Art, bubbles and basketball the perfect combination for Hedland’s youth

A group of children stand in coloured jumping bags, on green grass. The sky is grey.

The incoming wet and wild weather could not put a dampener on the spirits of those who came to the Ramped Up! Youth event at JD Hardie on Saturday.

The event was a huge success, seeing more than a hundred children spruce up the new temporary skate park at JD Hardie with a fresh lick of paint and some incredible artwork – accompanied by basketball, plenty of scooters and skateboards to go around and a BBQ to finish off the evening.

Ramped Up! was a collaborative effort by some of the members of HYSAG, or the Hedland Youth Stakeholder Action Group. Those involved in the event, which was sponsored by the Town of Port Hedland, included Julyardi Aboriginal Corporation, Youth Involvement Council, HASL, Royal Life Saving, WA Police, West Coast Eagles, BHP, the Town of Port Hedland, The Junction Co., Ngurra Kujungka and Hedland Collective.

Royal Life Saving’s Talent Pool group helped lead the kids in the play activities, while The Junction Co. artists coordinated the creative side and gave the kids a workshop on design, before painting the skate ramps, as well as provided Chalk the Walk activities where Hedland youth showcased their artistic talent. While YIC and Julyardi Aboriginal Corporation provided wrap around support.

West Coast Eagles Youth Engagement Coordinator Clint Degebrodt said engaging the young people of Hedland relies on a collaborative approach for successful outcomes.

“For the most part, we’re an outlying community way out in the northwest of Western Australia,” he said.

“The more we can work together the easier the work is and the deeper our connections can be.

“If we operate alone, or we compete, we’re sort of doomed to fail.”

Clint said the same group came together over the summer to bring Hot Summer Nights to the youth of Hedland, which saw evening football and cricket games and a free BBQ each week, to make sure young people had activities in a safe space.

He said the collaboration of HYSAG has been proving successful in each activation.

“Positive involvement, positive engagement and a big feed just saw the community really come together,” he said.

“We knew that we had something special together as a group of deliverers in Hedland and we’re now moving together in a way that is unprecedented.

“We’ve tried lots of things, but I’m not sure we’ve tried things here with as many people on the same page.

“When we use all of these departments of smart people we get a much deeper connection and engagement.”

It’s hoped that the Ramped Up! Event will be the first of many regular Saturday night activations, to ensure young people in Hedland are engaged in meaningful activities and find a place in their community where they can hang out with their friends and have fun.

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