Manjimup youth Break Free with Drug Aware YCulture

Manjimup youth Break Free with Drug Aware YCulture

Jon Solmundson

Why be limited to one artform when you’re creating a project?

To ensure their message really hit home, the coordinators of Manjimup’s Break Free workshop brought together every performing art they could muster.

As with every Drug Aware YCulture Regional project, the idea was brought to life by two young project coordinators; Brooke Thomas and Enya MacDonald.

Lucy Tartaglia takes up the guitar at the Break Free Manjimup music workshop. Picture by Jayne Lee

Recruiting facilitators Jayne Lee (a performing arts instructor) and Trent Garrett (a public speaker with personal experience to support the Drug Aware message) to their cause, the team got down to planning a three day bonanza of dance, music and drama sessions packed around a strong Drug Aware message.

Executing on the plan was a community effort, with Southern Stage Performing Arts supplying equipment and marketing assistance, and the local Manjimup Town Hall providing a venue for the sessions.

Looking back on the experience, Brooke and Enya said they enjoyed very strong support from the Manjimup community and their peers when putting the project together.

“The opportunity for the youth to participate, to become more aware of the issues surrounding drugs and to hear first hand the affect it can have on your life [was good]. They learnt how to look after themselves (…) as they learnt about the effect of drugs on a person’s health.”

“We were delighted to be given the opportunity to spread the message of Drug Aware and hopefully given the opportunity again we would like to target the schools with the Drug Aware message in 2018.”

GWN7 Takes the chance to interview some of the Break Free Manjimup participants. Picture by Jayne Lee

The workshop even attracted a TV crew from GWN7, who came down to chat with the workshop speakers and record some of the song and dance for broadcast.

Those who attended praised both the artistic and life lessons that the facilitators had to offer.

“My favourite part was learning new choreography for all different styles of dance and improving by starting from basics.” – Tylah

“The best part was being able to dance with people we had never met before and listening to Trent’s story.” – Sarah-Rose

“It was refreshing to hear from someone who had experienced the impact of drugs, creating a more realistic approach towards it and helping us understand the dangers.” – Enya

Break Free was so successful that a second Break Free session was just held in June, we’ll have more details on that soon.

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