Mural engages at risk youth

A NEW city art project is giving at-risk youth ownership of public places that have previously been targeted by vandals. 

City of Ballarat Councillor Des Hudson said the new Sebastopol project saw young people help design artwork for an area plagued by graffiti. The project, funded by the department of justice crime prevention grants, aims to inform young people of the impact of vandalism. 

CRIME PREVENTION: Creating community art at vandalism hotspots is key to reducing crime, Cr Des Hudson said. Picture: Lachlan Bence

CRIME PREVENTION: Creating community art at vandalism hotspots is key to reducing crime, Cr Des Hudson said. Picture: Lachlan Bence

“The workshop last weekend was focused on engaging about a dozen young people about the impact of graffiti on our community and the cost to the community in terms of when we have to paint over, repair or replace,” Cr Hudson said. 

“The young people will be working with a couple of noted professional artists who have had significant experience in public art or public art advisory.” 

A design has now been selected which will be approved by key stakeholders before it is created.

“I think the fact that the mural will be created by young people, with the help of a professional artist, will give ownership and a sense of pride to youth. They will think ‘I had a part in that’,” Cr Hudson said. 

A further set of grants, of up to $10,000, are now available to the local community as part of the state government’s $19.4 million investment in the community crime prevention program.

Cr Hudson has urged community groups to come up with innovative ideas to engage young people and apply for the grants, which he says can be key in curbing crime.