BYDS Breakdown – October Newsletter

Dear people,

It has been a few months since we have issued a BYDS newsletter. I was sadly incapacitated and hospitalised due to an injury resulting from one of my varied sporting activities. After surgery, I am on the mend and getting stuck into the huge array of wonderful opportunities that our various programs offer our community. To all of those who sent their positive thoughts to me I thank you, it definitely helped bring me back. I also turned sixty years of age and celebrated 26 years here at BYDS: a big year by most measures.

Whilst away, the incredible team that I am privileged to work with, stepped up and not only maintained but exceeded all expectations. I wish to publicly thank them for these efforts: Kevin Ngo, Craig Taunton, Zainab Kadhim, Felix Cross, Bilal Hafda, David Miller, Vyvienne Abla, Stefo Nantsou & Ola Elhassan to name a few.
I hope that you enjoy this snapshot of a few projects that are on the boil or recently completed.

As Bankstown’s longest serving professional arts organisation, matching wonderful local artists with community for much needed social change, I take great joy in presenting this newsletter.  As usual, we welcome your feedback.

Tim Carroll, Director

To Be Honest – A spectacular success

To Be Honest is BYDS first collaboration with Youth Off the Streets, Bankstown – funded by the NSW Government’s Stronger Communities Fund: Huge thanks to Amirah Amin for pushing this to become a reality.

It seems that this extraordinary show will see a new life in 2018, so I will not write too much about it now. I do need to highlight however the dramaturgical, musical and coaching brilliance of Stefo Nantsou and his cast of professional and ‘community’ actors who presented this unique show at the Bankstown Arts Centre over the week of  26th – 30th October: As usual, we sold out the season. A photo selection here

Below is a review by Diasapol Savetsila:

“Last night I had the pleasure to go see this show in Bankstown (possibly my first time there and a bloody brilliant introduction) Look, it’s been a long time since I’ve done this, but I think it’s really important to spread the word about this show. This is a verbatim show – one of the best I’ve ever seen – about homelessness, abuse, addiction, displacement, and so much more. It’s brutally honest without sacrificing humour and heart. It won’t trick you into caring, you’ll care simply because it’s honest, and deserves it. Reviewers rarely seem to write about shows outside of the big theatres. Go see this show, please. It’s one of the worthiest that I’ve seen. It isn’t by a dead white man, and it’s unapologetically present.”

Watch this space for the live music performances from the show and relive the best moments.


BYDS is a excited to be apart of Boundless, the first-ever festival focused on culturally diverse and Indigenous Australian writers and writing. Initiated by the NSW Writers Centre, Boundless will be held at Bankstown Arts Centre on Saturday 28 October 2017.

BYDS is recognised as one of the professional arts organisations that spearheaded community writing in Sydney’s West and helped kick start the writing careers of many award winning writers and writing facilitators through Westside. Since 1992 BYDS supported South West Syndicate (Bankstown’s first Aboriginal Hip Hop group) through the 90s to more recent support for local poets through the Bankstown Poetry Slam. We’ve paved the way for newer groups to take advantage of this foundation.

Our Boundless presentation will feature selected work from Bankstown Girls High and Bankstown Public School, developed from our Crown Resorts Foundation funded Root and Branch program, generously supported by the Sydney Story Factory. Audio and live performances celebrating this joyful work, facilitated by Felix Cross and Bilal Hafda, will be showcased. The festival will close with a special Bankstown Poetry Slam, featuring Luka Lesson!

For more information or to register your interest, visit the Eventbrite website here!

Creative cards brought to life

The Values and Skills cards are a project initiated by Ola Elhassan and Lobna Yassine in partnership with BYDS and the Dulwich Centre, Adelaide.

The cards are the first Muslim youth-appropriate cards developed in Australia: The cards include beautiful illustrations and words, developed through workshops with students from Miller and Birrong Boys High School that will prompt important conversations and discussions about the values and skills of Muslim young people living and growing up in Australia today.

We are very happy to report that we sold out our first print run of fifty sets on the day of the launch!  A new batch of cards will be available soon.