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Teens flock to Out of the Box

Eyes Wide youth committee members Natasha Gibson and Natalie Campbell take a break before today’s project launch in Market Square.
Eyes Wide youth committee members Natasha Gibson and Natalie Campbell take a break before today’s project launch in Market Square. Adam Hourigan

AN EXCITING new project will be released from the box today, giving young people in the Clarence Valley a space to call their own.

As school holidays get under way, hundreds of teens will converge on Grafton's Market Square this afternoon to celebrate the official launch of a brand new initiative called Out of the Box.

From 3pm a range of free activities will be open to anyone aged 12 to 18 years and will include a four-way bungee trampoline, DJs, drumming, fire-twirling, juggling workshops, a graffiti demonstration and plenty more.

The launch has been carefully planned by a steering committee made up of local teens and overseen by project co-ordinator Mark Conaghan.

Meeting once a month, the teenage participants have been heavily involved in the whole process, shaping the event into something they hope all young people will really enjoy.

Best friends from South Grafton High, Natasha Gibson and Natalie Campbell have helped with planning and promoting and are now counting down the hours until the fun begins.

"It's been a good experience and pretty exciting to share our ideas," Natasha said..

"It will be good to have something like this in Grafton; there's not much for young people to do around here," said Natalie.

14-year-old Tumma Murray from Arrawarra is the youngest on the committee and he reckons it's going to make Market Square a great place to hang out with his mates.

"The best thing is it's free," Tumma said.

Young people can finish their evening with a movie, a special screening of Hotel Transylvania from 6.10pm at the Saraton Theatre.

A range of activities and events will continue in Market Square over the school holidays.

Funded by the Federal Gov- ernment, the imitative is the first of its kind in Australia and features three transport- able buildings; a cafe box, an art box and a technology box.

A new stage has been built in Market Square and four new skate parks have been completed in outlying villages at a total cost of $1.8 million.

The boxes will be moved around the Valley at various times of the year.

Clarence Valley Council general manager Scott Greensill said the project is a major win for the community.

"Having dedicated spaces that young people can call their own is exciting," Mr Greensill said.

"The flexible and trans- portable nature of this project means that we can reach a large number of young people across a range of communities."

The launch also kicks off the Eyes Wide project, which provides young people with positive alcohol-free recreational opportunities.

For more information visit gherkin.net.au or 'Eyes Wide Clarence Valley' on Facebook..

 

OUT OF THE BOX

 The launch is from 3pm to 6pm today in Market Square

 Free activities for young people aged 12-18. They include a bungee trampoline, DJs, drumming, juggling, and fire-twirling workshops, face painting, T-shirt stencilling and a live graffiti wall demonstration.

What's in the box?

Blue: Information Technology Centre. Up to 10 laptops will be connected to internet via satellite, offering a range of creative uses including media and film training. Service providers such as Centrelink have indicated the blue box could be used to train remote residents in computer use.

Purple: Cafe. Run by the New School of Arts, this fully functional mobile cafe will offer paid employment to suitable young people as it travels through the Valley. It will sell coffee, tea, milkshakes and pre-packaged food with stools and all equipment and is designed to withstand the rigours of travel.

Orange: Art Centre. Stocks art supplies and drying racks, the wet/dry floor is designed to withstand punishment from our messiest young creatives. Art will be photographed and shared online through council's Gherkin website

Topics:  out of the box, teenagers



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