Nothing off the wall about Wanneroo’s free DJ course

There are few more effective ways for councils to enhance the liveability and economic sustainability of local communities than through the arts.

However, reaching young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds presents challenges – one the City of Wanneroo council solved in a novel way.

It used DJing to appeal to youths from a suburb with high levels of socioeconomic disadvantage – partnering with Brandon Chowdhurie (an entertainment industry professional with Off the Wall Promotions) to a run free 10-week course in 2019.

Mr Chowdhurie said most DJ courses overlooked teaching important commercial skills.

“Introduction to DJing is unique in its attention to business development; there’s nothing quite like it in Australia,” he said.

“Many people learn to DJ, but don’t know what to do next. Our course participants have gone on to start their own businesses and made lasting friendships.”

Wanneroo’s DJing initiative was recognised in June with a 2020 National Award for Local Government in the category of Arts animates – excellence in building vibrant and resilient communities.

Wanneroo Mayor (and ALGA Vice President) Tracey Roberts said she was delighted that the City’s course, which will be run again in early 2021, had been nationally recognised.

“It equips young people with practical skills and business knowledge, engaging them in a fun activity that offers potential employment opportunities … It also builds personal confidence and inspires creativity,” she said.

Wanneroo is now in the running for the overall National Award for Local Government (NALG) to be announced at ALGA’s Special Local Roads and Transport Congress in Wagga Wagga NSW on 16-17 November.

The awards highlight innovative and resourceful solutions implemented by local governments to make a difference to their local communities – and are sponsored by the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Communications.