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Young South Australians can now vote to choose the most urgent mental health challenges faced by young people. These topics will then form the basis for the second year of Create4Adelaide, a year-long project presented by Adelaide Festival and Carclew.

The inaugural Create4Adelaide project focused on climate change and culminated in an exhibition during the 2024 Adelaide Festival, which was visited by over 7,000 people. The project will continue in 2024-25 with a new focus on mental health - a theme that was chosen by people who attended the exhibition earlier this year.

To launch the vote this week, Minister Andrea Michaels MP was joined by five young South Australians – Isabella (12), Yuri (13), George (18), Zafirah (18) and Beth (22) – who represent the 28 Youth Ambassadors of Create4Adelaide, a group of motivated individuals who took up the call to be the heart of the participatory project.

The Youth Ambassadors reflected on the new theme of mental health and broke it down into seven topics: lack of understanding, social media, body image, stereotypes and representation, accessibility, uncertain futures, and social pressures. Young people across South Australia are invited to cast their votes as to which of these topics should be the focus of the coming year. The top-voted topics will be the source of inspiration for artistic creations, conversations and interventions. 

Adelaide Festival will offer digital learning resources and the support of professional artists to help teachers, parents/guardians and young people across the state to develop their own creative work in any artform – poetry, visual arts, music, dance, drama, film and more. These resources will be available from 1 August.

Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels MP said: "I was inspired by the work of young people who made Create4Adelaide such a success last year, and delighted that young people will once again create art to make their voices heard about the urgent topics that face them; this year focusing on mental health. My thanks to the Youth Ambassadors, schools, and above all, the young people who are leading Create4Adelaide for the next year."

Adelaide Festival Artistic Director Ruth Mackenzie CBE said: "I’d like to thank our new co-producer Carclew, all of our cultural and arts partners, and the honourable Minister Andrea Michaels MP for giving young people the microphone. Now, we’re asking young people to go online and vote for the most urgent mental health topics they face. This is your first step to being part of Adelaide Festival in 2025."

Carclew CEO Mimi Crowe said: "Create4Adelaide puts the agency in the hands of our youth, using art and creativity to empower them to drive change where it matters most. By voting on mental health initiatives, young people are not just participants, but leaders in creating a community that prioritises well-being and inclusivity."

Create4Adelaide Youth Ambassador George England said: "We’re really excited to be on board this project as young people who are invested in the Adelaide arts community. It’s exciting to be a part of raising awareness for a topic that is prevalent in our friends, families and communities. Go vote!"

Votes can be cast here until 5pm Australian Central Standard Time on Wednesday 17 July.

Find out more about Create4Adelaide here.

Photo (left to right): Ruth Mackenzie CBE, Yuri, Zafirah, Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels MP, George, Isabella, Beth, Mimi Crowe.