BYDS (Bankstown Youth Development Service) and WestWords have partnered to breathe new life into the Westside project.

Westside publications is an initiative that BYDS has undertaken over the last ten years. The aim of Westside has been to showcase and highlight the work of young writers and artists from Western Sydney, of of Australia’s most culturally diverse regions. The artists channel the unique and often misrepresented voice of Sydney’s Western Suburbs.

Filip Stempien, BYDS’ writer in residence, with support from WestWords, has been running workshops at Bankstown Public school with a years 5 and 6 writing group over term 2, 2016. The written work was so strong that there was a desire to have them illustrated. BYDS approached artist Stephanie Peters to run a series of illustration workshops with students to create images to accompany their stories, poems and reflections.

Truth and Mysteries was launched at Bankstown Public School on the 5th December and marks an excellent n an on-going collaboration between BYDS and WestWords.

A telling poem by Hadia Chaudhry that says so much about Bankstown Public School:

IMG_3438We Are Equal
I come from here
You come from there
They come from elsewhere
But we are all equal
No matter from where, who and what we are
Yes we are all equal
I know we are

(photography, BYDS: Kevin Ngo)


Bankstown Public School

As part of a separate project, WestWords have published the work of five young students from Bankstown Public School as an online story map.

It was dead at night.

The wind was whistling, the trees were fighting with the rain and the neighbour’s cat was digging for treasure. Alicia was hypnotized by the continuous cycle. Whish, drip and dig. It just was so mesmerising that Alicia…

To continue reading the work of ten year old Anna, and the work of her classmates, click here.