LiveWires is a community development program providing early-intervention, educational and support programs for primary aged children living in and around the Collingwood Public Housing Estate. Our after-hours care programs provide a safe haven for young people to experience social and recreational opportunities and develop meaningful connections. The LiveWires Program aims to build children’s resilience and enhance their learning and creativity.

LiveWires encompasses a variety of programs which include:

  • After Hours Care and Holiday Care
  • Wired Up! Early Numeracy and Literacy Support
  • Expressional Art Program
  • Mentoring
  • Junior Leaders
  • Tennis


Mission: Our mission is to offer children care and support that help them laugh, learn and develop to their full potential.

Vision: Our vision is to see every child in the Collingwood Housing Estate community with access to a safe and positive environment that enhances their well being and encourages their development.

A young girl, Bronwyn*, joined our LiveWires Program. She expressed to us that school and home life are a bit hard for her as she gets into trouble a fair bit. This girl has become one of the stalwarts of the program. She is helpful in the kitchen and packing up, she listens, she assists the younger children, and she is a delight to have around. Her enthusiasm for LiveWires can be seen as she runs through the gate every Tuesday and Wednesday in the hope that she is not too late.

LiveWires AHC has provided for her a community to which she can positively belong and contribute towards. We need her there as much as she needs us. This girl has also started in our Expressional Art Program, where she is making some great progress.

For those of us who have been to, or who are going to counselling, we know that it takes a lot of courage to really participate in therapy. So hats off to you, you brave girl and thank you for participating in our program.

*Bronwyn is not her real name. 


  • ACU
  • Clifton Hill Tennis Club
  • Collingwood African Association
  • Collingwood Library
  • Collingwood Neighbourhood House
  • Crossway Church
  • Cubbies
  • Drummond Street Services
  • Hope in the Hills Christian Community Church
  • Kid’s Own Publishing
  • Make A Difference
  • RMIT
  • St Joseph Primary School
  • St Martin’s Community Church
  • St Philip’s Anglican Church
  • The Fitzroy Markets
  • Westside Circus
  • City of Yarra Leisure

Main Sponsors:

  • ANZ Staff Foundation
  • Optus
  • Campbell Edwards Trust
  • FareShare
  • Ian and Nelleke Encouragement Fund
  • Joy Smith Family Foundation
  • Leader Community Newspapers
  • Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation
  • Second Bite


Business Contributions:

  • Advantiplus Collingwood
  • Bakers Delight, Glenferrie
  • Belle’s Diner
  • Black Inc
  • Blaco Aesthetics
  • Burger Edge
  • Coles, Fitzroy
  • Cutiso Ticketing Solutions
  • Dr Marti’s Crumpets
  • East Hawthorn Gourmet Meats
  • Everyday Coffee
  • Frank Café
  • Frankie Magazine
  • Friendly Moving Men
  • Good Food and Wine
  • Johnston and Palmer Corner Store
  • Kent Street Bar & Café
  • Koorong
  • La Roar
  • Laneway Learning
  • Let me be Frank
  • Little Creatures


  • Make A Difference
  • McDonald’s
  • Melody McGeggles Cleaning Service
  • Neel Loves Curls
  • Peter Tarsiuk
  • Pier
  • Reece Naturopathy
  • Sandton Hair Gallery
  • Scally and Trombone
  • Scarf Dinners
  • Sonsa Foods
  • Storm in a Tea Cup
  • St Ali’s Family
  • The Golf Clearance Outlet
  • Tori Reanard
  • Vigor Health and Fitness
  • Whole Larder Love
  • Woolworths, Ringwood

LiveWires is a community development program providing early-intervention, educational and support programs for children outside regular school hours.  It is located in the Collingwood Neighbourhood House and provides a safe and caring space for primary-aged children who live on and around the Collingwood Public Housing Estate.

It was established in 2005 in response to the need to have a free and supervised program to cater for primary-aged children on the Collingwood Public Housing Estate. The need was identified because community services and members had observed young children engaging in anti-social behaviour in Collingwood.

LiveWires is now very popular and provides programs for many children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and who may be identified as ‘at-risk’.  We have a clear priority to provide opportunities for children that will help to enhance their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Our aim is to develop and enhance each child’s learning, creativity, health, resilience, leadership and social skills.

Children can engage in activities like art and craft, sport, games, baking, gardening, mentoring, anti-bullying seminars, social skills workshops, numeracy and literacy classes and special excursions. We encourage our leaders to model positive behaviour and relationships to help children have meaningful cross-cultural relationships with their peers, leaders, mentors and art therapists.

After Hours Care

We provide a supervised space where children can play, engage in art, games and sport, and form supportive relationships with adults. It is available Tuesday and Wednesday 3-6pm in term time at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House. Our aim is to increase children’s self-expression and resilience in a safe, stimulating and caring environment.

Holiday Care

We provide a variety of excursions and in-house activities (art, sports, games and cooking) for some days of fun. It is available in the school holiday period. Our aim is to assist and provide respite for children and parents in the school holidays.

Wired Up

We provide a numeracy and literacy support program for Prep and Grade 1 students to help improve their speaking, reading, writing and math skills. Our aim is to help improve children’s self-confidence in learning.

Expressional Art Program

Expressional Art Program uses creative visual art within a therapeutic relationship to improve and inform young people’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. This is particularly catered towards children who have experienced significant challenges and trauma. Our aim is to provide a safe space for these children to work through their challenges with a therapist and build their resilience and wellbeing.

Junior Leaders

We provide former LiveWires participants (who now attend secondary school) with the opportunity to re-join the After Hours Care program as junior leaders. This provides youth with opportunities to serve in their local community and build leadership skills. Our aim is to give younger youth an opportunity to develop their confidence in leadership and assist them with the transition into secondary school.

Timothy Baragwanath Scholarship Award

Each year, one child is awarded with the Timothy Baragwanath Scholarship Award at the end of year Christmas Party. This award assists a child with resource needs for when they enter Grade 7. This award was established after LiveWires Support Program Worker Tim Baragwanath, tragically passed away from cancer in September 2010. Tim’s wife Simone donated to LiveWires to provide this excellent award and it has continued from the generous support from other donors.

Mentoring Program

We provide a child with a mentor who meets with them for regular one-on-one mentoring for a minimum of 12 months. Our aim is to give children from at-risk backgrounds an opportunity to develop deeper relationships with a caring adult outside their family.


In collaboration with Clifton Hill Tennis Club, we provide children with weekly professional tennis coaching and opportunities to participate in tennis competitions. The date and time of tennis varies depending on availability and attendance.  Our aim is to encourage children to participate in sporting activities and build self-esteem.

LiveWires Book Stall

LiveWires has a stand at the Fitzroy Markets where you can come and buy second hand books and all proceeds go towards LiveWires Program. If you have any books to donate please contact the LiveWires Program Manager.


Cynthia Johnson
Cynthia JohnsonManager
Mobile: 0451 878 160
Telephone: (03) 9470 2972
Fax: (03) 9478 7407

“It is my passion to see young people thrive and reach their full potential in life. It is a joy to offer opportunities for children that make them laugh, learn and develop.”
Cynthia Johnson, LiveWires
Marie FlanneryLiveWires After Hours Care Coordinator
Mobile: 0451 878 160
Telephone: (03) 9470 2972
Fax: (03) 9478 7407