Step Up Program


Anti Racism Action Band, Victorian Arabic Social Services


Step Up Program


Fawkner and Glenroy - Moreland Region


Pathways to Employment 11 - 12

The Anti Racism Action Band (A.R.A.B) from Victorian Arabic Social Services (VASS) is a culturally and artistically eclectic community-based youth performing arts program in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

The A.R.A.B program works with 250 young people from 50 cultural backgrounds, fusing traditional and street dance forms with theatre, spoken word, original music and video. All A.R.A.B performances are underpinned with local stories and themes of cultural and suburban identity.

The Inner North Community Foundation has assisted with the development and delivery of projects, Next Step, Step 2, and Step 3 since 2008. Step Up! is a new project which capitalises on the participant outcomes from 2008-2011. The project targets 40-50 young people who have 'stepped up their game' over the past 3 years, providing them with intensive leadership training, career pathways, and employment in key leadership positions.

The funding from the Inner North Community Foundation covers components of guest industry tutors and additional artist/mentor/tutors for all Step Up! activities across A.R.A.B platforms and the Leadership Program.

Many A.R.A.B youth participants face very high levels of disadvantage across several areas of their lives including:

  • socio-economic
  • physical and/or intellectual disability
  • racism and gang conflict
  • early school leaving
  • geographic and social isolation
  • mental health issues
  • extremely limited opportunities for engaging in artistic and social activities
  • some are new arrivals to Australia, often coming from conflict/war zones. Others are at-risk of family violence

Through A.R.A.B's platforms of activity and focus on building the skills and capacity of youth, many participants have been given the opportunity to emerge as artists and arts workers and seek on the job training and casual employment in the past. The Step Up! project specifically targets this group of young leaders through a tailored 10 week leadership program.

Visit the A.R.A.B website to learn more about this community organisation.

Photo Gallery photos for this project courtesy of Mark Farrelly Photography.