I had a wonderful trip overseas during April and May. It now seems like a long time ago but images of Sri Lanka and Ireland do flit through my mind, refreshing me during this Sydney Winter. Whilst I was away the work of BYDS in community continued unabated with Kevin, Felix, Vyvienne, Craig, Bilal and Zainab all doing great things in their respective projects. Of particular note was Bankstown Poetry Slam who ran their Real Talk program with nine high schools. The Real Talk finale was something wonderful to be involved in and made me realise yet again why BPS is so important. Thanks to the Scanlon social cohesion fund for making that program happen again in 2017.
Tim Carroll, Director
Slamming Up a Storm
The Bankstown Poetry Slam has been non-stop for the last few months. BPS initiated three successful Sydney Writers’ Festival events in Bankstown, Parramatta and the Wharf. The slam continues to grow, expanding its reach and influence. BYDS is extremely proud to be supporting and underpinning what is now clearly one of Australia’s most creative cultural entities. The importance of the BPS cannot be overstated.
A perfect example is the Real Talk finale that again went off! Over 100 students from nine Sydney high schools from all corners of Sydney, battled for the main prize. Five weeks of intense workshops run by Alice Tame, Bilal Hafda, Yasmine Lewis and Chanee Mkhayber. Many thanks goes to the Scanlon foundation for funding the program.
Thanks to judges: Oculi photographer, George Voulgaropoulos, Richard Short from the Sydney Story Factory, poets; Gloria Demilo, Emily Crocker, Zach Janus and Federal Member for Watson, Tony Bourke MP. Congratulations to everyone concerned for another fantastic program and special shout-outs to the winners: St Ives high school.
Root and Branch Exhibition II
BYDS were extremely happy to host our second Root and Branch exhibition here at the Bankstown Arts Centre on June 27th. After 10 weeks of workshops in script writing, narrative poetry and exploring emotion through musical techniques with Bankstown Girls High and Bankstown Public school, the student’s work was beautifully showcased. The morning was spent enjoying performances of poetry and the reading of scripts, devised by students, performed by professional performers. A small group of Bankstown Girls performed their own poetry. The quality and delivery of the work engendered a true sense of astonishment in all of the audience.
Intermission was a chance for the audience to listen to recorded work and watch projected poetry created by Bankstown Girls. We are so proud of all the art that has been created and look forward to continuing this project in partnership with Sydney Story Factory, in term 3. Thanks to facilitators, Felix Cross, Zainab Kadhim and Bilal Hafda and all of the great Sydney Story Factory tutors.
Sir Joseph Banks Iftar Community Dinner
We felt very grateful to be invited to Sir Joseph’s Bank second annual Iftar community dinner. It was a great chance to mingle with members of the school and community we so closely work with. Photo above of a few of our favourite SJB creatives: Joyce Conte, Matuse and Martino Convertino from My Kitchen Rules. A truly joyful evening that should set an example for every school on how to be truly inclusive. Congratulations to Principal Murray Kitteringham on his and his staff’s embracing of this important Muslim tradition.
From Ola Elhassan: Linked Up initiator and Coordinator:
“I just wanted to share some wonderful news with you. Linked Up’s alcohol and drugs education and harm minimisation component was nominated by the Drug, Alcohol Multicultural Education Centre for recognition in the category of ‘prevention and education’ for the National Alcohol and Drug foundation awards. Applications from across the nation were submitted, and we were a runner up. There is only one runner up in every category. Its a huge honour in such a huge field.”
Ola has been working with BYDS for the last three years designing and running Linked Up – a really innovative spiritually based leadership and empowerment program for young Muslim males. The congratulations should really go to her and her colleague Lobna Yassine. It is really great to support such excellent programs.