Parramatta prepares to celebrate Youth Week

The City of Parramatta will launch a new augmented reality (AR) mural, host a series of youth workshops and performances, and run a writing competition to celebrate Youth Week in NSW.

The celebrations will kick off on Friday 12 April with Council and Youth Action’s unveiling of a 24-metre long mural in Rivoli Way.

City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Andrew Wilson said the mural had added a great vibrancy to the lane and was a great way to highlight the stories of our younger generation.

“Council is committed to building a City that welcomes people of all ages. This mural has brightened the lane, and made it an interactive destination. It reflects the vitality of both our young people and the region,” Cr Wilson said.

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The mural titled ‘Beyond Stereotypes’, a collaboration between City of Parramatta Council and Youth Action, features the faces of seven young women from Western Sydney, and comes alive with text and video after users download a smartphone app. Youth Action Chief Executive Officer Katie Acheson said young people made the community thrive in Western Sydney.

“Young people are at the forefront of changing stereotypes in the region and acting to make an equitable society. This mural is the embodiment of their vision for their community and the Western Sydney they are a part of.”

Conceived as part of a two-year project by NSW’s Youth Action – a peak body supporting 1.4 million young people across the state – the mural became a reality with Council’s support and was painted by street artist Inovis.

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Created in October last year to coincide with the City’s Parramatta Lanes festival, the mural’s AR app will be unveiled at Friday’s launch. Council’s contribution to the mural was made possible through a grant provided by the NSW Attorney General’s Department.

People can bring the mural alive by downloading the Beyond Stereotypes app and pointing the phone at the women’s faces. Audio and text about people, place, culture and community in Western Sydney then appear on the phone’s screen. The app also links to Youth Action’s Beyond Stereotypes report, City of Parramatta’s Discover Parramatta website, and local youth services.

Imagine Room Founder Paul Willey, whose company developed the app, said he was honoured to bring the mural to life.

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“Rarely has there been a more important time to tell stories of inclusion and diversity. AR is the perfect medium to amplify this, giving an immersive and engaged voice to the next generation of community leaders.”