Pockets full of big ideas: MPAC Youth Ambassadors brainstorm at first meeting

Mandurah Performing Arts Centre’s (MPAC) youth ambassadors discussed their big ideas and ambitious plans at their first meeting on Tuesday night.

The 18 members of the group are local students in year 10, 11 and 12 with a passion for arts and young people in Mandurah.

The ambassadors began the meeting brainstorming names for the new youth festival launching in May, 2019.

Youth engagement officer Kellee Aberg said it was an important first step to welcome a group of young people on board to share their knowledge, ideas and passion with MPAC.

“What excites me is that these young people aren’t necessarily what the world would class as professional artists but they are experts about their experiences growing up in the Peel region and they’re experts in their art and performance experiences,” she said.

“We’re so lucky because the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre gets an insight to these experiences as they share them with us.”

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The Mandurah Mail spoke with three of the young ambassadors at their first meeting on Tuesday about the importance of engaging the young Mandurah population in 

Budding photographer and dancer Charlie Hodges, 15, from Coodanup College said she’s keen to see her ideas at work when she completes her work experience at MPAC in 2019.

“I want people to come here because they’ve made plans with a friend and because we’ve got lots of cool stuff here and they can meet new people who have the same interests,” she said.

“Not just something that people come to because their parents say there’s a play or an opera on – I’m excited for young people to have their own reason to come here.”

Mandurah Baptist College student Christie McGarrity, 15, said she’s excited to see how the ambassadors can make an impact on the youth arts landscape and bring a more youthful vibe to the Mandurah community.

“I love how the arts bring people together as a community and a family and you really get to know people that you wouldn’t meet every day and you have things in common with those people,” she said.

“I really want to make a difference in the community for young people and to bring more opportunity for performances and festivals so people our age have something to look forward to as well.”

Arts are already a big part of Frederick Irwin Anglican School student, Dana Brennan’s life.

The 17-year-old studies drama as an ATAR subject at school and is completing her certificate in music.

“I’m new to the Mandurah community but I really like the vibe here and I just want to get into it,” Dana said.

“I want to make Mandurah Performing Arts less intimidating and more welcoming to everyone walking by and wanting to come check it out.”

Youth Ambassadors Charlie Hodges, Christie McGarrity and Dana Brennan. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.

Youth Ambassadors Charlie Hodges, Christie McGarrity and Dana Brennan. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.

Riptide Youth Performance Company also announced the launch of their new drama class program on Tuesday.

The weekly classes for 12-15 year olds will start in February 2019 and run every Wednesday afternoon at MPAC, focusing on developing confidence and skills in performance making.

will open up opportunities for young people to perform in amazing shows in the future here in Mandurah.

Riptide artistic director Kathryn Osborne said the classes would open up opportunities for young people to perform in amazing Mandurah shows in the future.

“Our Riptide ensemble for 15-25 year olds has been going from strength to strength over the past three years,” she said.

“We are looking forward to now extending opportunities for younger people to participate in weekly classes to gain skills in theatre making and performance, with the hope that many will continue into our ensemble program.”

For more information on the classes, contact clea.purkis@manpac.com.au.