BYDS Breakdown – February Newsletter

It is my joyful duty to announce that the BYDS team are back after a well deserved break. We have already kicked off for 2019 and promise you many programs and projects to get involved in and support.

I had the great fortune to spend some down time with my son Rahul and his dog Bodhi in the old growth forests of East Gipplsland, soaking up the exquisite oxygen and re-programming myself in that unique way.

I hope you can stay with BYDS in 2019 as we embark on some surprises….

Tim Carroll

Mapping Frictions + UTS collaboration
Mapping Frictions has kicked off 2019 with the beginning of a collaboration with the wonderful students from University of Technology Sydney as part of their Global Studies program, featuring articles researched & written by the students on ‘Global Change in Western Sydney’.

Creative Director of Mapping Frictions, Kavita Bedford says, “It was a wonderful opportunity to work and engage with young people and bright students who are open to learning and engaging with the wider world. A course like this, which encourages a more ethnographic and ‘hands on’ approach to high level concepts of globalisation is a significant resource for students.”

Well done to the students whose works were selected for this current series, which can be read here!

4ESydney Festival 2019
BYDS is delighted to support, now for the fifth year, the 4ESydney Festival (formerly known as 4Elements HipHop), this time spanning 10 days.

The festival will be preceded with a plethora of workshops: across dance, aerosol arts, beat and music making and DJ-ing led by industry heavyweights. If you’ve ever had a desire to pick up a new skill or are interested in Hip Hop, there’s never been a better time to sign up for these free workshops!

Register at this link here!

Stories of Strength goes up north
The Stories of Strength team will be travelling up north to Lake Macquarie later this month to showcase the great work they’ve been doing, and teach an array of skills in Oral History and Storytelling to students from Glendale High.  

This follows our day long workshop with Sir Joseph Banks High Koori club students, who got to interview a selection of wonderful Aboriginal artists; Munki Muk Ross, Izzy, Nardi Simpson and Merindah Funnell (snapped with Amelia and Emily by Christoper Woes)

New stories are always being updated, so check out the website.

Christopher Woes Photographer
It wouldn’t be right to pretend it doesn’t matter, it does. Our photographer of more than eight years has decided that he needs to move on.

Chris began taking photos for us in 2011 and proved to be great in pretty much every way. Reliable, innovative and funny, with a great eye for an image that just kept getting better and better.

I estimate that Chris took about a million photos for us, many that stand out in my memory and managed to capture – sometimes in the most poignant manner – beautiful moments in time. For Stories of Strength, Bankstown Poetry Slam, so many book launches, Mapping Frictions and of course the many plays we did with Stefo Nantsou… Chris was there.

Chris will be sorely missed even though another BYDS acolyte, Zach Janus is now taking shots for us.

The photo of Anissa and Abdullah, says it all: just before the dress rehearsal for “The Way”.

Check out: 

BYS Breakdown – December 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.

BYDS Breakdown – October Newsletter

It’s that time of year again when the buds are bursting from the stems of trees and the birds are carrying twigs and sticks to make nests for their babies to come.

It also marks intense artistic activity here at BYDS: new heartfelt interviews for Stories of Strength, two new shows from Root and Branch to invite you to, and bigger changes afoot as RESPECT releases another great song with a science fiction theme.

Vyvienne Abla has come home and will begin to rev up 4ELEMENTS HipHop festival for March 2019 and Bankstown Poetry Slam held a very successful Real Talk finale in the CBD.

In all, despite the whirlwind of madness that characterises our current times, BYDS continue to thrive and work with local artists and community to create works of value.

We value and need your support. Please keep it up as we continue to say Out Loud how art brings us together.

Tim Carroll, Director

This Halloween, be prepared for a night of unsettling tales. Sourced from the deepest reaches of unspeakable moments, join us as we shed light on what goes creak in the shadows.

Curated by Felix Cross, Tales from the Shadows is a collection of stories meant to cause unease and disturb. Some stories are fiction, some are based on real life but all of them will make your soul shiver.

Book your tickets now at

Another term and another RESPECT video released! Young men from Bass Hill Public and Condell Park Public have worked extremely hard to create, On My Planet and When You Grow Older.

The featured Bass Hill Public video, On My Planet was facilitated by BYDS’ Zainab Kadhim & Tim Wall who ran weekly workshops with a group of year 5 and 6 boys at Bass Hill Public School.

The boys performed this song at BYDS White Ribbon showcase at Bankstown Central on 26th July to a huge, appreciative crowd and will perform it later at their school for White Ribbon Day.

On My Planet demonstrates the philosophy of non-violence behind the RESPECT program which our program has been proved to empower in boys and young men, making real differences to them, their families, schools and wider community.

Term 3 saw BYDS Root and Branch project focus solely on playwrighting. Our writing groups at Bankstown and Chester Hill Public schools learnt about structure, scenes, character development and how ‘good’ stories are told.

