A GOOD idea and concern about a growing issue has set Bendigo musician Luke Owens on a fast-paced learning curve.
“We got the inspiration from concepts such as Band Aid and USA for Africa, and decided we could do something here for young homeless people,” Luke said.
“We set a target of $100,000, and now we’re discussing where that money’s going to go.
“We’re now talking about the idea of a permanent homeless youth shelter, that’s the possibility.”
Luke and fellow musicians Craig Morley and Dave Turpie announced in February their plans to create a song to be performed at Bendigo’s Christmas Carols event.
Since then, their Bendigo for Homeless Youth project has grown many legs; as they get set to record their first collaborative track, Luke is looking ahead to more fund-raising gigs at the
Golden Vine, a tin-rattle in October that will mobilise hordes of young people on every Bendigo street corner, t-shirts, wristbands and a huge charity dinner at the Town Hall.
Father Bob Maguire is already lined up for that one, and Luke is pondering the second guest speaker.
“I’m thinking of Kyle Sandilands,” he said. “That’d be controversial!”
Luke has been encouraged by the drive and determination of friend Colin Thompson, who set up the Bendigo Blues & Roots Festival.
“I am committed to enriching the live music scene and changing lives in the process,” he said.
Talking to organisations such as St Luke’s Horizon House and Uniting Care, he hopes that the target of $100,000 can eventually be matched by other philanthropic groups, to kick-start plans for a permanent shelter.
“As musicians, we’re more than happy to do the work to get there,” he said.
Bendigo Bank and Bendigo Community Telco are already on-board, promising funding for a CD.
“Creating the music, is the easy part,” Luke said.