Mansfields youth receive helping hand

YOUNG people in Mansfield are set to receive funding as part of a new $7.2 million FReeZA program for North East Victoria, with the hopes of building their confidence and exploring creative careers. Among the 15 recipients is Mansfield Shire, which has received $24,500 in funding for a project called Inspired Too. This project will bring together a group of young people from across the shire to develop, plan and implement musical and cultural events and activities. Upper House member Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) recently announced the funding for the 15 local government areas who will share in nearly $400,000 in funding from the State Government for their FReeZA events. 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, Ms Symes said. These events will support young people to develop skills, enhance their career opportunities, and contribute to the cultural life of their community. Other recipients include Benalla Rural City Council ($24,500), Murrindindi Shire Council ($24,500), Rural City of Wangaratta ($24,500) and Strathbogie Shire Council ($24,500). 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. 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.