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The City of Whyalla and its Youth Advisory Committee has secured $7300 for a new feature on the foreshore

The City of Whyalla continues to lead the way in providing a fully inclusive community.

In the latest win for the city, Council and its Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) has been awarded $7300 from the Country Arts SA Regional Arts Step out Funding program for an inclusive seating project at the foreshore.

YAC has called it the Front and Centre project which will create seating that has a space in the middle for people with mobility issues. It will allow those in wheelchairs, gophers or other walking aids to be included in the conversation, activities and enjoyment at a public facility.

The concept was put forward by YAC members Cyanne and Zia Westerman following public consultation leading up to the Whyalla International People with Disability Day (IDPwD) in December last year. The funding application was put together by Council Youth Development Officer Gail Rostig, Arts and Cultural Facilitator Deb Hughes and YAC.

“We wanted to include an artistic component to the IDPwD last year but we weren’t successful in that round of funding,” Gail said.

“From the public consultation process, seating was one the ideas put forward and developed by Cyanne and Zia into the inclusive design. We put another funding application in and were successful.”

With the help of consulting artist Karen Carr, the YAC and Deb Hughes will conduct a series of workshops to build the inclusive mosaic seating structure. The seating will be built to complement the new Whyalla jetty which also has some innovative plans to cater for people living with a disability.

YAC is now aiming to have the seating completed by this year’s International People with a Disability Day on December 3. It is envisaged it will be a semi-circle design with a space in the middle for wheelchairs, gophers or other walking aids.

“Most of the time people with mobility issues are stuck on the end of tables, or away from the main seating areas and other people,” Gail said.

“This concept gives complete inclusivity to everyone and allows those with a mobility issues to be physically part of the group.”

Council and YAC will be involving the community with its workshops to build the seating while also consulting with agencies such as Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management as they pursue a coastal theme for the artwork-styled seating.

“This is the beauty of this project … it is inclusive for everyone,” Gail said.

“It is an exciting project initiated by YAC with ownership for so many people in Whyalla.”

The dates for the seating workshops are now being finalised and will advertised on this website and in the community.

The Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund will provide more than $146,047 to support 15 new projects by more than 50 artists and arts workers across regional South Australia.

The Regional Arts Fund is administered on behalf of the Australian Government by Regional Arts Australia and its member organisations which include Country Arts SA. The next funding round closes on 15 August 2018 for projects that commence after 1 January 2019. For more information about the Regional Arts Fund visit www.countryarts.org.au

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