97. Jamie Anderson

20 Nov

Bringing music production, large-scale events, and social support for young people together, Jamie Anderson’s success story at Banyule Youth Services is like no other. 

Jamie was 15 when he started his journey at Jets Studios, where he participated in the FReeZA music production weekly program.

FReeZA is a government funded scheme that offers young people access to industry standard equipment, resources, and support, to plan and put-on high-end events in their local community.  

Jamie has a strong passion for music and it’s something he loves; he wanted to share this passion with fellow Banyule young people who are wanting to make the same connections through music.

Jamie said that by working at Jets, he saw a pathway whereby he could support other young people, and by using his skills developed through Jets, he could go on to support them further within the areas of music and sound production.

“At my school, I was doing sound production stuff and I got involved in Jets when we were doing some recording for our school, and from there I kept going back and learning more technical skills,” he said.

“I then did some paid work with Jets as well; doing live sound engineering with other staff members, which gave me extra learnings and skills.”

By participating in programs at Jets, Jamie was able to seek other avenues to help support young people and give them access to events that youth innately enjoyed.

While working at Jets, Jamie worked full time at a bank doing operations, but always thought he could be doing more to support young people in his local area.

This led Jamie to apply for the role of Youth Festival Officer; coordinating and running Banyule’s annual youth festival where his passion for live music could flourish.

Youth Fest is an annual event Banyule Youth Services/ Jets Studios runs for the youth of Banyule, the event includes live music across two stages, free wellbeing workshops and initiatives, sports zones, body art, food trucks and large-scale rides. Youth Fest 2022 attracted 6000 people to the all-day event.

“Originally, I was actually working in a bank doing operations stuff and then I was kind of at a point where I didn’t feel like my job was making a difference,” he said.

“The opportunity for the Youth Festival Officer came up, I applied for it, I was a part of Youth Fest in previous years and I also worked at Youth Fest.

“And because it’s a great event, that made me want to pursue running the event this year.”

Jamie said: “there were a few challenges post Covid, but it was the busiest one ever,” with hundreds – if not thousands – attending the event. 

Jamie acknowledges he was able to run the entire event with the help of a dedicated team at Banyule Youth Services.

This opportunity – and his previous opportunity at Jets – gave him the key skills that he now utilises across his young career at Banyule Youth Services.

Although his passions are an intrinsic part of who he is, he also found inspiration in other fields, with Jamie saying that he was inspired by the youth workers around him who continuously make a difference.

“From my experience with youth workers and how they make a difference, they made me look at life in a different way,” Jamie said.

“That’s made me want to stay in this kind of area and support other young people.”

Jamie has set his sights on another project: helping at-risk young people in the weekly New Hope Program to follow their passions, while making meaningful art & music.

The New Hope Program is something that he holds dear to his heart, as it gives at-risk youth the opportunity to express their passions in music and street art in a safe and inclusive environment.

The program aims to help young people use their creativity in a structured and positive outlet – free from negativity and illegality.

Jamie said that this program is the one program that he enjoys the most because it allows him to help young people achieve their goals, and help vulnerable young people harness their creative talents.  

“Outside of Youth Fest, [New Hope] is the one that I still work on – and it’s one of my favourite programs.”

“The New Hope Program, I guess, is the one I enjoy the most because you’ve got young people coming in, learning new skills, and going away with recorded music or new street art skills,” he said.

“They can learn these skills in a safe environment and then take those ‘skills’ out into the public.”

He wants to ensure that young people in his community feel safe and supported.

Jamie is showing no signs of slowing down and has become an inspiring role model to many of Banyule’s young community.

Ultimately, Jamie wants to show vulnerable young people that someone does care about them and their interests, by highlighting that: “their creative interest, like music is not just a passion or hobby, but can be a life.” 

Words: Curtis Baines

Photography: Darcy Scales


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