I’m watching the fig tree birds congregate in the tree outside my window whose view I have enjoyed for the last eight years, watching the changing skies, the cycle of leaves drying, falling and becoming soil – only then to spring green shoots and become vibrant again as summer approaches.
This reflection reminds me that all things pass and so my time running the arts and cultural program here at Outloud (formerly BYDS) also approaches its end.
I began on the 23rd June 1991 and reflect on the thousands of people whose lives have been affected positively through our intervention, as Ex-Principal of Sir Joseph Banks High, Mark Piddington said, “BYDS provided in so many cases the best experience that some of our student had in their lives.”
We interviewed and published edited life stories of hundreds of local people, we generated hundreds of original songs, we taught people how to access aspects of themselves that they did not know existed and saw this manifested across countless public platforms, we initiated scores of original Australian dramas, we stood shoulder to shoulder with local people when they periodically became the whipping boy for what passes as mainstream media in this country.
We provided opportunities for local young people with artistic ideas to flourish, attracting money, contacts, spaces and technology; always at no cost.
Alongside a passing parade of artists and facilitators, many that I personally trained, we made arts and culture something that the Bankstown area is noted for – and that may be an acceptable legacy. Let’s see.
We are now actively looking for a new Director at Outloud, someone with energy, passion and leadership qualities. It is a strange and difficult time in Australia for the Arts, particularly community based arts, but the right person will make it happen.
I will have some kind of farewell prior to my last day, December 19th, so if you interested to come along, let us know.