Bridging the gap through photography

STUDENT EXHIBITION: Kairos Community College student Joe Stephens has taken part in the National Youth Week Photo Challenge Competition.
STUDENT EXHIBITION: Kairos Community College student Joe Stephens has taken part in the National Youth Week Photo Challenge Competition. Rachel Lang

BASKETBALL is a way of bridging the cultural gap for Joe Stevens.

So when Joe, a student at Kairos Community College in Deception Bay, decided to take part in a photo project to show what his community meant to him, basketball was the clear choice.

"There's always basketball games on in Deception Bay," he said.

"I'm a sporty person and all different cultures come around and a lot of Aboriginal people come around.

Joe with his framed photo.
Joe with his framed photo. Rachel Lang

"Basketball gets everyone to come out and connect instead of sitting at home doing nothing."

The 18-year-old indigenous student said he took on the extracurricular project to expand his photography skills.

"I didn't really know how to use a camera and they were offering to teach us how to do cool little things with the cameras," he said.

"I thought it would be a good experience to take a photo and show that you shouldn't be racist to other cultures and to get in there and have a crack."

His work, along with nine other students from the community college, was submitted into the National Youth Week Photo Competition and will be on display at the National Youth Week launch event in Brisbane.

Kairos Community College is an independent, special assistance school that helps young people aiming to complete Years 10-12 who have disengaged from mainstream schooling.

Kairos teachers Emma Burridge and Mary-Ann Caslin worked with their 10 students to complete the project.

"They've really taken it on board, they're really engaged with the project," Mrs Caslin.

Joe with his teachers Emma Burridge and Mary-Ann Caslin, who worked on the project with the students.
Joe with his teachers Emma Burridge and Mary-Ann Caslin, who worked on the project with the students. Rachel Lang

"Our students had to take one photograph that expressed what it meant to be bold, be brave and be you - that's the theme of National Youth Week.

"We're looking at Deception Bay and their assignment is why Deception Bay is a wonderful place to live."

Soroptimist International Morton North former president Marney Perna said her community group assisted the college by hosting a photography workshop thanks to a $1000 grant from the PCYC.

"We're a group of volunteers who donate our time and services ... if we can empower our youth to verbalise what they're needing then education is key to getting ahead," she said.

"We should be encouraging confidence in our youth."

The grant was also used to frame the students' photos.

Topics:  deception bay indigeneous kairos community college national youth week photograhy

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