11. Ashlea Michau

20 Oct

According to Ashlea Michau, there’s nothing like the thrill of going to see your favourite band and she should know-she’s been seeing live bands play for years. And now Ashlea has made helping youth through the music industry her job.

Ashlea was a high school student at Greensborough College. As a teenager she loved going to concerts to see her favourite bands play. She said “Nothing beats the atmosphere at a live concert.” I asked Ashlea,’ Did you always see yourself working in event management?’ She replied, “No. I once wanted to be a graphic designer.”

Ashlea started volunteering on Banyule’s FReeZA committee, known as FIAB,  in 2006. FReeZA is a Victorian Government program which supports young Victorians to get involved in community life by planning and running drug, smoke and alcohol-free music and cultural events for other young people. The program works with new and upcoming DJ’s and musicians, getting them publicity and opportunities to perform in their local area. FIAB is a group of 8-12 young people who organise events for youth in Banyule , including YouthFest which has been held at Macleod Park for the last two years as part of National Youth Week. Ashlea is the now the leader of FIAB after coming up through the ranks as a volunteer.  At the meetings with the FIAB she really gives her all and tries to get really involved in helping others.

Ashlea works with youth in Banyule on many other levels. As well as working with the FReeZA program, Ashlea works at the YMCA where she has been nominated for YMCA Leadership Awards.  One of her roles at the YMCA is a new project called ‘Moving Together’.

It is a peer support and leadership program for the schools involved with the regeneration in West Heidelberg. Ashlea says that  “Moving Together has been great to be involved with. It has had its challenges along the way but also has been very rewarding and fun as well.” She explained that it is good to listen and support the students. Ashlea has been helping the children go through the process of planning for a series of activities to celebrate the project and the move to the new school campus.

I asked Ashlea what she liked about working with young people. She replied, “I love working with youth. It’s heaps of fun and very rewarding. At times it can be challenging but this is what makes it exciting.”

Words By: Tyson Jardine

Photos by: Sean Porter

© Sean Porter 2011

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