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Young Changemakers: Drama Workshops for Disadvantaged Youth

Young Changemakers: Drama Workshops for Disadvantaged Youth

We want to ensure the sustainability of our Young Changemakers program of free inclusive drama workshops and grow it even further. We believe nobody should be exclud...

australia > VIC > metro
01/07/2024 > 30/06/2025


  • Arts & Culture
  • Education & Training


  • Young people (6-25)
  • People experiencing socio-economic disadvantage or vulnerability


We want to ensure the sustainability of our Young Changemakers program of free inclusive drama workshops and grow it even further. We believe nobody should be excluded from the creative experience and everyone should be able to express themselves regardless of disability, neurodivergence, learning challenges, cultural and linguistic difference, economic difficulty, gender diversity and sexual identity. Young Changemakers makes this possible.

Since 1980 many generations of Melbourne’s children and teenagers have participated in our celebrated drama workshops program, which has enriched their everyday lives, developed life skills, and impacted their choice of future careers. Our workshop artists are professional practising artists with a passion for collaborating and creating original work with young people. Our lead workshop artists are supported by inclusion artists to ensure all the children can participate and benefit from the program fully.

We currently offer the Young Changemakers program to 9-12-year-olds in some of the most socioeconomically disadvantaged areas of Melbourne where children have access barriers to creative learning opportunities. Many come from vulnerable communities, lower socioeconomic backgrounds, are recent migrants and refugees, from culturally diverse backgrounds or dealing with family violence and neglect. They may have limited access to some of the positive outcomes that community engagement, founded in education and creative expression, can provide.

We also run paid workshop programs in South Yarra and Northcote, and through Young Changemakers we are striving to continue and expand our capacity to provide partial and full scholarships to young people who otherwise would not be able to participate.


The main intended outcome is to increase the number of scholarships we can provide each year to include more children and young people who otherwise would not have the means to attend regular drama workshops. Another outcome will be to then ensure the participants with scholarships are seamlessly included in all aspects of the workshops, including performance outcomes.

The Australian Education Review reports: 'young people whose learning is embedded in the Arts achieve better grades, and overall test scores, are less likely to leave school early, rarely report boredom and have a more positive self-concept than those that are deprived of arts experiences.'
Therefore, we wish to maintain ongoing, consistent delivery of the program to achieve:
- Increased self-confidence,
- Increased creative skills and learning,
- Increased sense of belonging,
- Increased community inclusion,
- Improved engagement in school,
- Increased resilience,
- Increased sense of self-worth,
- Increased aspirations, reflected in positive developments in hopes and plans for the future.

These outcomes will be evaluated through self-reporting measurement tools as interviews with participants and parents, and observations made by workshop artists. Further outcomes will be the participation of new students and their families and friends in the end-of-the-year presentation, by bringing them together with people that they might not be able to share common goals and celebrations in other aspects of their everyday lives.



Established in 1980, St Martins' mission is to invest in artists, new ideas and beautiful artistic outcomes created in collaboration with children, through the presentation of a rich and diverse program of performance works, the delivery of inclusive workshops for young people, and by providing an exciting place to explore creativity for young people, presenters, and audiences.

St Martins has in integral role in the Victorian artistic sector in training, supporting, and collaborating with young artists who go on to emerge as professional artists and arts workers in the industry. Participation in our workshops and productions provides a creative framework that inspires creative thinkers, leaders, and innovators in any field.

We offer the following:
- Creative Program: Making exceptional artworks in a collaboration between young people and professional artists for adult and intergenerational audiences.
- Workshops Program: Providing inspirational creative workshops for 5–18-year-old young people across multiple sites in Melbourne that offer them a safe, inclusive place from which to imagine, grow, make art, and perform.
- Participation and Performance Hub: Operating an economically sustainable hub for independent arts and community with our gathering, rehearsal, and performance spaces.

We are seeking to build key relationships that consolidate the company, allowing us to invest in our people and the strength of the company through growing our relationships. Our strength in inclusive practice has made us haven for young people during and post the pandemic.
We strive to be inclusive, civically minded and socially engaged, and to embody these tenets through all our actions.


TOTAL BUDGET: $127,654
Funding sourceAmount
Plus1 (confirmed)$50,000
Personal donations (unconfirmed)$22,654
City of Melbourne (unconfirmed)$10,000
City of Greater Dandenong (unconfirmed)$5,000
Funding Gap (unconfirmed)$40,000
Expense itemAmount
Project management$29,770
Workshop Artists$77,706
Workshop supplies$893
Sound and light hire$4,500
Costumes, sets and props$5,400
Theatre hire$1,000
Ground travel$1,000
Photography/video documentation$1,800

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