Young people get it. Their grasp on social justice, equality and diversity is truly inspiring and nowhere was it more obvious than at Addi Road’s ARTivate youth festival, bringing together art and activism for a weekend packed with poetry and postcards, sketching, drawing, live music, good food and of course a dog or two.

With the wet weather forcing everyone inside, the Gumbramorra hall became super cosy with good vibes, cool acoustics and every table – and floor – covered in paper, paints, pens and pencils with zines, postcards and block out poetry being made and shared.

The Acknowledgement of Country by Siupeli from the Gadigal Centre at the University of Sydney had everyone spellbound with the most beautiful version of the Seekers classic “I am Australian” sung in Kala Lagaw Ya… and the informal chat that followed covered a range of topics including identity, the referendum, and the importance of learning from each other and talking together. It was as gracious as it was informative, and it set the tone for the activities to follow.



ARTivate inside Addi Road's Gumbramorra Hall. Photo Georgie Oakeshott.

ARTivate inside Addi Road’s Gumbramorra Hall


One of the busiest tables was  “Flood the Post” with mailing labels on hand for postcards to be made and sent to a range of political leaders; there was even a watermelon mailbox; on the floor, pages of text from a variety of magazines and books were being turned into art thanks to Blackout Poetry;  there were also zines being created, and up on stage, sunny Solaris was handing out pens and paper and an abundance of encouragement because “everyone can draw” even when they think they can’t.

With so much going on, the BBQ lunch provided much needed sustenance, and the comfy couches some time to chill and enjoy the live sets and important conversations thanks to Laurie, Lexi, and Erin.


Story and Photos by Georgie Oakeshott


NOTES of thanks from Addi Road

Huge congratulations to Wallis and Amal for their monumental efforts pulling the event together and making it such a success.

Our Addi Road community is always better for having young people involved, demonstrating their values, connecting with each other, making art, taking action and keeping it real.

Artivate was supported by Inner West Council in partnership with Addi Road.

It took place as a part of the NSW Government’s Youth Week 2024 under its theme: ‘Express. Empower. Get loud!’



ARTivate at Addi Road