BYDS Breakdown – October Newsletter

As the last of the jacaranda blossoms fall to the ground, I reflect on the beautiful works that our team here at BYDS have created with our communities right up to year’s end. What our team has created is significant to the individuals themselves as well as their families and our wider community.

Zainab Kadhim, Craig Taunton, Jessica Paraha, David Miller, Ola Elhassan, Christopher Woes, Kavita Bedford, Amanda Smith, Tim Wall, Willem Booker, Hana Mansour, Fadle El Harris, Isabella Henriques, Hope Sankari, Bilal Hafda, Vyvienne Abla, Bankstown Poetry Slam, Kevin Ngo and so many people at so many schools, community organisations and all of the staff at the Bankstown Arts Centre enable us to do what we do.

Huge thanks to all – I really do love my team.

We have an exciting 2019 ahead of us artistically and we invite you to stay attached to us throughout that.

The team at BYDS wishes you a safe and happy holiday and the wish that 2019 brings more amazing experiences to you and yours in a more equitable world.

A small recap of our year below.

Tim Carroll

To Be Honest – 2019
After a very successful run in 2017, To Be Honest sold out during its second run at the Bankstown Arts Centre in February 2018. BYDS are very happy to announce that To Be Honest will live on for a third run next year at Riverside, Parramatta in November 2019 as part of their education program.

Purchase your tickets at

Root and Branch

Since February 2017, Felix Cross and a group of talented facilitators has been working with specific groups at Bankstown Girls High, Bankstown Public and Chester Hill public; developing scripts and wildly imaginative creative writing pieces that live beyond the page, sometimes performed by the students, sometimes by professional actors. Utilising illustrations, musical and sound elements, Root and Branch greatly expand students understanding of what a story could be.

I was enthralled by the way that Felix treated these stories as seriously as he would that of any professional artist, nurturing and celebrating these young people’s ideas and ensuring that they met their full potential. Thanks to the Crown foundation and all of the teachers who supported us.

RESPECT – Domestic Violence Education program
The RESPECT Program again established itself as one of the most dynamic programs in the country. Led by Craig Taunton, we managed to produce with Filmotion productions nine completed videos with local primary schools. Just in 2018 alone, nine videos were uploaded with performances at conferences, community gatherings and at schools.

Twenty two videos altogether have been produced. You can watch them here. This incredible work would not be possible without funding from The Smith Family and the incredibly supportive Bankstown team of Jackie, Mark and Julie. Bankstown Sports Club also kicked in funds towards us researching what previous participants have retained of their understanding of equality.

This year we released our first girls group video, funded by Bankstown Sports Club. Sisterhood came together to create a song; I Want To Be Treated Equally through a workshop process to share an empowering message of equality. You can watch their video here

These projects are all a part of our strategy to change the hearts and minds of a whole community. 86 women died at the hands of their partners or former partners in Australia this year. We can do better.

Stories of Strength
Stories of Strength is funded by Multicultural NSW as a part of the COMPACT initiative. Led by Zainab Kadhim and Jess Paraha, Stories teaches high order skills in interviewing, transcribing and what makes for a good podcast to hundreds of local young people. Working with our school partners: Joey Banks, Chester Hill, Bossley Park and FBi radio’s All the Best we had an extremely busy year, releasing 17 stories and a new a website!

At the heart of Stories is a desire to help young people empathise with each other, their Elders, teachers and community.

The picture is our newest group, Sir Joseph Banks Aboriginal crew who got to interview, Nardi Simpson, Munki Muk and Izzy. Thanks for a series of gorgeous photos by Christopher Woe.