By Anokina Benjamin:
Do You ’ th Have Talent?!
The Bring It On! Festival is one of the largest of many Youth Week events held in New South Wales. With open-air music, dance performances and sporting events, the drug and alcohol free festival showcases local and young talent.
The Bring It On! festival attracts more than 10,000 people in April each year with multiple awards underlining its success such as Most Consistent Youth Week Program.
Abbey Lenton, a Fairfield Youth Advisory Committee Member (YAC) spills a secret about the event’s motive.
“A little known secret about Bring It On! Fest is that its entire purpose is to benefit the volunteers.”
Fairfield City’s youth unemployment rate has been highest in the state, at 50.0% to 69.3% according to the 2011 census. In partnership with young people and community organisations, Fairfield City council took immediate action in 2011. The YAC committee was evolved and created the festival in November in order to prevent the issue from further developing.
“There is so much negative representation around Western Sydney and particularly young people,” Lenton said.
“Bring It On! Festival provides a much needed breath of fresh air from all this negativity.”
Each year, the volunteer program at Bring It On! works with over 100 youth members in Fairfield City aged between 14-24 to help develop their skills for future jobs.
“The training and experience they gain from the festival will greatly broaden their career prospects,” Lenton said.
The volunteers participate in workshops that help increase their skills in many areas including photography, resume writing and social media interaction.
“I was even employed by my council for three months to help with the organisation,” Lenton said.
Bring It On! stayed true to its motives as it widened a career prospect for Lenton while she was still volunteering.
“Whether it was for them to explore themselves and the wider world or just to remind them of the sanctity in their youth.”
With the event’s friendly environment and resourceful leaders, Angela Pham found many opportunities to discover and explore pathways to take for her future while being on the volunteer team.
“Bring It On! showed characteristics of wanting to help and being able to work behind the scenes of a large event with a team,” Pham said.
Pham also had many pathways leading to jobs because of her experience volunteering at Bring It On!
“In any career, they’ll look for your ability to work in a team, delegate and execute delegations from peers/mentors – an event such as Bring It On definitely covered all of that.”
Ramos, a singer/song writer performed at Bring It On! festival.
“The festival gets youth to interact and involve themselves in activities where they can potentially develop a passion and pursue a activity they enjoy,” Ramos said.
Ramos performed his hit song Under Fire and a cover of Survivor by Destiny’s Child.
“We must give them hope by engaging them through music and performances and
highlighting positive themes to them like unity, love and just being a humanitarian,” Ramos said.
Both songs carried those themes that he wanted to express and teach to the youth of today.
“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be
achieved. Network and unite with youths from all over create friendships and help one
another to get through life’s struggles.”
The Bring It On! festival has three stages of live entertainment – a fun day out for the whole family.
With free entry and free shuttle busses to and from the venue, youth of NSW have every reason to
attend with such easy access to the festival and various stalls, entertainment and activities.
IMAGE: Bring It On! team with Abbey Lenton on far right. Photo by Seng Ung