Blacktown Youth Services Association has employed a street art program to stop illegal graffiti.
The Grafix workshops aim to foster young people’s creativity in a legal environment.
The association’s service provision manager Natalie Chiappazzo said its mission was to use innovative tools to engage young people.
Watch a video about the program, filmed by the Sun below.
“It is important to harness the skills and talents of young people through innovative and creative programs,’’ Ms Chiapazzo said.
“Increasing the skills and capacity of young people to be engaged in their community must be done in a way that is relevant and meaningful to them.’’
Sharline Bezzina, known as ‘‘Spice’’, is the veteran street artist who teaches the class.
She said the project was a necessity.
“Being a youth worker, I was already running these sorts of workshops at different centres,’’ she said.
“When I started, there was no legal or illegal option, it was only illegal but we didn’t set out to be a vandal.”
Grafix is funded by the Attorney General’s Department under the Proceeds of Crime Act for anti-graffiti programs.
The association hopes the program will eliminate the stigma associated with youth and graffiti.
“By making clear distinctions between illegal graffiti and tagging and public art, it is important to teach young people about these differences, as well as providing them with positive, legal opportunities."