b'want but what the young people in the west are sayingfor SVP assistance. Ive been an artist my whole life and and that changes all the time too, so its about beingthis is the first job Ive had where Im in an office, she responsive to the changing needs of the young people. reflected. SVP are really helping us manage our core team, and theyre helping come up with ways to create Penny is about to move into the role of Executive Director,a really sustainable business plan and strategy. Theyre having been the Co-Artistic Director and CEO, alongsidehelping us with our governance, management, business; Tariro Mavondo, who after two years of securing WEYAshelping us dream bigger and have big clear achievable future is ready for a new chapter overseas. Penny admitssteps so we can achieve them.WEYAs COVID-affected 2021 might have even been harder than the first year of pandemic life. Like most companies,And what are those steps? Penny is adamant that she only WEYA had pivoted in 2020 to move its work online, trainingneeds to listen to Western Edges community to find out. lead artists and supporting artists in online child safety,Its not even about empowering young people, because and other necessities, while inventing new online streamsthey already have power actually, she said. They know of creativity from anthology writing to iPhone film making,who they are, they know what theyre doing, they know animation and home-based activities.whats cool, or not. They know when people are talking down to them or a situation is unsafe; thats actually very But in 2021, the energy started to fade across theclear. What they need is for organisations or structures community and WEYA felt it too.Programs had to adaptaround them to be safe, and to listen to what they want for waning attention spans and motivation. Penny said,and with that information, go about partnering up with The aim this year became not so much to have outcomes,others, creating plans around them to actually make it it was to keep people connected, and if that meant a 10- happen. Weve worked hard to get away from language like week program got changed into three half-day onlinevulnerable because a lot of the young people we work parties, thats what we changed it to. with are powerful and they kind of just need people to step The Newsboys Foundation played a major role in Pennyback a bit and let them talk. being able to act on the changing lockdown landscape ofThey are the future, they know it, they are the future of her cohort by diverting funds into training and other workart in this country. It always comes from young people, to make sure the companys artists and participants feltit always comes from the new wave coming through, safe, supported and upskilled.and I think Melbournes west is the most exciting place Behind the scenes, the Newsboys Foundation was alsoto be looking for future artists, whether that be writers, quietly helping Western Edge transform into a moredirectors, actors, administrators, leaders, advocates. robust, mature, structured entity, capable of long- They know how to speak truth to power really clearly, and term survival, broader fund raising and sophisticatedcreatively. I learn so much every day just from sitting in a management. At one point, Newsboys support literallyroom with them and asking them: Whats up?included putting a roof over Western Edges head after the organisation was forced to leave its previous base at shortNick Placenotice for the safety of participants and staff. WEYA moved into Newsboys South Melbourne office for six months before becoming resident company within Newports Sub-Station development. A priority is for Penny to find a permanent home in the west for the company.The time in the Newsboys office led to other connections that WEYA might not have otherwise discovered. Newsboys CEO Sandy Shaw introduced Penny to Social Venture Partners Melbourne, and she was invited to apply NEWSBOYS FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT 202111'