Fair go for youth

SEEING the front page (CCA 30/6) was very disappointing.

Ash Johnston and Open Studios has provided a great venue for local talent.

Young people can be themselves without being judged as Ash and his helpers provide the non-judgmental environment young people need and these young people respond to Ash with respect for him and his property.

Youth today are so misunderstood but they definitely don't misunderstand.

In this society where everything is judged by how you look, what you do or don't wear, your hair, your colour, any wonder there is such a huge rise in mental illness in our young people.

I came to this town 35 years ago and have gradually seen all young people's outlets closed down.

The roller-skating rink at Park Beach, the cinema in the CBD, the Aquajet at Park Beach, Storyland Gardens at Sawtell, the drive-in at South Coffs, waterslide at Repton, civic centre Coffs Harbour, the rotunda in the city centre, Kumbaingeri Zoo Moonee.

We have other activities but they are generally priced out of reach of many young people.

Ash has been providing an outlet for young people free of charge to be themselves.

I have never seen unruly behaviour, rubbish in the street in or around the gallery, loud voices anywhere near our around Ash's gallery.

To shut this down will be one of the biggest mistakes this town has ever made.

Until there is another place built to cater for our young people (like a civic centre), don't take away one of the only things left for them.

The council and Job Network agencies should be subsidising Ash to continue to provide a place for our young people. 

LORRAINE CHOWDHURY



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