Autumn School Holiday Program
YWCA Canberra Clubhouse offers a free school holiday program during each school break, which includes activities at the Clubhouse, as well as excursions around Canberra. The Clubhouse has had an incredible school holiday program, packed with lots of engaging and educational activities.
The first day of the holiday program was the exhibition of the Humans of the Clubhouse project was launched at the Tuggeranong Hyperdome. This project included portraits and quotes from Clubhouse members, mentors, and staff. This displayed showcased the unique people who make the Clubhouse such a meaningful place to learn.
The following day, the Clubhouse and the YWCA Canberra Youth Engagement Team visited the Innovation Centre and the Cyber Security Offices at the Department of Human Services (DHS). The tour included learning about hacking; including following the news to stay updated on hacking trends and breaches, and testing DHS systems to detect and manage any possible weaknesses. Clubhouse members had a lot of fun seeing how face recognition systems work and also met the new National Disability Insurance Scheme customer service assistant ‘Nadia’. The afternoon was filled with Lego building, robots, and virtual reality. “I want to work here” and “this place is so cool” could be heard from the back seats of the bus on the ride back to the Clubhouse.
Then on the Wednesday and Thursday, Clubhouse activities were filled with art and science. Wednesday saw members using their creativity to draw their own designs on white canvas shoes and upcycling them into unique footwear. Members also created artwork with canvas’, and also had the unique opportunity to experiment with basic chemistry and make their own bath bombs! On the Thursday, members got crafty, inspired by science. This included making a ‘galaxy in a jar’, using cotton balls, watery paint, and glitter. Members also examined different densities of oil and water through making lava lamps, and started the process of making their own crystals.
On Friday, the Clubhouse collaborated with the YWCA Canberra Youth Engagement Team and attended the 2018 National Youth Week Interagency Sunset Festival. Hosted by several youth services in Canberra and located at Edison Park and the Woden Youth Centre, young people could participate in a skateboarding demonstration with free giveaways from Backbone BMX. Canberra PCYC was there with their gaming trailor, and young people could also learn about graffiti art with Smalls from Belconnen Community Centre. The Woden Youth Engagement Team hosted one of their band nights filled with young artists and bands performing original and cover songs. The members had a great time connecting with others and enjoying the variety of activities available.
The second week of the School Holiday Program was dedicated to the 360 Initiative program; a unique program that facilitates and provides a platform for young people to start and manage their own clothing brand. The first day of this four-day crash course covered the many aspects of what is involved in starting a clothing brand, including identifying gaps in the market, the need for a business plan, who the target audience is, ethical sourcing of materials, different types of printing, and more.
Another purpose of the 360 Initiative is to spread awareness about social justice issues and to ‘initiate the change’ by wearing provocative designs that provoke conversation. The theme for this year’s program is about preserving the environment.
The second day of the program was spent drafting and digitising designs for the merchandise. The designs highlighted global warming, plastic pollution in oceans, and the large proportion of landfill.
On the third day the participants visited local stores to learn first hand from businesses and galleries. Members learnt about the long journey involved in creating a clothing brand at the Sanchos Dirty Laundry, the processes involved in different types of printing at Megalo Print Studio and Gallery, and the opportunities for upcycling at a Salvos Store.
The final day of the program was spent drafting more designs and discussing the types of clothes, size brackets, colours, and fits that will be ordered, which will then have the designs screen printed onto. The participants involved in the 360 Initiative will be meeting regularly throughout the next term to continue working on their brands, with the final clothing brands being launched at an event later in the year. For more information about this program, contact Youth Engagement Officer Tim Clement, Tim.Clement@ywca-canberra.org.au.
YWCA Canberra Clubhouse’s winter School Holiday Program will be available on our website later in the term.