Youth Fest 2023 - Month Long Extravaganza of Workshops

The YO Bendigo Staff have finally put their feet up after we celebrated a mammoth month of activities, events, and workshops in the spirit of Youth Fest, a month-long celebration across Victoria highlighting the contributions and achievements of young people within their community.

Our lineup for this year's Youth Fest included a design-your-own skateboard workshop, a zero-waste cooking workshop, a Job readiness workshop, a Chill Day, and a Barista workshop. Many of them sold out within the month!

The Design a Skateboard workshop involved participants designing their own skateboard deck in preparation for showing them off during the skateboarding workshops of the Bendi-GLOW youth festival. Throughout this workshop, participants were able to be creative, meet like-minded individuals, and be guided by an experienced art instructor to develop bold designs and explore different painting and drawing techniques with new mediums.

Skateboard design workshop

Participants additionally furthered their creative passions through the Zero Waste Cooking workshop. Funded through the City of Greater Bendigo’s Resource Recovery unit, the Zero Waste Cooking workshop assisted in building participants' knowledge of waste practices, sustainable life skills, and cooking techniques. Through this workshop, participants were able to get hands-on, learning how to transform commonly discarded foods into delicious, nutritious meals, using items donated that would otherwise end up in landfill.

Food from the Zero waste workshop

By the end of the Zero Waste workshop, participants further understood nutrition, and how to make a range of healthy 30-minute meals and snacks and developed a better awareness of the environmental impact of food waste and the significance of composting and waste reduction. Attendees also got to taste-test everything they had learned to make meals, including a pesto bean salad, pikelets, and vegetarian alfredo pasta.

Building on the skills of participants and following on from a how to do your taxes workshop earlier in the year, we additionally provided a Get YO’ self Job-ready workshop with Axis Employment. This workshop allowed participants to receive personalised assistance with their resume and cover letter and go through the full process of applying to jobs they are interested in. The workshop provided each participant with job-ready resources tailored to them, including strategies for interviews, tips in answering a key selection criterion, and how to write an impactful introductory email.

Providing young people with a quiet haven to focus and relax in the lead-up to exams, YO Bendigo additionally ran its first-ever official Chill Day! It was a day based on relaxing and enjoying the chance to meet others, socialise, paint, craft, game and have some fun together, with the day’s events including Nintendo Switch gaming, PS5 gaming, a variety of crafts, and a snacks bar. We hope to run more Chill Days in the future, as rest assured it was a smash hit, providing a great introduction to YO Bendigo for many attendees who had never heard of what we do.

YO Chill Day participants

We ended Youth Fest on a caffeinated high with a successfully attended Barista workshop on the 28th of September, teaching young people how to make great coffee with a professional machine. We hope everyone got something they enjoyed out of Youth Fest this year and cannot wait to do it again next year!