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Casey resident wins ABC youth storytelling competition

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Endeavour Hills resident Nyarath has been selected as a winner in the ABC’s 2021 Takeover Melbourne competition, which showcases the brightest young storytellers from across greater Melbourne.

Earlier this year, the ABC invited young Melbournians, aged 12 to 18 years, to share their experiences, challenges and passions by entering the Takeover Melbourne competition. This year’s entries, which must tell a true story about an aspect of the entrant’s life, ranged widely in topics and show a diverse and multicultural Melbourne.

Nyarath’s entry tells her story as “the oldest in a South Sudanese family of six living in a predominantly white neighbourhood” and how venturing into performing her written poetry aloud in front of live audiences helped her to feel seen and heard.

In her story, Nyarath speaks of her pride in her cultural heritage. But she also writes of her fear to speak out, due to English being her second language and because of negative racial stereotyping.

Thankfully, on entering a spoken word workshop and then winning a slam poetry competition, Nyarath felt that the experience “freed the weight of words from (her) soul”.

City of Casey Chair of Administrators, Noelene Duff PSM congratulated Nyarath on her win and acknowledged her courage in speaking her truth out loud.

“It can be daunting to stand in front of people to tell your own authentic story and to do so in a language other than one’s first deserves even greater recognition.

“Nyarath’s creativity and leadership show the diversity of the Casey community, and it is great to see that safe spaces are being created for everyone to freely tell their own unique stories.”

As a winner in the competition, Nyarath enjoys the opportunity to tell her story through the ABC’s national platform, in written, audio and visual mediums. You can read more and hear Nyarath speak about her experiences at the ABC’s Takeover Melbourne website.

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