Youth Week in the City launches today

Youth Week in the City launches today

Youth Week in the City kicks off today with the launch of a special booklet featuring stories by young people about the meanings of their names, published by the City of Sydney.

The What’s in Your Name? project invited 12 to 24-year-old residents to share the reasons why they were given their name, and how it reflected their identity, religion, culture, family or heritage. Copies of the book will be made available to local schools.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said it was a moving portrait of Sydney’s many cultures and nationalities.

“The project shows the richness of our young peoples’ experiences and reflects their diverse backgrounds and family histories,” the Lord Mayor said.

“It also provides a great insight into how name-giving practices vary from culture to culture.”

The project was a joint initiative between the City, Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW and Pride in Colour, and aimed to encourage greater communication between different generations within families.

Young people were encouraged to ask their parents, carers, or older family members about where their names originated. We particularly encouraged young people from diverse backgrounds to share their stories.

The City received more than 120 submissions and selected 45 to be published.

Some stories are full of joy and a sense of adventure, while others highlight the many challenges faced by young people, such as bullying, racism, homophobia, peer pressure and even war.

Isabella Pak, 14, is lucky enough to have two cultures within her name: an English first name and surname, as well as a Chinese middle name, Jun Ning.

“Names mean quite a lot in Chinese culture. More than English names, Chinese names must have a meaning,” Isabella writes.

“I was a 1998 baby: Year of the Tiger. Hence the second character in my Chinese name: ‘jun’ means ‘lord’ or ‘leader’ . . . my name concludes with the character ‘ning’, meaning peace.”

Thirteen-year-old Mirima Goldman was named after the Aboriginal land around Kununurra, Western Australia, and said she was always happy to return to the area.

“I am a bit of a celebrity there: who would ever name their white child after Aboriginal land?,” Mirima writes.

“Mirima means ‘spring’, a natural waterhole, in the Miriwoong language. Whenever I am up north around Mirima land, my favourite thing to do is go to a natural spring and swim in the fresh water.

“I was christened with two other Aboriginal children in Mirima Reserve. My parents say I was unofficially ‘sung’ by these old ladies. I wonder if that is the reason that whenever I return to the country, I feel right at home.”

The project was developed following the ‘Growing the Family Tree’ forum, at NSW Parliament House in May last year, which generated awareness of the issues important to multicultural communities and families.

The project was also inspired by three students from Moriah College in Sydney who presented a similar idea, ‘What’s in a Name?’ at the NSW launch of the Federal Parliamentary Friends of Multiculturalism last year.

To download the book, visit

For more information and a full program of events, visit or

Highlights of Youth Week in the City, from 5-14 April, include:


Tuesday 9 April 2013


Betty Makin Youth Awards

University of Sydney, The Refectory, Holme Building, Science Road, Camperdown

These annual awards recognise and reward the achievements of young people aged 12 to 24 and includes four categories: Contribution to the community; Environmental sustainability initiative; Creativity, arts and culture; and Young entrepreneur. All nominees will be presented with an award and two $500 scholarships will be awarded to individuals or groups to help them achieve their goals. There is also two awards for a local youth worker and police officer. The awards are named after the late Betty Makin, a dedicated community leader and activist based in Redfern.

Free. Bookings essential by 29 March 2013 on 02 8512 8771 or email


Saturday 6 April 2013


‘Centre Stage’ under-18s dance party

The Lair, Metro Theatre, 624 George Street, Sydney

Don’t miss this exclusively under-18s block party, which will kick start the City of Sydney’s Youth Week in the City celebrations 2013.

Held in the intimate, underground dance venue, The Lair, ‘Centre Stage’ will host a variety of live acts, including X-Factor Australia stars, Young Men’s Society, R&B soul crooner Mike Champion, urban dance champions Royalty Dance Crew and grime-pop specialist DJ Morphingaz. Also be inspired by performances from local emerging acts MC Dazzle, Ozone and MajikHoney. This is a drug- and alcohol-free event. No pass outs. Full security.

Pre-sale tickets $10, for more information, visit


5-24 April 2013

smart ARTS 2013 mini-fest

Pine Street Creative Arts Centre, 64 Pine Street, Chippendale

smart ARTS 2013 mini-fest is here!  Held over Youth Week in the City, smart ARTS showcases the creative talents and initiatives of young people aged 15-26.

The mini-festival features a launch party, art exhibition and free workshops.
Free. For more information visit, or


Living in Harmony highlights include:


Friday 5 April to Sunday 7 April


Holi Mahotsav

Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour

This three-day festival of performances brings together a diverse section of the Sydney community to celebrate harmony, friendship and colour.

Free. Bookings not required.


Popcorn Youth Film Feast

Enjoy films made or inspired by young people, documentaries with sustainability themes and fun activities accompanied by free popcorn.

Monday 15 April


Redfern Community Centre

29-53 Hugo Street, Redfern

This all-day youth-focused film festival will feature screenings of local and international short films, documentaries and features.

Free. Bookings essential on 02 9288 5715 or


For media enquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Jodie Minus phone 0467 803 815 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Matt Levinson on 0427 044 768 or email