Backswing Program Hits the Mark


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Posted by ABC News on Saturday, August 19, 2017

Commuknitty is a program developed and delivered by a group of young people from Hobartwho have been participating in Colony 47’s Backswing program.

Backswing Coordinator, Donovan John Szypura, said Backswing gives young people from Hobart, the Huon Valley, Glenorchy and Sorell, the opportunity to investigate a community topic, research the idea, develop a campaign and communicate it to the community and a range of organisations to action their idea into tangible products that they can show to future employers.

Commuknitty is based around the idea that, while learning knitting skills from the Positive Ageing Group at Mathers House in Hobart, the 12 young people could teach technological skills.

Senior participant, Dianne said, “my young relatives gave me an iPad to keep in touch with them, but I struggle a little with the technology so I really think this event offers a great opportunity to ask some questions and improve my knowledge so I can keep in touch with my family. On the other hand, I do enjoy teaching young people old fashioned knitting skills.”

The two week program revolved around the process of knitting covers for iPads and phones and designing a very large ‘knitting nancy’ which generated a huge amount of interest from other community events such as the Cygnet Folk Festival and Hobart City Council.

At the beginning of the program the participants developed the graphic concept of “Commuknitty” and approached tattoo artist, Gabe from Tahiti Felix’s Master Tattoo Parlour, who ended up donating his amazing skills towards the program’s logo.

Jepsom Shaw is a 23 year old Backswing participant, who said the group’s aim was to connect the young and the older generations, but instead they engaged people from all ages.

“A real community cares not only about people we know, it’s also about supporting and connecting with people we don’t know. That’s why we developed this event,” Mr. Shaw said.

Backswing is a part of the Australian Government’s Empowering YOUth Initiative and is provided by Colony 47 to Southern Tasmania.


HUON VALLEY’s Up In Smoke project 2017

A group of young people from the Huon Valley have launched the ‘Up in Smoke’ campaign to explore the impact of drugs on our community.  Check out their website here.


Click here to learn more about the programs Backswing are running in Glenorchy and Sorrel in 2018!!

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