Bright ideas and new connections abound at the 2023 Youth Fest in the West

Bright ideas and new connections abound at the 2023 Youth Fest in the West

23 August 2023

Orygen was thrilled to bring this year’s Youth Fest in the West to life, in partnership with the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation on Friday 18 August.

Focused on celebrating and connecting youth from across the west of Melbourne and Victoria, the expo featured over 40 community stalls and empowered young people to learn about the supports available in their local area.

The event also spotlighted an expert panel of guest speakers, including Orygen Digital Youth Participation Project Officer Shona Louis, for an important conversation about youth mental health and wellbeing. Also in attendance was Member for Footscray, Katie Hall MP, and Member for Melton, Steve McGhie MP.

It was fantastic to connect with hundreds of vibrant young people on the day, and to be part of such an amazing showcase of community organisations and leaders.


Some of the event’s guest speakers and organisers, including (L-R): Mental health advocate and former AFL player Tom Boyd; Orygen Global’s Nataya Branjerdporn; Orygen’s Chief of Knowledge Translation, Professor Rosie Purcell; Life Saving Victoria representative Calden Lyons; UNICEF Young Ambassador Jahin Tanvir; State Member for Footscray Katie Hall MP; Shona Louis, Youth Participation Program Coordinator at Orygen Digital; WBCF Bark for Youth Participant Caitlin Benjamin; and Kashif Bouns, GM Community & Government relations at WBCF.

L-R: State Member for Melton Steve McGhie MP, Orygen’s Executive Director Professor Patrick McGorry AO, and Hannah Singleton from the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation.

Representatives from commUnity+, a multi-disciplinary community engagement and support organisation, in conversation with young people at the expo.

Katie Hall MP, State Member for Footscray, addresses attendees ahead of the panel discussion.

Professor Rosie Purcell, Orygen’s Chief of Knowledge Translation and the champion of our partnership with the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation, beside the club’s mascot.