Outer Urban Projects' Community
Outer Urban Projects is the marriage between a community starved of a creative voice and an organisation committed to providing one. Outer Urban Projects' working map is north of the ‘Bell St Border’ in Melbourne. It covers the far north sections of the five municipalities of Hume, Moreland, Darebin, Whittlesea and Banyule. This region has a high portion of public housing and new housing estates and is often referred to both affectionately and disparagingly as the ‘hardcore north’, the ‘full on north’, the ‘wild north’, the ‘scuzza’ north. The region is enormously rich with artistic and cultural expression but it remains isolated, siloed and at times ghettoised. The issues that many young north siders face are complex and there is a need for Outer Urban Projects to establish itself for the long haul in this ever-expanding low socio economic and hugely culturally diverse region.
Imagine young people in these public and new housing areas in outer urban Broadmeadows, Glenroy, Epping or Cragieburn, whose origins span across five continents, bringing all their life and creative experience into the work, engaging in the most cutting edge experimental collaborative arts practice. Then imagine outer urban family and community audiences together with traditional Melbourne Festival audiences seeing the work for its artistic merit as one would a major company with its latest work from Berlin. Finally, imagine the work coming full circle and returning to the outer North and then onto touring through various urban and regional venues. This is inclusion. This is turning disadvantage around. This is the aspirational goal that OUP sets itself as a new not for profit youth arts organisation: Young people, their families and cultural communities from this outer urban belt, hungry to express their experiences in contemporary forms, collaborating and creating work with the best and presenting in local, state, national and international arenas.
Statistical snapshot of the outer north:
"The average rate of teenage pregnancies of mothers between 15 to 19 years is approximately 45% higher for Hume LGA in comparison to Melbourne."
Source: Hume City Council Young People Profile and Demographics Projected Populations May 27 2009.
A report in February 2013 by Essential Economics commissioned by the consortium of Melbourne’s 10 interface councils paints an alarming picture of Melbourne as two cities in one with the outer rim suburbs inhabited by 50% of the city’s population with only 18% of State government funding allocation.
"During the 2009/10 financial year, over 50% of youth aged 16 to 24 were unemployed across north western Melbourne."
Source -Hume City Council Young People Profile and Demographics Projected Populations May 27 2009.
29.3% of Hume City residents were born overseas with Turkey, Iraq, United Kingdom, Italy, Lebanon, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, India and Malta making up the top 10 countries of over 145 countries of birth. 36.2% residents speak a language other than English at home.
The Department of Human Services website states: “the North and West Metropolitan Region is the most heavily populated of the department’s eight service delivery regions”