The Big EXO Day … Wow, what an experience! People Builders Youth took 53 young people down to Parramatta Park for the biggest drug and alcohol free event in Australia.
Tell us a little bit about yourself …
Kailey Weatherstone: I am 23 years old and have been happily married to Tim Weatherstone for 1 and a half years. I have been working in the travel industry for the past 10 months as a reservations consultant, and I’m really enjoying it!
Tim, Justin and I went through school together and developed our friendship through a common interest in God and music and have maintained an awesome and strong friendship ever since!
I’m 23 years old. Kailey, Justin and I all meet at Heritage School, and we became really close when we formed a band together. Even though the band broke up, we are still best friends.
Kailey and I have been married for a year and a half (high school sweet hearts). Justin … well, he’s just always been there. We are all highly involved in the music team and youth work at People Builders.
I work for Essential Energy 3 days a week and work at the People Builders Centre the other two. I go into a couple of high schools a week and help out were I’m needed. In the small amount of spare time I have, I watch and play sport and I enjoy going to the beach. We also organise PB Youth event every Friday night. Overall, I love life!!!
I’m 23 and work at Network Communications in Settlement City. I met Tim and Kailey in high school and have hung around them for years like a bad smell.
I love playing and writing music. I play bass, drums and sing in the PB youth band and at our church.
How did you become interested in youth leadership?
Kailey I have been involved in mentoring younger teens since Year 11. Once I left school, I had the opportunity to help out with People Builders Youth and have since noticed the need for supporting the young people of this community.
Tim, Justin and I run a youth program every Friday night at the People Builders Centre to encourage and get alongside the youth, helping them to discover that life can be great, that they have a future, that they ARE important and to help them realise their decisions affect the quality and experience of their life journey.
There are so many young people today who live their lives like they have no value, purpose or future … But that is NOT TRUE! There is so much more to life, and every single person has a HUGE part to play on this earth! So I am passionate about helping the young people to recognise that, and help them to start believing in themselves a bit more!
Tim About 4 years ago, I saw a need in our community. I put up my hand and said I would help out! I have loved working with the youth of Port Macquarie! It inspires me when I see some of the youth in Port Macquarie, who are so called drop outs, being helped to find real purpose and meaning for their lives!
Justin I’ve always loved helping people, even from a young age. I went through my teenage years with my share of difficulties − being bullied, battling depression and often not being confident enough to even make my own decisions.
I was fortunate enough to have people around me who cared enough to pull me up. I know that what I went through is nothing compared to what some kids have to endure, and I hope that I can be someone who helps them out. People Builders has given me the opportunity to be a mentor to young people. Most of all, I love just acting like a big kid − loving them and mucking around with them all.
Tell us about the expo in Sydney you recently took the group to?
Kailey BIG EXO DAY is an annual youth event run by Youth Alive in Sydney. Youth from all over the country come to this event and total up to approximately 10,000 young people. It has impacted many young people’s lives majorly over the years, including my own! It is completely drug and alcohol-free and is an event filled with all styles of live music, extreme sport, famous artists and a massive op-shop for the girls − there’s something suitable for every young person!
Tim The Big EXO Day … Wow, what an experience! People Builders Youth took 53 young people down to Parramatta Park for the biggest drug and alcohol free event in Australia! The Big EXO Day is about encouraging them that life is excellent; they don’t need drugs or alcohol to have a great time.
The Big EXO Day is in September every year; they have bands and speakers from all over the world. This year they had the US Band ‘The Almost’ and lots of other bands, ranging from the chilled and relaxed to HipHop and Hardcore music, plus skateboarding,show show rides and so much more. The youth we took had a great time; they all want to come again next year!
Justin It was called Big EXO Day; it’s Australia’s biggest drug and alcohol free youth event. It was an awesome trip. We left at 5am and got back at 4am the next morning. We all had an awesome time: sun burnt, sleep deprived and full of fatty food and soft drink.
EXO day is a chance for young people to experience an awesome music festival in a safe environment, without drugs or alcohol. The main focus of the event is to ‘build people up’ and add value to their lives. Young people need to hear that they’re worth something and that they too can make a difference to other people. That’s the message of Big EXO Day and People Builders.
What would you say to encourage other people to get involved with assisting youth in the area?
Kailey It really doesn’t take much to make a difference. Young people today need to be encouraged and believed in a lot more! Just saying a simple “Hello, how are you?” to a young person can show value. Complimenting their good actions rather than focusing on their bad actions can change a person’s life. That’s what we are doing at People Builders.
There are so many ways that you can make a difference and you don’t have to be qualified, you just need to be willing and have a heart to see things changed! As more people get involved, more young lives will be rescued, and our community will have a greater future!
Tim Why wouldn’t you want to get involved in the youth of today? They are the next generation of this community! It is so rewarding when kids you’ve helped come back later and say that you have made a difference in their life in a positive way! I would encourage everyone to assist with the youth of the Hastings in some way; they all just want to be accepted and loved in this big scary world.
Justin It’s mostly just about being willing to see a need and fill it. Anyone can do it. You don’t have to travel overseas or do years of study; it can start with seemingly small things. My experience is, as long as you’re teachable and willing to be challenged to grow, you can achieve things you wouldn’t have expected. I thank God that I live in such a beautiful place and am blessed with the awesome opportunities I’ve been given so far.
Inerviews by Jo Atkins.