Freeza funding empowers youth

Young people in Northern Victoria are getting a helping hand to build their confidence and explore creative careers thanks to funding from the Victorian government Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, has announced local government and community organisations from across North East Victoria will receive funding as part of th $7.2 million FReeZA program. Ms Symes said 15 local government areas will share in nearly $400,000 in funding including $11,745 for the Towong Shire under the Youth Empowerment for Change program. The funding will be used to provide rural disengaged young people with the opportunity to learn and demonstrate leadership skills to reach their full potential focusing on opportunities to build local and regional networks, communication and resilience, arts, music and community interactions. FReeZA is an innovative youth development program providing opportunities for young Victorians aged 12 to 25 to enjoy musical, cultural, recreational and artistic events that are drug, alcohol and smoke-free. FReeZA also funds The Push an independent youth music and event management organisation, which helps young people organise their own live events. Young people are encouraged to participate and perform in FReeZA events but also to get involved behind the scenes to learn skills that may lead to employment in the arts and music industry. FReeZA is a great way for young people to get hands-on experience in setting up events whether it be live music shows. BMX expos or art and short film competitions but also to celebrate their talent, Ms Symes said. Programs like FReeZA open up opportunities for young country kids in different ways by building skills, creating jobs and supporting young musicians and artists perform in their local communities. Congratulations to the 15 local councils for their successful applications to this funding round of FReeZA I look forward to seeing the program come to life throughout Northern Victoria. Organising FReeZA activities has given hundreds of young Victorians the opportunity to develop their skills development and workplace experience, so they can go on to gain further employment or education qualifications in similar fields.