HUNDREDS of local students got a taste of life outside of school at the annual Manilla Youth Expo on Tuesday.
Organised by Tamworth Regional Youth Centre, the event is designed to provide youth in Manilla and Barraba the opportunity to familiarise themselves with all of the youth-orientated services that are available to them in the region.
Nineteen different case work and youth-orientated groups exhibited at the Manilla Town Hall for the students to interact with.
Harmony Rose-Scarborough, a year 9 student at Manilla High School, is a budding photographer and was out to see what was on offer at the expo.
“I’m just looking around today,” the 14-year-old said.
“I want to be a photographer.
“I do art at school and we’re doing photography.
“It’s been really good.”
Her friend Caitlin Pryce, 14, said the Manilla Youth Expo provided a good opportunity to work out what to do outside of school.
Manilla High teacher Jacinta Hohnke said the expo allowed students to find out what service providers were available to them.
“It’s very important because you mightn’t be able to find out otherwise,” she said.
“It gives them face-to-face contact, which is important.”
Among the 19 providers was Scouts NSW. Leader John Press showed groups of students how to pan for gold, while various games and activities took the interest of other students.
Local Aboriginal Lands Council, Benevolent Society, Tamworth Family Support Service, Tamworth Family Referral Service, Youth Mental Health Project, Tamworth Regional Library, Tamworth Headspace, Challenge, Joblink Plus, Centacare, Winganga-li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre, Tamworth Aboriginal Media Service, BEST Employment, Pathfinders, The Chope Shoppe, Youth Refuge, Family and Community Services, and Tamworth Regional Youth Centre were among the providers at the expo.
The students also enjoyed a free barbecue lunch, art and craft activities, photo booth, an on-site hairdresser on top of the various youth service provider activity stalls.