remarkable commitment to the headspace Ballarat Youth Reference Group where he has been a participant come leader over the last two years. This in a period where he is also completing school:

"I'm at SEDA Studying Senior VCAL where I've enjoyed school and feel this year has gone really well. I am also completing a work-placement at Myrniong Primary School which has helped me choose a Diploma in Sports and Recreation next year and go onto a career as a P.E. teacher or working with youth"

There are his other passions too. Terrence loves sport and is eyeing a start in high level cricket this season and is also a Slam Poet who is about to take his talent to competitions.

"In the future I would love to start a new campaign to reach out to as many young people as possible to empower and connect them. Hopefully my spoken word poetry will be the perfect way to pass on the message to others".

Terrence is passionate about change - finding a cause and seeing it out and making the life of others around him easier.

"My message is this: to be inspired is great. To inspire others is incredible!!"

"I'd also like to thank the Highlands LLEN and headspace Ballarat, especially Larelle, because without them having opportunities for me to put my hand up for, I wouldn't have known where to channel my energies"

Introducing Elizabeth Pearson (June 2015)

Elizabeth Pearson

Tell me about yourself > I'm 19 years old and am born and raised in Ballarat. I'm a coffee addict and my favourite food is Pad Thai.

Tell me about your school >I attended Phoenix P-12 Community College up until mid-year 11, and then dropped out to work full time at a hardware store. After a year and a half of that I decided I wanted to get my high school certificate so I could have more opportunities and qualifications.I enrolled at Federation College to do my VCAL year 12 and it's been the best thing I have ever done.

Tell me about your work > I work at Highlands LLEN as an administration assistant, it's a school based apprenticeship. Some tasks I assist in are answering phones, typing up transcripts and minutes. I also assist with data entry, the organisation and preparation of meetings and all sorts of office tasks.

What do you hope to do in the future? >I hope to travel the world and have a full time job, hopefully in Administration.

What are your hobbies? >I enjoy reading, cooking, cycling, going to live music events and spending time with friends.

What are you passionate about? > I am passionate about being a positive role model to others and giving as much as you can back to your community and those in need.

Message for other young people? >If I had any message for young people it would be to stay in school. There are alternative types of schooling and so many school based apprenticeships/traineeships to choose from that it makes it easier to finish those last few years of secondary education. These days it's pretty hard to find full time work and it's very competitive. You really need the most qualifications you can get and having your year 12 really does make a difference.

Introducing Bayden Furness (November 2014)

Bayden Furness

Tell me about yourself > I moved around a lot. I went to Buninyong, Delacombe, Merimbula and Jerrabomberra primary schools, and Karabar and Mt Clear high schools. I left school during Year 9 to become my family's carer.

Tell me about your work > I have been working at Kryal Castle for a month. I'm casually employed, and got my job 10 days after going to the Jobs & Skills Drive Live Job Find session and handing my resume in. I work on weekends - double shifts each weekend day at the moment - as well as functions and school holidays.

What do you hope to do in the future? > I hope to go to Uni to study to become a Youth Counsellor or Youth Worker, because of my past experience, and because it feels right in my gut.

What are your hobbies? > I like gaming, sketching, movies and music. I used to play the guitar, and am thinking about going back to it. My favourite game is "The Witcher II" and my favourite movie is "Resident Evil: Damnation".

What are you passionate about? > Gaming - it's a hideaway. And youth work. I helped a friend to know her talent in costume making, and that felt right.

Message for other young people? > Look for opportunities, and take them! Close your eyes, don't think, and jump (not literally!!)


Introducing James Tung (July 2014)

James Tung

James lives at Miners Rest, about 15km from Ballarat. He is a member of KWAV (Kids With A Voice), a group giving young people (aged 10-18) of Miners Rest an opportunity to have a voice and to participate socially in their community. The group has been consulting with City of Ballarat Council to gain recreational facilities for young people.

Tell me about yourself > I'm 15. I went to Miners Rest Primary School until grade 6, then Ballarat High School until year 8, and now I'm at Y2 Community College 5 days a week.

Tell me about your school > We start at 9.30 and finish at 3 o'clock. I build things in woodwork, I do art, health and communication, and metal work.

Tell me about your work > I work for 10 hours a week at Woolworths, in the grocery and dairy sections.

What do you hope to do in the future? > I'm thinking about landscaping or trying to get onto Council. Mum and Dad want me to stay in school for now.

What does KWAV do for you, that is making a difference for you? > It gives me something to look forward to. Everything KWAV does gives me something to look forward to, and I get to communicate with everyone. I feel like I'm better connected in my community. I feel like I've got a good reputation, and I feel I am a leader in KWAV.

How did you learn about leadership? > My experience of leadership came from playing cricket, and they've taught me the way of leadership and good sportsmanship. I started playing cricket in 2008, and I started off as a batter. They don't care if you win, they don't care if you lose, as long as you can laugh and shake the opponent's hand.

What are your hobbies? > I enjoy rugby and footy. I used to play, but not now. I really enjoy the community stuff we do with KWAV, the socialising. It's given me more pride.

Tell me about a time that you have really enjoyed being involved in the community? > There's too many! I reckon just getting to know all of the older people, hearing some of their stories. I get along with all the council people. I can have a conversation with them, and a laugh with them. I wouldn't have gotten to know them so well if it wasn't for KWAV.

What do you think KWAV Has done for the local young people in general? > I think it's given them something to work towards and aim for. It's given our name out to everyone, and everyone knows who we are. It's been a positive thing for the community.

Message for other young people? > Get involved in the community, get yourself known in your community, and be a volunteer!

What has KWAV meant to James - A message from James' dad, Adrian?> "The name Kids With A Voice says it all. James has gone from being bullied and getting into fights at school to really enjoying having the extra responsibility of looking after the needs of Miners Rest kids. All of his sentences either start with KWAV or cricket!! Family, friends and locals all want to know what the next project is. It's given him so much more confidence and self-belief. This is just what James needed."