Outloud has had the enormous privilege to have worked with so many of Bankstown’s students, teachers, parents, elders and young people. Below are a selection of their experiences in their own words. We hope to extend our immense gratitude to our friends and contributors without whom our work would not exist!

Sir Joseph Banks High School has proudly been associated with Outloud for over  20 years. A vast number of students have been actively involved in a number of engaging and visionary projects, including theatre productions (Look the Other Way, The Other Way, The Way, To Be Honest), interviewing and podcasting projects ( Stories of Strength), oral history and writing programs (Real Talk) to name a few. 

Our treasured association has not only changed the lives of the young people involved but has also saved the lives of some who found a sense of purpose and belonging at Outloud. Outloud has employed several of our former students and this reinforces the importance of the work that Outloud fosters. We look forward to a continued relationship with Outloud as it genuinely gives young people opportunities for their many and diverse voices to be heard. “

Joyce Conte – Creative and Performing Arts Faculty Sir Joseph Banks High School

“The environment that has been created in Bankstown, through the work of Outloud over thirty years has led to the formation of a strong and unique artistic community. My decade-long partnership with Outloud has been a small part in the development of a new wave of young, culturally diverse young people from Sydney’s West who have an opportunity to change the face of Sydney theatre. This cohort have now been exposed at every level to a rigorous, professional theatre practice over an extended period by virtue of the commitment of organisations like Outloud to produce and promote community arts practice in Sydney’s West.

Outloud has generated a core ensemble of over 50 determined emerging artists from a profusion of cultural backgrounds utilising different performance forms from music to slam poetry, performing arts and literature. Outloud have become a crucial factor in the long term development of a truly multicultural Australia and provides real pathways for marginalized and culturally and linguistically diverse young people committed to entering Australia’s performing arts industry.”

Stefo Nantsou – Playwright, Actor and Director

Outloud plays a critical role in Western Sydney as a cultural broker, linking people and projects, particularly enabling access and skills development to practitioners, artists and participants in community, community development space and the arts. As a social worker and someone who has worked on projects with Outloud I have every confidence in Outloud’s ability to continue delivering successful programs that will have important long term outcomes for the diverse cultural communities living in Bankstown, and broader Western Sydney.

Ola El Hassan – Linked Up Program

Outloud has been instrumental in setting up Bankstown Poetry Slam and allowing us the space and providing us with the guidance needed to successfully grow and maintain this special project. As a result of Outloud’s mentorship, administrative support, financial auspice arrangement and mentoring, we have incorporated BPS into ‘Click Ink’ and we will continue to work with Outloud and the Bankstown Arts Centre to push the boundaries of our events and provide a platform for all people to express themselves, and a space for all people to feel that they belong.

Sara Mansour – Co-Founder of Bankstown Poetry Slam

Within our school internal survey of students across the whole school have shown that … students are more aware of domestic violence and its effects on families. Teachers across our school are incorporating ‘respect’ lessons into the classroom with all students signing the pledge to stand up against Domestic Violence. This awareness has all come about from being part of the Outloud Respect program.

Our interactions with our school and the wider community has been immense. Through the Outloud Respect program we have been on the Sunrise Weekend program promoting our first music video made in the program. Our two videos to date have had over 4000 views each on Youtube. Our recent performance at the showcase event at Bankstown Central, was viewed on our school Facebook page, by over 1300 Facebook users. The ability of this program being able to spread this important message is clearly seen in these statistics alone.

We believe it is extremely important for the Respect program to continue with schools in our area. The program allows the boys to not only be involved in a wonderful experience in creating the music video, but the lessons behind it give them an understanding of healthy relationships and life skills that will hopefully be with them forever. The boys, by being in this program, have such an important role to play in their community and every one of them that has participated in the program are great advocates.

We hope that the program continues for many more years to come and that we can remain part of such a wonderful initiative and assist in spreading this important message to our school community and the wider community in general.”

Glen Toland – Assistant Principal Wattawa Heights Public School

“I’d … like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all of you for leading the boys in what I believe to be a very relevant, important and worthwhile program. The program is so engaging and the boys look forward to it every week. The artistic component is just fabulous, but to mix that with such an important cause is invaluable. All you of you have been very professional, competent, kind, patient, adaptive and creative and I think you have been wonderful male role models for the boys. … Needless to say, I think the boys have been very lucky to be a part of it and I can already see some wonderful positive changes in some of these boys.

It has been a privilege for myself and the boys to be a part of this program and I thank
you once again on behalf of all of the BWPS community.”

Pete Anasta – Bankstown West Public School