Mandurah’s famed youth festival, Yoh Fest, back on the cards

YOH Fest is returning in 2017 with a very special milestone; this year marks the 20th anniversary of the yearly event’s inception.

 YOH Fest was first established in Mandurah, in 1988 to equip local young people in making positive lifestyle choices, and build self confidence and leadership skills.

Since then, it has grown into a state-wide tour which has empowered thousands of students across WA and the Northern Territory to share stories on the health issues most relevent to them, discover talent and passion, learn about leading a healthy lifestyle, and connect with their peers and broader community.

Act-Belong-Commit YOH Fest is a leading forum for health education and one of Australia’s largest celebrations of youth creativity where young people express themselves through drama, dance and visual art.

Mandurah is growing to be the most popular stop on the YOH Fest tour, with Perth schools opting to travel to the Mandurah heat.

There is also a  strong representation from Peel with Mandurah Baptist, JTC, Halls Head College, MCC, Serpentine Jarrahdale Grammar School, Pinjarra SHS and first time entrant Austin Cove all putting acts on stage.

This year’s theme is “it starts with me”, which encourages young people to take a look at the power they have to address their own challenges through their actions, choices and proactive behaviours.

As part of the 20th year celebrations entrants also invited to look at this concept in relation to any previous health theme from the past two decades.

Chief executive officer Rhys Williams said that YOH Fest's 20th birthday is a symbol of how important it is for young people to have an opportunity to explore and express their thoughts on health issues.

“YOH Fest only keeps on growing, and this tells me that we have a platform for health education that engages and excites young people,” he said. 

“YOH Fest is something that people connect with whether they are on stage, in the audience or behind the scenes.

“Every year I’m so inspired by how these young people not only inform audiences on the health issues most relevant to them, but also how to tackle these challenges head on.

"Often in society, when addressing our most complex societal issues, we’re waiting for ‘they’ to do something about it. Who, though, is ‘they’, and how is waiting for ‘they’ working out for us so far?

“YOH Fest just shows us that by just stepping up, coming together and identifying how we can harness our collective talents, we can create something that makes a difference.”

Performers will be taking the stage in the Boardwalk Theatre at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre from September 4-7.

Tickets are on sale now; call 9550 3900 or go to manpac.com.au.