MAKE IT HAPPEN: Georgia Porteus, 17, and Madison Smulders, 16.
MAKE IT HAPPEN: Georgia Porteus, 17, and Madison Smulders, 16. Christopher Chan

Girls break barriers to organise special Youth Week event

EPITOMISING this year's National Youth Week theme of "Be active, Be happy, Be you" is a group of proactive Year 12 students from Tannum Sands State High School.

The motivated girls, who worked with the Gladstone PCYC and Gladstone council to bring the event Sound Barrier to fruition, include Georgia Porteus, 17, Madison Smulders, 16, and Brittney Frankish, 16.

Sound Barrier is a National Youth Week music event being held on April 13 at the Gladstone PCYC for 12 to 18-year-olds.

National Youth Week takes place around the country from April 5 to 14, recognising the value of young Australians to their communities - thousands of young people aged 12 to 25 become involved in the week annually.

Headlining Sound Barrier is local alternative rock band Colour the Hills, off the back of performing at Easterfest in Toowoomba.

There will also be a DJ, photo booth, sumo suits and a PS3 challenge at the drug-and-alcohol-free event, with proceeds going to Roseberry House.

The group of students involved in Sound Barrier attend the Business and Information Technology Skills Centre at the Boyne Island Smelter.

Georgia and Madison said they decided they wanted to organise a youth event in October, after a visit from Gladstone PCYC operations and promotions manager Thea Roberts, as well as fellow PCYC employee and former BITS student Samantha Bradley.

"We had wanted to do something, so we raised the idea of holding an event," Georgia said.

The council found sponsorship and provided $1000 from government-allocated Youth Week funding for the event.

The girls had to do a business plan and budget, and said Gladstone PCYC youth worker Anna Witty, who helped organise the event, had been a great help in pointing them in the right direction.

"It's taken a lot of time and a lot of phone calls," Madison said. "We helped motivate each other."

With Youth Week it gives us that motivation to do stuff. It shows what Gladstone has to offer, especially having the big companies to sponsor us as well. We're fortunate where we are. Not many people recognise that

With Madison and Georgia hoping to go into event management, they said organising Sound Barrier had been a fantastic learning experience.

Madison said it was the end result that she was looking forward to and enjoyed about event management.

One of the things Madison said she learnt along the way during the preparations for Sound Barrier was: "You need to double check everything."

Georgia, who hopes to specialise in music industry events when she graduates, said the biggest lesson for her was financial.

"You have to stick to the budget. You have to get the budget done quickly," she said.

Hoping for a few hundred attendees, the organisers said the more youth the better as the PCYC has a capacity of thousands.

On the importance of National Youth Week, Madison said: "It gives our age people something to do and something to look forward to."

"With Youth Week it gives us that motivation to do stuff. It shows what Gladstone has to offer, especially having the big companies to sponsor us as well. We're fortunate where we are. Not many people recognise that," Georgia said.

With all the bookings done for Sound Barrier, the girls now look to future endeavours as part of the newly formed Youth Management Team, which meets once a fortnight and is spearheaded by Anna Witty.

"As they're becoming part of the Youth Management Team hopefully there will be more events," Anna said.

Anna hopes the team will become a useful tool as a focus group.

Georgia said she was looking forward to being part of the Youth Management Team because it got different personalities and mentalities to work together.

Event details:

  •  April 13 at the Gladstone PCYC
  •  The event is for 12 to 18-year-olds and will run from 6pm until 9pm.
  •  Entry costs $10.
  •  There is a gold coin donation for a bus service that will leave from outside the Tannum Sands Coles at 5.15pm and the Boyne Island Woolworths at 5.30pm. The bus will leave the Gladstone PCYC to return to Boyne-Tannum at 9.15pm.


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