Youthworx is a project of Youth Development Australia, a public benevolent institution created by a group of leading thinkers and practitioners as a platform for change and a way of exploring, developing and trialing innovative youth initiatives.

From day one Youthworx has been fuelled by seeking to have a creative, innovative response to young people experiencing homelessness and disadavantage. All of the outcomes at Youthworx have come from asking the question ‘how do we effectively use creative media production/engagement to transform the life possibilities of the most vulnerable young people?’ In response to this question Youthworx has gone on to establish a sustainable social enterprise model over more than 10 years that seeks to marry the creative with the commercial.

You can learn more about the development and evolution of Youthworx here.


The Youthworx model has a number of key principles that are the foundation of our success in working effectively with the most vulnerable young people within our community. These principles are based around providing an environment conducive to bringing out the best in people by drawing on their creativity and giving them the tools to be articulate in their experience of the world. This is then backed up by providing a pathway into employment within a production business where the creative can become the commercial, where the creative skills can put food on the table.

Some key elements of the Youthworx model are as follows:

  • Capacity for sustained engagement/pathways (12months -2years)
  • Small class size (15-18)
  • Multi layered staffing structure (Teacher, Youth Worker, Industry Professionals and Job Pathways Coordinator)
  • Strengths based approach to learning
  • Studio style collaborative teaching/learning space
  • Inclusive aspirational culture
  • High quality industry standard resources/equipment
  • Teaching (& learning) methodology – competency based assessment, practical hands on learning in a collaborative context with public ‘media’ outcomes
  • Individualised pathway support
  • Creative to commercial – 10 weeks paid industry work experience


Youthworx is made up of a multi-disciplinary team of staff passionate about inclusion and sharing knowledge. Youth Workers, Teachers, Industry Professionals, Community Development Practitioners, Management Staff work alongside Young Producers coming through at a rate of knots who are not only involved in the production of content but also play a key role in organizational decision making and development.

Nicola Innes
Youth Services Manager

Hi, I’m Nicola and I started my community services career volunteering many moons ago. I’ve worked in drug detox, adult refuge, community education and youth services.  I moved to Australia 10 years ago and started at Youthworx in 2012 as the Youth Worker and later became a Senior Youth Worker. I’m now the coordinator for the training and pathways program. This means along with the rest of the team, I look after the accredited training program and oversee open access as well as our new work readiness and pathways initiative currently being developed by our Pathways Worker.

Kate Spear
Pathways Worker
Kate is a teacher and vocational trainer with a long history in the creative arts. She is passionate about film and storytelling and working with young people to get their voices heard. As a re-engagement and pathways worker, Kate strives to facilitate pathways for young people that will enable them to achieve independence and self-fulfillment.
David Mackenzie
Lead Teacher

David is a video artist, freelance filmmaker and media trainer/mentor. He has a Masters degree in Media Arts from UNSW and has worked across the disciplines of video art, documentary and collaborative media for over ten years. 

Emily Dynes
Media Trainer
Emily is an award-winning filmmaker and composer inspired by authentic and diverse Australian stories, and art that wears its heart on its sleeve. She is passionate about the intersection of creativity and community, and empowering young people to tell their stories.
Tamara Garrett
Tamara has recently completed her Diploma of Community Services. Tamara has  a passion for supporting individuals to reach their full potential. Working within the homelessness sector  for a period of time Tamara believes all are entitled to a safe place.  
Diversity flags
Youthworx is a community where diversity is accepted and celebrated. We welcome people of diverse cultural backgrounds, race, religion, ability, gender and sexual orientation.