ST Vincent de Paul Society NSW Ability Links coordinator Debbie Camps has extolled the virtues of the participants in the Everyone, Accept, Include poetry and video competition.
Students from Muswellbrook High, St Joseph’s High Aberdeen, Scone High, Merriwa Central and Scone Grammar schools were invited to create a poem, rap song or selfie video that reflected the theme of inclusion.
And, on Monday, the standouts received many plaudits at the Muswellbrook Library.
“The quality of entries was spectacular,” Ms Camps said.
“But, even more importantly, they all portrayed a very powerful message about inclusion, acceptance and diversity.
“Don’t underestimate the power of using art to communicate and even bring positive changes.
“Entries included poetry, rap and video scripts covering topics including acceptance, bullying, mental health, racism, discrimination and describing how it feels to not be accepted.”
Ms Camps said Muswellbrook artist Andrew Davis founded the competition, allowing Ability Links to coordinate Everyone, Accept, Include within the schools of the area.
“We knew that there would be some young people in our community who would relate to the topic and thought this was a great opportunity to give them a voice,” she explained.
“Ability Links assists people with disabilities, their families and carers with whatever their goals are within the community – and to break down some of the barriers to inclusion for people with disabilities.
“We also work with residents in regards to education.
“We help them to make changes, where needed, to be inclusive such as ramps and disability awareness training, for example.
“Everyone, Accept, Include has essentially given us a voice, too.”