The ABC youth storytelling competition Heywire is now open and looking for young regional Australians to get involved.
Now in its 19th year, Heywire is a chance for young people between the ages of 16 and 22 to tell their story about living in regional Australia.
Entrants may tell stories in the form of writing, video, audio or photography.
Since Heywire began in 1998, close to 10,000 young Australians have taken part in the competition.
ABC Regional director Fiona Reynolds said the Heywire competition was a powerful force in regional Australia.
Ms Reynolds said the competition proved “the impact a well told story can have”.
Heywire winners will have their stories featured on ABC Radio, ABC TV and online.
Ms Reynolds said she encouraged all young Australians to enter.
“Heywire is an unparalleled chance to see their story broadcast across the ABC,” she said.
All winners from around Australia are also given the chance to take part in the Heywire Regional Youth Summit in Canberra.
“I look forward to meeting the next generation of Australia’s leaders at next year’s Summit,” Ms Reynolds said.
Helping young people find a voice
Year 12 student Brooke Hooton was a 2015 Heywire winner from Tabulam, New South Wales.
Ms Hooton entered the competition with a story about the difficulties her family has faced on their farm Clarence View, which has been in the Hooton family for more than 120 years.
She said she would highly recommend that young people enter the competition.
“I didn’t know what to expect — I was just going sort of going for it,” she said.
“It’s definitely a great experience that you won’t forget or regret.
“So even if you’re a little bit timid, I reckon just go for it, it’s well worth it.”
Another 2015 Heywire winner was Travis Fluck from the West Australian Wheatbelt.
He entered Heywire to tell a story about what it was like for him growing up in a rural community.
“My story was about the Miling community coming together, all as one and all helping out to fight a bushfire that was on our property,” he said.
Mr Fluck said the rural community he was a part of struggled to get together very often.
But he said he wanted to write about how in times of need, the community is always there to help one another out.
“At that point in time [during the fire] it was great to see everyone together to all help out a mate,” he said.