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A Reason to Celebrate Art

Sydney Lifestyle

On the 30th August, an exhibition named “If You Can Tell a Story”, will feature contemporary artworks donated by over 50 of Australia’s and New Zealand’s leading artists.

The exhibition which runs until the 2nd September, is all in the name of fundraising for the Sydney Story Factory, a not-for-profit organisation.

SSF provides a writing centre for young people who are Indigenous and from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

These groups have been identified as those most at risk of losing confidence in their writing skills, as well as switching off during class time.

Former journalist, arts writer, literary editor and 2016 Australian of the Year Local Hero, Dr Cath Keenan co-founded the organisation alongside Tim Dick.

Dr Keenan put a stop to her career, as she wanted to ensure children’s voices were being heard.

“I think I wanted to open the SSF because I have always loved reading and writing, and know how important it is to help children find their own voice,” she said.

And from that moment, she hasn’t looked back. Since 2012, from their current spot in Redfern, the SSF has enrolled over 10,500 young marginalised people aged from 7-17, to help develop their literacy skills. Dr Keenan predicated that enrollment numbers will only increase.

“While we still work in our heartland of Redfern/Waterloo, we increasingly work in Western Sydney: we're opening a second centre in Parramatta in May 2018 to better service this need. We anticipate we'll be able to see twice as many students in three years' time,” she continued.

All money raised from the exhibition will be used to support the free creative writing and storytelling programs which SSF offer, with Dr Keenan hoping the event will spark discussion about the issue.

“We hope that looking at the pictures will spark discussions about stories, and about the importance of allowing young people to tell the stories that matter to them - and of us listening to them too.”

Although, the silent auction isn’t the only way you can get involved. It only costs $30 to fund a child’s place in one of SSF’s workshops.

A small price to pay for the confidence these kids gain.

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