Using the skills of mentees (and excellent poets) Hana Mansour and Rameen Hayat, alongside our own Kevin Ngo and the wonderful Felix Cross, the students presented their drafts to their respective classes. Now the hard work really begins as these wildly imaginative works are arranged into a professional theatre show by Felix entitled, The World Turned Upside Down.

Please look out for updates in November. The show will be something not to be missed.

BYDS Breakdown – April Newsletter

Dear people,

Some news worth mentioning as we wait for Autumn to bring cooler weather. We launched a new RESPECT video at Georges Hall, ‘Violence is Not the Answer’ to much excitement and acclaim. We were informed that our RESPECT project had achieved ‘promising’ status with the Australian Institute of Family Studies – making it our first Community Arts based project to receive a stamp of effectiveness and approval from an academic institution.

Stefo Nantsou and a scaled down cast were invited to perform some beautiful monologues and songs from To Be Honest at the launch of Catholic Care’s new family dispute resolution centre on March 28th.

I will also be travelling to Finland in June to deliver a paper at the International Oral History conference where I will speak about 25 years of Oral History practice here in Bankstown.

Please enjoy a little break down below of our work below…

Tim Carroll, Director

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BYDS Breakdown – March Newsletter

Dear People,

Autumn is here but it is still hot and humid. We run projects here at BYDS that match professional artists with young people, passing on skills and knowledge that the school system is not designed to do. We appreciate that schools welcome us in on that basis: Stories of Strength, LinkedUp, Root & Branch and of course, our much loved RESPECT, all bring different kinds of focus with the ultimate aim of enhancing the potential within participants. We are not blind to the challenges that we currently face as homelessness and inequality grow, but make our way forward utilising a philosophy of putting arts and culture at the centre of all our practice.  

Tim Carroll, Director

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BYDS Breakdown February Newsletter

Dear people,

2018 is rushing by at an alarming rate and we have already run a very successful season of To Be Honest, launched Stories of Strength at Parliament house and have two new songs in the pipeline for our RESPECT project. It will be a relentless and fruitful year and we look forward to having you with us as participants, as audience and supporters. Unlike so many organisations that make the claim, BYDS is a trusted and vital part of this community and works in and with it at every step. As Tania Mihailuk stated in parliament last week, “I acknowledge BYDS and thank it for its amazing work over more than 25 years supporting our young people.” 

Tim Carroll, Director

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BYDS Breakdown – January Newsletter

Dear People,

The first month of 2018 has almost passed. It’s hot and humid, despite the beautiful North Easterly fanning us here in Bankstown. Schools went back this week and we here at BYDS are already gearing up for a busy season. We hope that you can support the work that we execute here as the longest running professional arts organisation in the region, by participating, attending and sharing.  I hope to see you at the events below.

Tim Carroll, Director

more “BYDS Breakdown – January Newsletter”

BYDS Breakdown December Newsletter

Dear People,

Another year comes to an end. 2017 was a fantastically creative one for BYDS and I would love to pay tribute to the artists that made it happen: 

Our RESPECT program hits new heights with six new songs being produced to acclaim both artistic and socially.  Our understanding of issues pertaining to domestic and family violence and how we can intervene in young people’s understanding around that continues to grow – huge praise to Craig Taunton and his team: Zainab Kadhim,  Bilal Hafda, David Miller & Tim Wall. The Smith Family C4C program funded RESPECT, thank you. 

Root and Branch, Stories of Strength, Linked Up, Bankstown Poetry Slam & 4ELEMENTSall showed how excellent, professional artists working with community can change lives for the better and bring people to new knowledge.

Our first newsletter of 2018 will reveal our annual program – To Be Honest of course will be the first artistic cab off the rank. See below. 

On a personal note I would like to thank all of the people, institutions and organisations that worked with us, supported us and helped us deliver what we do so well to so many people from the Bankstown and surrounding areas.  

Tim Carroll, Director

more “BYDS Breakdown December Newsletter”

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

more “BYDS Breakdown – October Newsletter”

To Be Honest – new Australian theatre

New theatre shines a light on untold stories of bravery and challenge

A homeless young woman stinks of Maccas fries as she tries to sleep in her car in the middle of the day.  A boy gets sold by his mother for five thousand dollars. A man on bail tries to get his life back on track. A sister and her brother fight to keep each other in their lives.

All these amazing stories are explored in ‘To Be Honest’: a new Australian theatre work created in collaboration with young people from Canterbury Bankstown and presented by BYDS. Written and directed by Stefo Nantsou, the show examines contemporary stories of cultural displacement, homelessness, cycles of crime and the challenging struggles of some young people living extraordinary lives around the Canterbury Bankstown area.

more “To Be Honest – new Australian theatre”