Holiday Break grants deliver free creative workshops for young people in regional NSW


Young people in regional NSW will enjoy free cultural, creative and performing arts workshops during the upcoming Spring and Summer holidays, through the NSW Government’s Holiday Break Program.

Thirty-one workshop providers will share in $680,000 to deliver inspiring programs from Bega to Byron Bay and Broken Hill, providing young people (aged 12-24yrs) with opportunities to learn new skills, express themselves through performing and creative arts, and connect with culture.

A wide range of workshops – including dance and physical theatre, drama, storytelling, music, and Aboriginal arts and cultural programs – will take place in 25 towns across regional NSW during the upcoming 2023 NSW Spring holiday (25 September – 6 October 2023) and Summer holiday (20 December 2023 – 29 January 2024) breaks.

Now in its second year, the Create NSW Holiday Break Program, delivered in partnership with the Office of Regional Youth, is designed to increase regional participation in arts and culture and promote equity for all young people in NSW. Since it began the program has engaged hundreds of young people to spark their imagination and express their creativity.

The 2023/24 program includes $200,000 funding targeted to four Aboriginal creative and cultural programs, to strengthen deep cultural connections between Aboriginal young people and their Elders and cultural knowledge holders and to keep culture strong in communities.

Minister for the Arts John Graham said:

“It is important the arts are available to everyone, regardless of postcode. The Holiday Break Program is about equity in access to the arts no matter where you live in NSW. These workshops can build confidence and instil a lifelong love of the creative and performing arts.

“Creative expression and connection with culture has a powerful and positive impact on young people. This program has been life changing for young people, giving them access to high-quality creative programs led by professionals, while removing the barriers of access in terms of distance and cost.

Minister for Youth Rose Jackson said:

“The Create NSW program is proudly funded by the NSW Government’s Holiday Break Program, providing young people across regional NSW with opportunities to connect, learn new skills and have fun during the school holidays.

“We know how expensive it can be for parents and carers to find things to do during school breaks so it’s important that the events and activities on offer are free to help ease some of that financial pressure for regional families.”

“The activities are designed to cover a broad range of interests. Every young person in regional NSW should be able to access fun and engaging activities regardless of where they live. We want to help remove barriers for young people in regional locations who want to try new things.”

Holiday Break Program First Nations Projects recipient – Lorrayne Fishenden, Managing Director, 2 Rivers (Project Title: Embracing the Dreamtime) said:

“The funding that has been granted to our team is an incredible opportunity. The programs we will deliver have been designed to help young people explore what it means to be their best selves, with guidance from some of the most inspiring cultural leaders around.

“With figures like Mark Atkins, Buddy Knox, Nardi Simpson, and Nate Weatherall on board, we are confident that the youth who participate in our programs will come away with a newfound appreciation for the arts and a deeper understanding of their own cultural identity.

“Our hope is that this program will be a catalyst for change, inspiring young people to pursue their passions and explore the many different pathways that are available to them. From taster sessions that allow them to dip their toes in the water, to more in-depth workshops and mentoring opportunities, we want to provide a range of options that will help them to grow and develop as artists and individuals. With this funding, we are excited to see what the future holds for our team and the community.”

Holiday Break Program recipient – Jonathan Christley, General Manager, Circus Monoxide (Project Title: Newly Arrived Circus) said:

“Newly arrived migrants and refugees who are learning English often have multiple barriers to participation in the arts. Circus has been used in refugee camps overseas to help young people deal with trauma, frustration, and isolation. Our program aims to provide a positive social experience where they can express themselves through their bodies.

“The Holiday Break Program allows us a fully supported opportunity to engage with newly arrived teenagers and offers them a way to express themselves and develop their skills. We’re delighted to be able to deliver this training through the Holiday Break Program.”

