The Maroondah FReeZA program is designed for young people aged between 15 and 21 years. The program focuses on personal development and group skills through the organisation of all ages live music events.

The program is organised through Maroondah’s Youth Services Team and is jointly funded through Maroondah City Council and the State Government through the Department of Planning and Community Development.

I was asked to officiate the proceedings of the graduation evening and speak about the positive influence the FReeZA program has had on the graduates.

A transcript of the speech I delivered is available below:

In the spirit of Reconciliation, we acknowledge that we are meeting on land for which the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation have been custodians for many centuries, and on land which the Indigenous Australians have performed age old ceremonies.

We, Maroondah City Council, accept, respect and have shared with the Wurundjeri people in their customs of welcome.

The Wurundjeri people support the coming together of all people, respecting their individuality to focus on a unified and cohesive nation.

The Maroondah FReeZA program is about welcoming younger people and coming together to build a sense of community. Please join me in congratulating these participants.

Thank you for your attendance this evening and for being here to congratulate the graduates of the 2008 Maroondah FReeZA program.

Maroondah City Council is very pleased to be able to offer such a comprehensive FReeZA program to the young people in our community, which is funded in partnership with the State Government through the Department of Planning and Community Development.

Being a participant in the FReeZA Group required a significant commitment from members over 12 months. Participants are required to meet for 2.5 hours per week and undertake a number of other jobs as required.

All participants are trained in a broad range of skills including effective communication, meeting structures, networking, professionalism, budgeting and Occupational Health and Safety considerations. Participants have also trained in accredited modules in Music Industry Training.

The FReeZA program provides participants with the opportunity of being involved in all aspects of planning, coordinating and working at the live music events. The group is facilitated by two Youth Program Workers who co-ordinate the program and provide resources and support.

In addition to recognising the young people, I would also like to thank parents, families and friends for encouraging the young people throughout their participation in this program. I recognise that the program is a huge commitment and I thank you for your support.

The participants in the FReeZA program have helped provide a voice for younger people within Maroondah, not just through holding ten music events throughout the year for over 6000 younger people, but also through providing bands with an opportunity to perform at these live music events. Out Loud Audio have organised a number of prominent music events including the Maroondah Festival and the Maroondah Youth Week.

On behalf of Council I would congratulate all of the 2008 Maroondah FReeZA Group participants, who aptly named themselves Out Loud Audio. You have challenged yourselves immensely over the past 12 months, worked through testing situations, and made some incredible achievements.

Thank you for your interest in Maroondah and its community.

Alex Makin

Alex Makin

Alex Makin is a councillor for the Mullum Ward in the City of Maroondah. Alex has been a councillor since 2005, representing ratepayers, businesses, community groups and residents. I aim to continue making a difference and welcome any thoughts you may have in regard to life, community and business in Maroondah. Phone: (03) 9870 8202 or 0408 311 645 Email: alex@alexmakin.com.au

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