Program Structure

Messengers has a number of core groups that run in line with government school Terms. These groups run at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre in an art workshop space which can accommodate a wide range of artistic endeavours. The program offers an outreach service where staff will attend schools to facilitate groups to support young people and to introduce them to the program. Engagement with non-government and government organisations and institutions is fostered to encourage collaboration and coordination of care for young people. The program has an open referral process and accepts referrals from schools, community organisations, private professionals, parents, carers and young people themselves. Referrals are accepted throughout the year and participants can begin the program at any time.  

Term Programs

Messengers offers weekly groups focusing on delivering a visual arts program during the school Term. The program’s target age range is between 9 and 25 years old. The breadth of ages is managed through groups which have specific age ranges which are: 9-13 years old, 13-18 years old and 18-25 years old. Messengers has flexibility in which age is appropriate for which group given capacity and maturity. Messengers is offered to young people who require support for a variety of different reasons, predominately those who are experiencing early signs of anxiety, depression, self-harm and other mental health issues. These reasons may be paired with a disability or diagnosis. The program aims to improve social and psychological wellbeing and re-connect young people with education and their community. The sessions run for 2 hours for 13-25 years age range and 1.5 hours for the 9-13 years age range. Groups range in size from 8 – 14 participants. Regular attendance can have a strong and positive impact on participants which increases with long-term and consistent engagement.

Messengers employs a team of professionals with a unique skillset in both the arts and youth engagement. Professional artists together with youth support workers provide excellent group work facilitation and encourage participants to approach the challenges they face in creative and positive ways. More recently tutors have been upskilled in trauma informed practice and mental health first-aid. Artists create fun and engaging projects that develop participants’ creativity, knowledge and practical skills. Youth Support Workers facilitate social cohesion, positive group dynamics and support young people to achieve their goals. Staff can also provide individualized case work where necessary. The program also employs peer mentors, who have been participants of the program and have a demonstrated skills in arts and youth engagement.