By Judy Vergison, Bulletin 10/2022, December 2022

Keiran Kevans, Co-ordinator of the Glebe Youth Service has left GYS after many years in the role. (photo: supplied)

Keiran Kevans of Glebe Youth Service (GYS) has made what he says is the most difficult decision of his life in deciding it is time to leave GYS on 25 November 2022.

The Glebe Society has great respect and gratitude for the way Keiran has brought together so many community groups in Glebe.

Below are a few reflections from Keiran on his time at GYS and building such strong connections in our Glebe community.

Best wishes for the future! … from all of us in the Glebe Society

Message from Keiran to Glebe Society members

Being a part of the Glebe community and people’s lives has been an immense and unforgettable joy. Seeing many young people go on to do good things in their lives and their ongoing connection to Glebe and GYS is rewarding beyond words. There are many things to reflect on after 16 years, but I will focus on just a few.

I am very proud that we have been able to secure funding for After Dark (against the odds) for the past 12 years. We have seen our income and service footprint grow and diversify over the past decade. We have strengthened and expanded our local and sector connections and partnerships.

We may be a youth service in name, but we are now truly a child, youth and family support and community development organisation.

Seeing the building at 84 Glebe Point Rd improve over the years has been very satisfying. When I arrived in 2006, the place was in some state of neglect- we have greatly improved the function, aesthetic, and amenity of our centre.

Art, music and film are great ways to engage local young people and provide them opportunities to tell their stories. It was such a joy to be a part of numerous community murals – such as ‘Enjoy Glebe’, ‘Respect’, ‘Nothing More Nothing Less’, ‘Energy Energy Energy’ and Kurrliwan inside the Peter Forsyth Auditorium.

Having Archie Roach perform at the launch of the Kurrliwan mural was a real personal highlight. We cannot underestimate the power of the arts to engage, heal and unite, and being a part of so many creative projects was tremendously rewarding.

Glebe Youth Service (photo: Phil Vergison)
Glebe Youth Service (photo: Phil Vergison)

There are many people who I would like to thank, but it is simply not possible to mention everyone. I want to especially thank all the GYS team over the years, and members of the Management Committee for the past 12 years. From UTS, Mitra Gusheh and Dianne Moy have been tremendous allies. In government, Tanya Plibersek, Jamie Parker, Linda Scott, Lord Mayor Clover Moore, and Jess Scully all deserve a massive thanks for their support of GYS and Glebe. I have learnt so much from so many and I deeply appreciate the opportunity to work together.

The Glebe Society has always been an active advocate and supporter. Your generosity during COVID lockdowns in the Glebe Estate was nothing short of amazing. Within three days you donated enough money for GYS to quickly stand up a highly impactful program to meet the specific needs of locals – as well volunteering to collect, sort and deliver food donations. You just can’t imagine the difference that made for so many families in Glebe.

A massive and heartfelt thanks to the local young people I have gotten to know– it is truly a privilege to know you and thanks for letting me share a part of your journey, I will always remember you.

Thank you, Glebe. This has been the best, most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done. I am sad to say farewell, but my heart is full, feeling deeply rewarded by my time in Glebe and grateful for the opportunity to work at GYS.

I leave knowing GYS is strong and will continue to be a part of the Glebe social fabric for many years to come.

With love and gratitude,

Keiran Kevans