Singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett is set to help mentor young girls at Australia’s first-ever Girls Rock music camp, which is finally coming down under in 2016 after the first camp took place in Portland, Oregon back in 2001.
Designed to empower young women through music, Girls Rock camps have been held everywhere from Japan to Iceland and Bahrain, with the first-ever Aussie edition heading to Canberra in January.
Posting to Facebook, Girls Rock Canberra says both Courtney Barnett and her partner/fellow muso Jen Cloher will be among the camp’s list of mentors. “They’ll be dropping by one afternoon to play some songs and teach a workshop,” the organisation says.
Speaking with 666 ABC Canberra, Australia’s Girls Rock director Chiara Grassia says her first-hand experience of the camps led her to bring the format down under.
“I went and volunteered at these week-long programs in the US where young girls aged eight to 17 form a band, learn an instrument within a week, write an original song and perform it — with the help of some amazing musicians,” she says. “It was a really awesome experience.”
Ms Grassia says the US Girls Rock camps were attended by girls with varying music experience, but they came together to make “amazing things” together. She says the camps are about bringing young women out of their shells and boosting their confidence.
“To not be afraid to express themselves… It’s just all girls and they’re led by other women,” she says.
“It just creates a really safe supportive environment, free of jealousy and competition… I really love the program’s values, of supporting each other and these really lovely feminist values that are incorporated with it.”
Australia’s first Girls Rock camp is open to girls aged 10 to 17, and is taking place from 11th January to 16th January 2016 at the Ainslie Art Centre in Canberra. To inquire about attending the camp, visit the Girls Rock Australia website.
What’s more, there are also plans to extend the camps into other parts of the country.
Watch: Courtney Barnett – Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party
Gallery: Courtney Barnett – Sydney, Metro Theatre 07.05.15 / Photos: Ashley Mar