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Byron Shire
July 20, 2024

What’s there to do for young adults?

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For young people growing up in the region there can be limits to what you can do – especially if you are not a beach-orientated person. 

While there might be a perception that there’s a lack of things to do – there is a space where young people can connect, play and learn new skills. 

Enter the Byron Youth Service (BYS), with its HQ located at the Youth Activities Centre (the YAC), behind the town’s courthouse and next to the new skatepark. 

As a not-for-profit charity, it’s been a cornerstone of support for those aged 12–24 years in the Byron Shire for over three decades.

Last Thursday, they held a ‘friendraiser,’ featuring live music, a flea market, food, an art sale, art workshops, barbershop and a non-alcoholic bar. The day, as the name suggests, was aimed at creating new friends and reconnecting with old. 

BYS manager, Christian Tancred, has now been in the job for five years and says his experienced team are always busy with the activities and services they offer young people. 

‘The recent addition of the skatepark has really solidified the area as a youth, recreation and culture precinct’, he says.  

‘Part of the reason I got into this work was that I see tremendous value for communities to have not only safe spaces but places that are exciting and can foster creativity and growth.’

‘The YAC is a wonderful hub of creativity that attracts young people, and it is also a safe space for young people or families to come if they need support’.


Regular youth events

Byron Youth Service (BYS), located at 1 Gilmore Crescent, Byron Bay, offer a range of activities for local young people.

One of their regular events is ‘Kickback,’ held every Thursday from 4pm. 

With an open-door policy, the afternoon allows young people to engage with arts and crafts, open mic nights, and movie screenings. 

Barber shop

Byron Community Barbers also operates on Thursdays, where aspiring barbers can learn the trade from an experienced hairdresser who provides free cuts and mentorship. 

Barista course

BYS offers a barista course to enhance employability in the cafe industry.

Safe drivers course

The BYS safe drivers course helps young ‘L’ drivers gain experience and log book hours.

Art lab

Free weekly art lab program for 14-20-year-olds, ARTHAUS, focuses on developing creative skills and connecting with other young artists.

Food forest project

An interactive food forest project is underway, which aims to provide nourishment, inspiration and connection to nature.

Radio/podcasting

YAC Radio, which is a platform for youth to speak on BAY FM 99.9 radio and learn about podcasting.


While the YAC is the primary location for BYS activities (1 Gilmore Crescent), long-time youth worker, Deb Pearse, operates out of The Cottage in Mullumbimby, located at 34 Gordon Street. 

Ms Pearse leads a program specifically for girls providing support to navigate life’s challenges.

On Wednesdays from 3.30pm at The Cottage is Mullum Mooves, offering arts projects, mentorship, and musical creation for all young people in a drug and alcohol-free environment. 

Christian says, ‘BYS receives some funding from federal and state government, but this support does not match the demands of running our organisation’. 

‘Each year, it grows increasingly challenging to maintain the upkeep of both venues and the increasing demand for services’.

Friends of The YAC 

‘So, we are on the look-out for Friends of The YAC who can support us financially and help us connect to the community and maintain the YAC quite literally for future generations.’

‘As a small gesture of appreciation, Friends of The YAC will receive one of 100 limited edition key rings designed by artist Nina Hurr; a digital copy of our half-yearly mini magazine; early invitations to all our events and be in the draw to win a $1,000 voucher from Crystal Castle’.

Donations are tax deductible: Byron Youth Service Inc ABN: 76939913491.

Become a Friend of The YAC by calling (02) 6685 7777 or drop in to the YAC from Monday to Thursday.


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