Natalie Wadwell felt the experience of completing a HSC major work was ‘‘anti-climactic’’ when she finished her time at Ingleburn High School in 2011.
After spending the better part of a year working on her project she wanted more than to send it off for marking and never think of it again.
‘‘Stepping Up started as a conversation between a friend from high school and myself,’’ Ms Wadwell said of her initiative, created with schoolmate Sean O’Gorman, which sees HSC students’ artworks displayed in the centre court at Macarthur Square.
‘‘There was no real avenue to showcase everyone’s major works from the HSC; with stepping up we’re bringing community development and youth development — it’s giving back to the community.’’
Around 30 people who completed their HSC last year from schools across Macarthur were involved in Stepping Up 2015, the third incarnation of the initiative, which saw the inclusion of a musical program for the first time.
With the help of Jacob Nicastri and the team at Utopia Music Narellan, Ms Wadwell arranged for the musical performers to use professional equipment for their acts.
‘‘It’s a great project to promote and it’s a benefit to the students,’’ Ms Wadwell said.
‘‘It can boost their confidence and springboard them into their industries.’’
In fact, several former Stepping Up participants have since had their works exhibited in various shows, including the Paramor Art Prize.
‘‘The best thing is that we’re all volunteers doing such a fantastic project,’’ said Ms Wadwell, who is completing an honours research paper in Art Theory/History Studies at UNSW Australia: Art and Design (formerly known as the College of Fine Arts).
‘‘It’s young people doing great things for other young people.
‘‘We’re not waiting around for the opportunity to present itself, we’re making the opportunity ourselves.’’
Students artworks are on display at Macarthur Square until Sunday, February 22, and musical performances will be held from noon-2.30pm and 5.30pm-7pm on Saturday, February 21.
Artworks will also be displayed at Narellan library until February 27.