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Theatre-fanatic Kyle Stephens went on a steep learning curve running his theatre company, Kore Productions, following the success of its first musical.
The 19-year-old from Eagle-Vale started Kore Productions this year from his love of theatre and a vision of where it will take him.
“The only way I was going to be able to put on the productions I wanted to see done was by making my own theatre company,” he said.
A bumpy road for Kore Productions’ first show, Keating! The Musical, has been a great learning experience for the amateur-producer.
“I learnt all the things I shouldn’t do with producing,” he joked, adding that the best way to learn is on the job.
“Especially in theatre […] you have to make mistakes in order to learn something.”
The 2011 graduate of Newtown Performing Arts High School splits his time between studying at the Australian Institute of Music and working at Kings Street Theatre.
“I’m really into the productions side of things,” he said.
“But my real passion is to actually be on stage for the productions I put on.”
If Stephens takes anything from his first experience producing, he says it will be his management of money.
“Budgeting is the most important thing,” he said. “You have to know how much everything is going to cost before you go into
Stephens plans to release a Kore Productions magazine three times a year to not only build publicity for the company, but raise money.
Julian Kelijian, audio director for Kore Productions, believes Stephens has what it takes to keep the company alive and growing.
“He has the ambition and the support of a lot of helpful people,” said Julian.
“He wants to establish a name for the company. He wants to be known in the industry.”
Stephens would love to see a flow of regulars for Kore Productions auditions to turn them into stars.
“They can become ‘Kore’ famous,” he said.
Stephens envisions it will take up to two years to build a steady fan base of the company.
Kore Productions will put on its second show, Zombie Prom, in March 2013.
The image of youth is changing and YMCA Youth Parliament is proud to lend a hand to the new face of youth culture.
The NSW Youth Parliament is helping transform a generation with their political ambitions.
The Youth Parliament encourages youths to develop leadership and decision-making skills.
The program puts teenagers in a seat of power to debate their ideas and help ‘pass’ legislation.
Reaching its 12th year, the Parliament finally is gaining more and more publicity.
“It’s taken this long to get the attention of policy-makers, MPs, and media groups to show them what we’ve been doing,” said Beth Laurenson, 21, Task Coordinator for the Youth Parliament.
Laurenson believes the Parliament is a stepping stone for changing the stereotype of youth.
“It’s getting it out there that young people are interested and want to be involved,” she said.
The Youth Parliament is looking to increase its opportunities of showcasing young people.
In the 2011 Youth Parliament sitting, a group of ten youths succeeded in helping reform the Emergency Services legislation.
The Youth Parliament is helping produce new leaders with the skills they need to succeed.
“We’ve had quite a lot of past participants go on and are now staffed in different MPs offices,” she said.
“I think it brings fresh ideas to what’s going on in those offices.”
Laurenson is certain there definitely some future Prime Ministers in the Youth Parliament.
“They probably need a little more life experience before they can get the top job though,” she joked.
Along with the Parliament, Laurenson says student representatives are great for leadership skills.
“Leadership starts small,” said Kieran O’Connor, 20, of the University of Wollongong’s student council.
O’Connor believes there is too much of a stereotype about the younger generation.
“People tend to trivialize the concerns of youth and […] if you paid enough attention, you’ll realise some of them are quite well-read, educated arguments,” he said.
The elected UOW General Representative is realistic about youth involvement.
“It’s a two way street,” he said.
“The youth have to get involved. But someone has to be listening.”
Beth Laurenson recently addressed local teenagers at the Campbelltown Youth Forum, hoping to engage new interest in youth democracy.
Teenagers aged 15 to 18 interested in becoming part of the Youth Parliament can apply for events in 2013.
The Youth Parliament runs two annual Training and Residential camps.
The Training camp will run from April 19th to 21st while the Residential camp will run from June 30th until July 6th.
Listen to Member of the Legislative Council, the Honorary Sophie Cotsis, speak about her thoughts on the Youth Parliament and its participants.
Smokers may not be ready to farewell their addictions when plain packet packaging laws are introduced in Australia this year.
The newest method to deter smokers was approved by the High Court on August 15 and will come into effect by December.
Mr Stafford Sanders of Action on Smoking and Health believes plain packet packaging is a stepping stone to reducing smoking rates.
“The tobacco industries have used words and colours to create the false impression for smokers that certain brands are safer,” he said.
“This will stop deceptive packaging and remove the positive associations.”
The newest legislation will ban commercial logos, forcing cigarettes to be sold in pain green packets.
While brand names will be printed in a standard font and size, large health warnings will dominate the packaging.
“Previously health warnings would blend into the packets,” said Sanders.
“Plain packaging will focus more on what is inside the packet than what is on it.”
While Mr Sanders is certain the new packaging will “deglamourize cigarettes in the eyes of young smokers”, youths dealing with addictions aren’t as confident.
Adara Enthaler, 18, believes the new packaging will only aid young smokers in concealing cigarettes.
“It might not stop kids,” she said.
“If it’s just a plain packet, it won’t be as noticeable.”
The university student says smoking should be a personal choice, regardless of deterrence methods.
“I don’t think you can tell someone to stop smoking,” she said.
“It’s not always a great idea, but I don’t think anyone should be judged for smoking.”
Studies from Action on Smoking and Health Australia indicates tobacco kills approximately 15 000 Australians per year.
The 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey exposed 15 per cent of Australians were current daily smokers.
Enthaler admits in the past, health warnings have had an effect.
“I’m more aware [of health issues],” she said, adding that she smokes less.
However Ally Poultney, 18, says her smoking is an addiction.
“To truly understand how difficult it is living with an addiction, you have to be in the position of having an addiction,” she said.
Although aware of health risks, Poultney says her smoking a form of stress relief.
“It’s a kind of therapy,” she said, adding that it helps calm her down.
“I’ll definitely smoke more and feel more satisfied if I’m upset of stressed.”
Australia will see the full effects plain packet packaging have on smoking habits once they are nationally available.
The Australian Health Survey will continue to address the risk of smoking to people’s health.
The survey will run until 2013, providing a better understanding of current health in Australia.
It will address those at risk from smoking aims to estimate the prevalence of active and passive smoking.