Aliandra Calabrese and the Visible Ink space crossed paths as part of Youth Performing Arts Queensland (YPAQ), a not for profit theatre company which aims to bring young people together to embrace their creativity and help foster creative communities in Brisbane. At the time she was looking for the perfect venue to hold workshops and came across our space.
It was as a member of this vibrant community that Aliandra discovered that the opportunities available to her were not necessarily available to all young people, “I have been fortunate to have good health, a loving family and supportive friends and not all young people have had the same opportunities as me. I love to sing and hang out with my friends and I think that young people living with a disability in an aged care home miss out on a lot. Hardly any of them go out or have friends visit them.”
As someone who has benefited from the skills and friendships formed as part of an active and creative community, Aliandra has taken great interest in making sure that other young people don’t miss out, and many of these opportunities begin at home, “I discovered that there is limited appropriate housing for young people living with a disability who need 24/7 care, so many of them must be placed in aged care homes where the average age is 80 yrs. This is so hard for them, young people need to live young lives surrounded by people their own age not people who are near the end of their lives”.
Which is how she came across the work of Youngcare, an organisation which aims to raise awareness of the difficulties many young people with disabilities face, as well as developing strategies to create a more supporting environment into the future. Encouraged by their aim to help meet the long-term housing needs of young people living with a disability, Aliandro set about raising awareness for the organisation in combination with her love of music.
Together with friends, Regan Samuels and AJ Hawkins, the group have created a remix of an old song called California Dreaming to help get the message out:
She says of getting involved with issues you’re passionate about, “If you see an issue and think you can help give it a go. It doesn’t have to be a great thing because even a small thing done with real heart can help to enrich another person’s life”, and she encourages others to have a go… “If you have a brilliant idea to help raise awareness get onto Youngcare and get their advice and support. Hold a dog-wash afternoon, or car-washing morning and donate the proceeds to the organisation to help them build appropriate housing. Or you can make a donation online.”
You can catch Aliandro and her crew perform with YPAQ, and keep an eye out for more of their videos over at their youtube channel.