Zombies take over CBD, leaders get locked up for youth

Gladstone’s first Zombie Quest Walk took place on Saturday as part of the region’s National Youth Week activities.
Gladstone’s first Zombie Quest Walk took place on Saturday as part of the region’s National Youth Week activities.

ZOMBIES taking over the central business district and citizens being locked up in shopping centres are the norm in Gladstone - at least during National Youth Week.

Gladstone Regional Council youth development officer Vernetta Perrett said more than 400 young people participated locally in the week's events.

On Saturday morning PCYC supporters and volunteers were detained in a mock jail cell at Stockland Gladstone.

To be released they had to raise bail as part of the Time4Kids fundraiser, with donations going towards youth development programs and prevention of youth crime.

Mac Hosking, owner of Hosking Pools, was by far the most mischievous detainee.

"You've got to hammer them," he said of his tactic to get passers-by to donate.

It was the first year he had taken part in the program, which is in its fourth year.

Mr Hosking said it was an enjoyable experience for a good cause. Four months of planning went into the fundraiser.

Gladstone PCYC youth worker Anna Witty said a lot of people didn't realise the PCYC needed to raise funds for all its free programs, as well as for the wages of workers.

"It does take some funds to make a difference," she said.

Ms Witty said there were a lot of youth helpers at the event, which was fantastic to see.

"It's been a really accessible youth week," she said.

This sentiment was echoed by Ms Perrett, who said more older youths took part this year, in comparison to previous years.

"We've tried to engage the older ones in activities," she said.

Imogen Stoneley, 4, helps community member Mac Hosking raise bail after he was locked in a mock jail.
Imogen Stoneley, 4, helps community member Mac Hosking raise bail after he was locked in a mock jail.

One activity that attracted a range of ages was the Zombie Quest Walk on Saturday afternoon.

Participant Sherrie Stansfield's zombification was awe-inspiring.

It took the 21-year-old about an hour to create her make-up, which she learnt to do by watching a step-by-step online tutorial and by trial and error.

She had previously attended a zombie walk in Brisbane and even has a zombie tattoo.

"There should be more stuff like this for the younger generation," she said.

Fellow participants Emily Leed and Rachel Cross, both 16, agreed there should be more recreational activities for older youth.

"It would keep a lot of teenagers from going out partying if there was more to do," Rachel said.

The pair assembled their costumes from materials they found at Woolworths and Bunnings.

"It's a social outing; it's better than sitting at home," Emily said of their decision to join in.

Despite National Youth Week finishing, it's not the end of opportunities for younger members of society to have their voices heard.

"We'll continually consult them," Ms Perrett said.

"We're open to new ideas all the time."

Ms Witty said that it was important for youth to become involved with the PCYC so they could continue to embrace the National Youth Week 2014 theme: Our Voice. Our Impact.

"They can turn Gladstone into what they want it to be," she said.

The week, which ended on Sunday, celebrates children and young people aged 12 to 25 years old.

Topics:  gladstone cbd gladstone pcyc youth week zombie walk

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