Sarah Brooker

Comments (0) Interviews

Sarah Brooker from Homebase has been doing some great things for the community – one of them being this month’s Commotion by the Ocean.

Hey Sarah, are you excited for this year’s Commotion by the Ocean organised by Homebase Youth Service?

Definitely. Commotion by the Ocean is the biggest youth event to hit our seaside village of Forster/Tuncurry. Last year was absolutely massive, with over 1,500 people coming with their picnic rugs and tie dyed tops to see Ash Grunwald rock out. This year we’ve got an even bigger line up of bands and activities, so we’re expecting another year of huge crowds.

How did you get involved with Homebase and hosting great local events like CbtO?

I’ve always had a passion for music, from dancing to my dad’s old Beatles records and listening to the latest Backstreet Boys album. Although my taste in music may have changed (Backstreet Boys just don’t seem to sound as good now as they did back then), I still love the feeling you get from being at a live concert and standing in front of your favourite band with the music pounding through your ears and feeling like the mosh pit could crumble on you at any second and you’d never be seen again.

So when I was 15, I actually joined the New Moon Productions Committee and started organising events. I loved working with young people so much that I decided to do a Community Welfare diploma. During that I did my work placement with Homebase Youth Service and got heavily involved with the youth events, as supervisor of the New Moon Productions Committee. And eventually I applied for the Youth Development Worker position, and here I am.

What is your typical day as a Youth Development Worker, and what does your job entail?

I consider myself to have a pretty cool job. A typical day would start with me getting to work and checking my emails. Then I’d probably go to a meeting with a community group or service. I work in partnership with a lot of other organisations to run a lot of the programs and initiatives. Mondays are my favourite day, as every Monday at 3.30pm we have our New Moon Productions meeting. That’s the youth committee that organise CbtO. We meet every week, and every meeting is an absolute blast.

What can people expect at this year’s show?

We have a huge line up this year of local and national acts. Headlining this year is national blues rock duo The Fumes. Their first single off their new album ‘Sundancer’, has caused a lot of commotion (sorry for the pun) all across Australia and they also wowed international audiences with their recent tour of the US, Canada and Japan. Also playing on the day will be a number of local acts, including Battle of the Bands winners Respect Sunday. There will also be jumping castles, jumbo slides, circus skills workshops, animal shows, stilt walkers, markets and heaps more to keep the crowds entertained.

There will also be heaps of food, coffee and drink stalls to keep those tummies from grumbling. Commotion by the Ocean is certainly a showcase of the best that our region has to offer. If anyone would like more information, they can go to our new  website:

Where do you hope to go in your career?

My dream was always to work as a Youth Development Worker, so I guess I just want to do my job to the best I can by giving young people as many opportunities as possible, so they can have the best chance to be the best person they can be.

Obviously I have a real passion for young people and when you’re that age, there are so many opportunities available and I want to give young people a chance to gain as much as they can from those opportunities. So I guess I’ll keep doing what I’m doing until I feel I’ve given all I can, then I might move on to something different.

I’m in the process of completing my degree in Social Science, so I hope one day to be working in social research for young people. But I always want to be working directly with young people, as they have such an energy and enthusiasm that is just infectious.

Where do you hope to see CbtO in the next five years?

Well, this year is Commotion’s 7th year, and in that time we’ve gone from around 500 people attending to over 1,500, so I hope that in five years the event will have grown even more and have a number of popular national acts in the line up.

Although we love the fact that Commotion is a free event, we’ll eventually have to put a fence around it in order to make the revenue needed to expand the event. At the moment CbtO is run completely on the support of the community and grants – we definitely couldn’t do it without their support.

> Thank you Sarah.

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