Our First-Ever Fundraiser: Supporting Next Generation Artists in Melbourne’s West
For over 20 years, we have been working with diverse and structurally disadvantaged young people across Melbourne’s western suburbs, one of the most multicultural areas in the country.
Melbourne’s West is one of Australia’s fastest-growing with over 130 cultural groups, 150 languages, and 52% of people who speak a language other than English (LOTE) at home, which is among the highest in Victoria. The West includes areas like Brimbank, which has over 110,000 LOTE speakers – the highest of any LGA in Melbourne (58.4% of Brimbank’s total population).
The majority of the young people we work with self-identify as culturally diverse, and are predominantly from Africa, Pacific Islands and South East Asia, many of whom are recently arrived and/or refugees. An increasing number have intersectional lived experience as LGBTQIA+, neurodiverse or persons with disability.
With these young people, Western Edge makes art. Terrific, soulful, spirited art.
But in practice, we do so much more than that.
We co-design and collaborate with young people to create free arts opportunities and programs in schools, community hubs and venues from Footscray to St Albans, Werribee to Braybrook, Newport to Deer Park (and everywhere in between!)
We create in community, with community – making local stories that sing out across the city’s stages.
We create opportunities for healing and growth.
We work with young people to tell their own story on their own terms and in their own way. We do this every day, reaching hundreds of young people each year and having a life-changing impact on their wellbeing, social connection, cultural expression, sense of belonging and pathways into the performing arts sector.
“I love that we all come together as a family – the connection was like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life.”
– Participant, Community Edge Ensemble.
We’re so proud to share with you some of our artists’ stories in our first ever fundraiser video. I hope you can watch it, and send it to a friend if you can.
In 2022, we are launching our first ever fundraising campaign, in the hope that we can bring more people whose values align with our organisation into our beautiful community of change makers and world builders.
Every gift over $2 is tax deductible, and every dollar you give will have an immediate and long-lasting effect on young people from Melbourne’s multicultural West – the fastest growing area in the country with the highest population of young people.
Your support will allow us to create more programs in classrooms, school halls, community centres and arts venues across the West.
It will allow us to shift the scale of stories being told across our stages and screens so that we learn and grow as a nation not just from one narrative, but from a plurality of histories and visions for the future.
And importantly, it will allow us to continue the urgent work we do to prioritise wellbeing and create a safe space for young people and artists in Melbourne’s West to be heard, to be seen, to be celebrated.
We welcome you to be part of our first ever fundraiser and be at the heart of change in Australia.
At Western Edge, we may be at the edge of the city, but we are at the centre of the conversation.
We’d love for you to join us.
Penny Harpham, John Marc Desengano, Chanella Macri, Stephen Nicolazzo and the Western Edge team