Hi, my name is Gabriel Collie and I am a key artist on the Barkly Arts Centre team. Every Friday for the last two months I have been part of a collaborative team of organisations WRHC, YSAS, CMY, and AMES to produce a program called Benchmark at 215 Nicholson St, Western Region Health Centre.

We provide a safe space where a diverse range of youth connected to Footscray can access health services whilst enjoying a delicious BBQ, table tennis, music and live entertainment. Freestyle cyphers and dancing is quite regular.

The focus for Barkly Arts is to facilitate opportunities for creative expression through music. We’ve held songwriting sessions and as a group of artists we have collaborated with young people to write a song called “If you could see” and  it is currently in the process of being finished with local Melbourne artist Motley. Our next step is to film a music video clip with a local film crew in Footscray. I am excited and looking forward to the final production of the song and a live showcase performance.

Lately there has been a keen interest from people wanting to learn the guitar and I have offered my services to teach anyone who attends.

I would like to give many thanks to all the staff and organisers with the ongoing support and contribution.

Yours truly,