Coast youth check out Check It Fest

Dancers from Body Beats Dance wows with a hip-hop performance. Photo: Erin Semmler


Gold Coast youth enjoyed a free music festival on Saturday, featuring live entertainment, freebies, interactive activities and the infamous Check My Talent competition.

Headspace partnership manager Steve Hackett has been involved in Check It Fest for four years and said the event aims to raise awareness around mental health services available to Gold Coast youth.

“The main idea that Check It Fest is really about centres on our themes: check yourself, check your mates, and check out the services,” he said.

“The idea is to support young people to be well and know how to support their friends to be well and to know what services are available to help them now.”

Lives of Well youth outreach drug and alcohol worker and Check It Fest 2018 MC Candice Aouad chats with the crowd. Photo: Erin Semmler

Check It Fest MC and youth worker Candice Aouad said this year’s event was a great day out for Gold Coast youth.

“It went really well this year although we were kind of worried about the numbers with the weather because rain was predicted,” she said.

“It’s been really good, a lot of people are here and we’re having these really good conversations around what wellness means.

“It’s a good way to have a chat and check out our services, there are so many services on the Gold Coast that are geared towards young people and Check It Fest is about teaching them how to access these services.

“It’s mainly for young people to learn about the services, engage in the services in a chilled and fun little environment, provide some entertainment and just create a good family day out.”

Headspace partnership manager Steve Hackett and youth projects and events coordinator Belinda Tessieri, smile after a successful Check It Fest 2018. Photo: Erin Semmler

Mr Hackett said Check It Fest has been running for eight years in different locations across the Gold Coast.

“The Care For Life Suicide Prevention Network here on the Gold Coast started Check It Fest as a part of World Suicide Prevention day,” he said.

“They were conscious that in Australia, we have a very high suicide rate amongst young people and that a range of the events they were involved in organising really didn’t interest young people.

“They wanted to do something that was bit more youth friendly and interesting for young people and of course they knew that talking directly about suicide isn’t the way to get young people’s attention so they decided to create a bit of a festival.”

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Visit their Facebook page to be notified about the next Check It Fest.

If you or someone you care about needs support, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the following organisations:

Lifeline 131114

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

beyondblue support service email or chat online at

SANE Australia Helpline 1800 18 SANE (7263)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples:  Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Services

Culturally and linguistically diverse background: Mental Health in Multicultural Australia

LGBTI, other sexuality, sex and gender diverse people: MindOUT! QLife line 1800 184 527

Veterans: Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service 1800 011 046


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