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NSW Youth Work Awards – Good Luck MC Trey!

Posted by Team APATA | Nov 11, 2021

Congratulations to MC Trey nominated for the NSW Youth Action Award for NSW Youth Worker of the Year.

Thelma (MC Trey) has been working with young people from diverse backgrounds in Western Sydney and across Australia for more than 20 years. She is an established hip-hop artist and music program facilitator, and partners with facilitators to present youth engagement projects for marginalised young people combining music, digital story-telling and creative culture. For the last three years Thelma has been part of the advocacy team reaching out to community on behalf of the  Mental Health Talanoa Research team for Pacific young people and their communities. She is currently employed as a cultural arts youth worker at The Street University in Liverpool and runs her own business ‘Tapastry‘ which activates at the intersections of culture, creative and social justice.

As a proud Fijian Samoan woman growing up in Western Sydney MC Trey, aka Thelma Thomas, found putting her experiences and stories into words through the medium of rap and singing allowed her to step into her power. It is this realisation that has evolved into many collaborative social and community projects and founding Tapastry Creative, while also studying a Bachelor of Social Work at Western Sydney University.

Speaking to @pasifika.achievement Thomas stated, “My love and aptitude for service is part of who I am, it is part of my Pacific identity, and part of the values instilled by my father to which I am beyond grateful for.”

A pioneer of Australian hip hop, Thomas’ relational and cultural work over the past 20 years encompasses juvenile justice, arts-based work that incorporates “hip hop and Indigenous and Pacific methodologies working from strength-based and anti-oppressive strategies with the youth voices and needs always at the centre.”

We spoke to MC Trey on the APATA Podcast and have felt first hand the empathy, compassion and knowledge that flows from her into her work.

Youth Action

Youth Action founded the NSW Youth Work Awards in 2013 to create an annual celebration of the exceptional work of youth services and youth workers across NSW. Not only is Thomas nominated, but the initiative Talanoa (Master Management) led by MC Trey is also nominated for Outstanding Work with Young People from Diverse Backgrounds and Experiences.

Register to watch the online awards event – Thursday 18 November, 3-4:30pm AEDT

Talanoa and more

Thomas is part of the community advocacy group hosting the Talanoa Sessions which encourage Pacific young people to share in conversations built around mental health and wellbeing. In 2019, Western Sydney University established a partnership with Master Management that encompassed culturally responsive therapeutic support, preventative measures, and spaces and places that provide young people (including students) with the empowerment to own and lead meaningful dialogues with others.

This year alone over 400 participants have been able to engage in Talanoa.

MC Trey works with cultural and community organisations and government departments to create connection and change. Recently hosting FUNPARK’s Pasifika Youth: Mt Druitt Press Conference and you will find MC Trey co-hosting Oceania Tu which shares information, ideas and resources to help Pacific communities in NSW through and beyond the pandemic. You can watch Oceania Tu via the Facebook pages of Matavai Pacific Cultural Arts and Fiji Day Sydney.

Mc Trey has also been working hard behind the scenes as an ambassador bringing together artists for Parramatta’s Sound West 2022, Australia’s first music and technology event.

The five-day landmark festival, 30 March – 3 April 2022, will feature intimate and large performances from established and emerging artists and a two-day music and technology conference at Commbank Stadium, including sessions, workshops and mentoring from some of Australia’s biggest tech brands and music industry leaders. More here.

Best of luck and congratulations MC Trey on your nomination for NSW Youth Worker of the Year, announced 18 November 2021, we are crossing everything!!

Facebook page @TapastryCreative

Instagram @treythelma



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