Young at art


An upcoming exhibition hosted by UnitingCare Hotham Mission will showcase the artistic talents of local young people and challenge some of the stereotypes associated with today’s youth.
The Weight of the World exhibition  features art from young people aged 10 to 25 and will be held at Kensington Town Hall on 15 June from 6pm to 9:30pm.
Supported by the City of Melbourne, the exhibition is part of the council’s Refugee Welcome Zone action plan.
The artworks will explore youth issues not always reported in the news, such as the trauma of forced migration and the challenges of cultural dislocation.
Hotham Mission’s youth program coordinator Alex Johnson said the exhibition aims to counter some of the negative coverage young people receive in the media.
“The idea for Weight of the World came out of a combination of wanting to show off the amazing artwork that students in our youth programs were creating, and a frustration over youth being consistently demonised in the media,” Ms Johnson said.
“We’ve always been amazed at the weird and wonderful talents of young people in our programs. Weight of the World gives the students a chance to show off their talents – whether they are visual arts, music, poetry or cooking – to their friends, family and community.”
A panel of guests, including Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights chair Tasneem Chopra and Victorian Multicultural Affairs Minister Robin Scott, will judge the artwork. Prizes will be awarded for creative engagement with the themes of diversity, inclusion, community, social justice and mental health.
“This exhibition acknowledges the powerful potential that young people have to initiate change and to portray important and potent messages of their experiences in the world in which they live,” Ms Johnson said.
“It is a platform for young peoples’ voices to galvanise and speak out about what is important to them.”
Many of the artworks will be available for sale on the night, with 50 per cent of proceeds going to the young artists. The other 50 per cent will go towards Hotham Mission’s youth programs.
Hotham Mission works with communities in the North Melbourne, Flemington and Kensington area and approximately 89 per cent of their clients come from refugee, asylum seeker or migrant backgrounds. Some of their programs include asylum seeker accommodation, high school education support packages, food security initiatives and education assistance for CALD communities.
As the exhibition is held during Ramadan, guests are invited to break fast together at 6pm.
Local young people from Kuljar Kitchen will be serving halal food on the night. Kuljar Kitchen is a joint social enterprise between Hotham Mission and the Somali Women’s Development Association that trains young people in cooking and hospitality.
Entry is a gold coin donation. For more information go to:

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