For more information about art and cultural funding opportunities available through Create NSW visit

The 2023/24 Create NSW Holiday Break Program recipients are:

Barwon/Broken Hill/Far West

Spring Holidays

•Broken Hill: Drama Workshops: The House That Dan Built Incorporated – Write It, Sing It, Animate It ($20,000)

Summer Holidays

•Dareton: First Nations Workshops: Barkindji Maraura Elders Environment Team Ltd – BMEET Cultural Arts Youth Program ($50,000)

Central Coast

Summer Holidays

•Gosford – Music Workshops: Central Coast Conservatorium of Music Inc – Music 4 Life Summer Camp ($20,000)

• Wyong – Drama Workshops: Central Coast Arts Limited – Play at The Art House – Holiday Program ($20,000)

Central West

Spring Holidays

•Lithgow – Storytelling Workshops: Blue Mountains Artists Company – Greater Blue Mountains Creative Arts Network Podcasting Workshop ($10,000)

• Mudgee – Storytelling Workshops: Cr Sam Paine – Zine Machine ($10,000)


Spring Holidays

•Lake Macquarie – Drama Workshops: Tantrum Youth Arts Co-op Ltd – Tantrum Youth Arts presents ‘Making Theatre!’ ($20,000)

Summer Holidays

•Lake Macquarie: Dance/Physical Theatre Workshops: Flipside Dance Inc – Next Gen! Youth Program ($20,000)

New England

Summer Holidays

• Tamworth – First Nations Workshops: 2 Rivers Pty Ltd – Embracing the Dreamtime ($50,000)

Northern Rivers/North Coast

Spring Holidays

•Ballina: Storytelling Workshops: Queer Family Inc – Rainbow Creatives Junior ($10,000)

•Byron: Dance/Physical Theatre Workshops: – Spaghetti Circus – Youth Circus Holiday Camp ($20,000)

•Murwillumbah – Music Workshops: Tweed Shire Council – Supertonic Songwriters – growing young contemporary musicians in the Tweed ($20,000)

Summer Holidays

•Murwillumbah: Storytelling workshop – Poets Out Loud SLAM CAMP ($10,000)

• Yamba: Dance workshop – Angourie Dance Youth Project – Angourie Dance Youth Project will present Summer Holiday Program 2024 ($20,000)


Spring Holidays

•Dubbo – Dance Workshops: Dubbo Ballet Studio Spring Workshop ($20,000)

Summer Holidays

•Warrumbungle – Drama Workshops: Orana Arts Inc – Outreach Theatre Camp with ATYP ($20,000)

•Wellington – Music Workshops: Wellington Information and Neighbourhood Services Inc – WINS Youth Songwriting and Recording Project, ($20,000)


Spring Holidays

•Griffith – First Nations Workshops: Griffith Aboriginal Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation – Ngumbaaydyil Spring Holiday Youth Cultural Camp ($50,000)

•Wagga Wagga – Drama Workshops (18-24yrs): Voices of Women – Young Women’s Wollundry Riverina Drama Camp ($20,000)

Summer Holidays

• Wagga Wagga – Dance and Physical Theatre Workshops: Wagga Wagga City Council – Summer Circus Camp ($20,000)

•Albury – First Nations Arts and Cultural workshop – Giilanyaldhaanygalang Pty Ltd – Albury Wodonga First Nations Youth Ngumbaaydyil ($50,000)

Southern Tablelands

Spring Holidays

•Queanbeyan: Dance and Physical Theatre Workshops: High Kix Pty Ltd – Spring in your Step II ($20,000)

Summer Holidays

•Goulburn – Drama Workshops: Goulburn Mulwaree Council – Voices of the Big Empty – Regional Youth Drama Camp ($20,000)

•Yass: Music Workshops: Hume Conservatorium of Music Ltd – Regional Youth Music Workshop & Camp ($20,000)

Southern Highlands/Illawarra

Spring Holidays

•Bowral- Music Workshops: Vocal Muster Academy Ltd – 100% Home Grown Youth – Vocal Muster and Highland FM ($20,000)

•Shellharbour – Dance/Physical Theatre Workshops: Precarious Inc Circus Monoxide – Newly Arrived Circus ($20,000)

Summer Holidays

•Bombaderry – Drama Workshops – Nic Nac Theatre Company (JE Gallenca & AM McDonald) – Acting for Screen ($20,000)

•Bowral: Music Workshops: Music River Road Interactive Learning Pty Ltd – Tune into the Music ($20,000)

South Coast

Spring Holidays

•Bega – Storytelling Workshops: Bega Valley Shire Council – Funhouse Zine Holiday workshops ($10,000)

Summer Holidays

•Bega – Storytelling Workshops: FBi Radio – All The Best Audio Storytelling Workshops ($10,000)

•Bega – Dance/Physical Theatre Workshops: FLING Physical Theatre Inc – FLING Regional Youth Arts Explosion 2024 ($20,000)

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