YOUTH-LED | RESPECT | AUTHENTICITY | RESPONSIBILITY RESPONSIVITY | SUPPORT
EMPOWERMENT | SKILLS-FOCUSED | CONNECTION | PLAY | COURAGE
- YOUTH-LED: Placing young people at the forefront, involving them in decision-making, and valuing their perspectives and contributions.
- RESPECT: Demonstrating respect for cultural diversity, traditions, and the voices of all individuals involved, fostering an inclusive and safe environment.
- AUTHENTICITY: Ensuring the organisation’s actions, team, and projects genuinely reflect and connect with the community it serves.
- RESPONSIBILITY: Upholding ethical practices, using evidence-based approaches, and prioritising the well-being of participants, staff, and partners.
- RESPONSIVITY: Being responsive to the needs and interests of young people, adapting programs to meet their evolving requirements and providing timely support.
- SUPPORT: Offering guidance, mentorship, and opportunities for artistic growth and personal development to empower young artists.
- EMPOWERMENT: Empowering young people to express themselves, make choices, and take ownership of their artistic journey and personal growth.
- SKILLS-FOCUSED: Emphasising the development of transferable life skills through arts programs, equipping young people with tools for their future endeavours.
- CONNECTION: Cultivating meaningful connections and collaborations with participants, partners, and audiences, fostering a sense of unity and community.
- PLAY: Encouraging a fun and playful atmosphere that fosters creativity, enjoyment, and engagement.
- COURAGE: Fearlessly addressing challenging social issues, advocating for positive change, and inspiring young people to embrace their own potential for impact.
HOW OUR VALUES INFORM THE WAY WE WORK
- YOUTH LED – our ensemble program integrates a youth advisory + co-design model, and our programming and processes are informed by their input. We are working towards having supported youth board members. Each of our programs and feedback includes consultation questions to ensure that we are hearing and responding meaningfully to youth ideas.
- RESPECTFULLY – we recognise and celebrate the many cultures and intersections that exist in our community, and give particular acknowledgement to the Darug people, the traditional custodians of the unceded lands we live, work and play on. We engage an Elder in Residence to guide us and aim to include aspects of Aboriginal culture in all our projects.
- AUTHENTICALLY – we reflect the community we work in through our board, staff, facilitators, artists, and the young people and audiences we work with. Our team is multicultural, multi-lingual, and multi-faith, with members in the LGBTIQA+, neurodiverse and disabled communities and mental health diagnoses. Most of us are local to the area, more than half of us are CALD, and three-quarters of us are under 35 yrs. We have lived experience in the topics we work on, and we seek out and work with experts for our new projects.
- RESPONSIBLY – we use best practice and evidence-based processes in our program design and partner with service providers to offer a whole-person approach. We routinely partner with health, education and social welfare providers like Headspace Bankstown and Humanity Matters to ensure that our performances, artworks and social support are well-managed. Through these partnerships, we cross-pollinate artistic strengths of engagement, expression, joy, collaboration and connection with care methodologies, processes, evidence basis and measurable impacts of these sectors. Our staff undertake ongoing mental health care training and have qualifications or experience in education/social-youth work/psychology. We regularly make referrals to our partner network of service providers.
- RESPONSIVELY – our programs are responsive to the needs and interests of the young people in our community. For our REIMAGINE research project, we interviewed our ecosystem of partners, young people, schools and youth arts organisations and services to create responsive programming for the future and developed Elder in Residence and Youth Co-Design programs. We are active members of local youth worker and arts networks to ensure we are aware of and engaging with arising and ongoing issues, as well as what service and support is out there.
- SUPPORTIVELY – our focus is amplifying the voices of Western Sydney’s young people. Young artists are offered guidance, mentorship and, when they are ready, opportunities to perform or exhibit, and as they advance in their careers, creative developments and workshops on the business of being an artist.
- SKILLS-FOCUSED – We value transferable life skills, and we train facilitators we work with in our care-based pedagogy.
- PLAYFULLY – if something is worth doing, it’s worth making it fun!
- LONG-TERM ENGAGEMENT – we work with young people throughout their careers, and we aspire to long-term change for the individuals and communities that we work with. Outloud (formerly known as Bankstown Youth Development Service or BYDS) has been working in Western Sydney since 1991, and we‘ve called the Bankstown Arts Centre home for the last ten years. Our award-winning program, RESPECT, has its tenth anniversary in 2023 and has been delivered to more than a thousand students. Alumnus of our projects has come back as interns, lead artists, and even board members!
- With EMPOWERMENT and SELF-DETERMINATION for local voices, especially those who are often silenced or marginalised. We engage in Liberatory Design and Leading for Equity processes (see appendices).
- ACCESSIBLY – prioritising the participation of people from diverse socio-economic statuses, as well as people with differing physical and neurological needs.
- COURAGEOUSLY – in highlighting and discussing difficult social issues affecting our community. We’re proud advocates for young people’s brilliance, resilience, and expertise.
- CONNECTED in UNITY, COLLABORATION and PLAY with our partners, participants, and audiences.
TAX-DEDUCTIBLY – Outloud is a not-for-profit organisation and is on the Federal Government’s Cultural Organisations register. We have Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR 1) status, so donations to these programs that change young people’s lives are also tax-deductible.