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Aussie rock legend mentors youth at Social Futures clubhouse

2 min read

An Aussie rock legend, who’s drummed with top bands like ACDC and Cold Chisel, is now mentoring young people at a creative tech-learning hub in northern New South Wales – and there’s a call out for more creatives to join him!  

The not-for-profit organisation, Social Futures, manages three Australia ‘Clubhouses’ – creative tech-learning spaces for young people (aged 12 to 17 years) in Bathurst, Ballina and Lismore. 

The Clubhouses are part of an international Clubhouse Network, founded by two Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers in Boston in 1993. Now there are 120 clubhouses in 19 countries. (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the world’s top universities.)  

Drummer Ray Arnott has a music career spanning five decades. He was originally a sessional drummer for Albert Music, one of Australia’s biggest talent managers in the 1970s and ’80s. Ray drummed with all the greats – John Farnham, Rick Springfield, John Paul Young, Cold Chisel and ACDC. He drummed for Bon Scott at his last ever Australian performance in 1980.  

Ray later went on to teach music in schools, but heard about the Clubhouse Network and now mentors upcoming musicians one afternoon a week in Ballina.  

“It’s so important to give back,” Ray said.  

“These young ones are keen to learn and it’s amazing what you know and what you can pass on. 

“One of the most incredible things about being a mentor is watching young people grow in confidence and believe in themselves. They begin to understand what they themselves can do and give to the community and to the world.” 

Social Futures CEO, Tony Davies, said Social Futures is keen to hear from people with expertise in areas such as music, film, robotics, coding, electronics, computer science, creative arts, animation or photography in the Bathurst, Lismore or Ballina regions. 

“If you have an interest in any of these fields, then consider sharing your skills with young people aged 12 to 17 years at the Clubhouses,” said Davies. 

“But really, any skills or experience you have to share will be valued.”  

Davies highlighted that there was a need for mentors who could commit to a couple of hours a day for a day or two per week during school terms. 

“Our mentors play a vital role in challenging these young minds to think critically, develop new concepts, and find the technologies to bring their ideas to life,” he said, “but it can also just be as simple as asking a young person how their day was and sharing a cup a tea.” 

Social Futures is a Centrelink approved volunteer organisation meaning dedicated volunteering hours can count towards Centrelink payments.  

If you would like to learn more about being a mentor, visit the Social Futures website. 

Related: Youth diversion program aids over 700 young lives back on track 

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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