Established in the 1950s, Noweyung is well and truly a stalwart of the East Gippsland community. Throughout the years and their many positive projects, Noweyung has been pivotal by focusing on people’s abilities, then providing additional opportunities for them to develop further and excel.
The Noweyung team have many industrious outlets; with their Cells Café in Bairnsdale, award-winning Banksia Fine Foods, Happy Mugs and Ace Maintenance, they’re never sitting still! Thankfully, a collection of Noweyung’s members made some time to chat with Gippslandia’s Kate Butler and share what they love about the centre that encourages them to learn, create and contribute.
Priscilla from The Colour Gang
Please tell me about The Colour Gang—it sounds like heaps of fun!
I love going to The Colour Gang to learn how to do my artwork. I love tracing the pictures and then painting them. My favourite part is getting to mix my own colours.
When did you first become involved in The Colour Gang?
I can’t really remember, but I think I started with the group about five years ago, and I want to keep going for a long time because I enjoy it and get to do it with my friends.
What is your favourite thing about The Colour Gang?
I love getting the chance to put my ideas onto a canvas. I enjoy painting pictures of the Great Barrier Reef, because I like nature, and Dr Who, because it’s one of my favourite TV shows.
Why do you call it ‘The Colour Gang’?
It’s because we mainly like to use bright colours, as they make us feel happy; they’re eye-catching and fun.
How would you describe the art you create?
It’s fun and bright. It shows who I am and how I feel. I express my feelings through my artwork and that makes me happy.
What inspires your art?
The bright colours I see [around me]. I get my ideas from pictures, nature and animals.
What’s the best thing you have done with The Colour Gang so far?
Learning new skills, like how to trace and draw. I then colour in my ideas with the colours that I’ve mixed up. I really like having exhibitions—that’s probably the best bit!
Bethany is undertaking the Literacy and Numeracy and Money Matters courses
Tell me about the programs you are involved in.
I take the Money Matters course and Literacy and Numeracy, where I learn how to read and write, as well as some communication skills.
What life skills do you learn through these courses, and which of these skills are you most proud of?
Money Matters teaches me how to manage, add up and use my money. It teaches me how to budget and buy things that I like or need. My numeracy [is the skill I’m most proud of], I like doing it and I think I’m good at it.
How does this program help you at home?
It helps me learn to read. I like reading my books at home. The Money Matters course helps me understand money and be able to go shopping.
Clancy is a member of the Digital Literacy Group.
How long have you been involved in the Digital Literacy Group and what do you do there?
I started in the group at the beginning of this year. I learn how to make 2D games and work with graphics. Hopefully, we’ll get to do virtual reality soon as well.
What is your favourite part of the program?
Learning new skills, particularly the games I get to make, like mazes.
Are you a computer whiz now?
Yes. But I was already good with computers before and one day would like to work in IT.
Sharni has completed the hospitality course and is now working in Noweyung’s Cells Café.
Do you work front of house or in the kitchen?
I work out the front, taking customers their food, clearing the tables and doing dishes.
What skills have you learnt from working there?
It helps me talk to people and learn cooking and food and knife safety.
What do you enjoy most about the hospitality course?
I like doing the paperwork and cooking new things.
How has the Cells Café made a difference in your life?
It helps me talk and make friends, and it helps me earn money by working there.
What menu item would you recommend?
The chicken burger is my favourite and the chips. The manager, Jada, gave me some passionfruit cheesecake to try and it was really yummy.
Adam does a few programs, but he loves the music program the most.
How long have you been doing the music program for?
I started the program at Noweyung just over six months ago and I’m really enjoying it so far.
What’s your favourite instrument?
I like all the instruments, but I especially like the guitar. I’m good at playing the guitar and enjoy it.
How has the program helped you learn it?
I use my iPad a lot to learn different songs and I teach myself in my spare time using the apps.
Would you like to be in the music industry?
Yes. I do my own YouTube videos and have my own channel. I would like to upload some of my music to the channel eventually.
Who is your favourite band and why?
I like a lot of bands and different types of music, but my favourite [band] is Ashes Remain
and their song ‘On My Own’.
Sebastian is the feature image (top) and Mitch is using the virtual reality headset (below).