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 place for children to experience social and recreational opportunities and develop meaningful relationships. LiveWires 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
  • Expressive Art
  • Mentoring
  • Junior Leaders
  • Tennis


Mission: Our mission is to offer children care, support and opportunities 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 group of girls got together each week through our Expressive Arts project and explored topics around their ancestry, values, skills, important relationships and hopes and dreams.They each created Trees of Life paintings and added words, ideas and connections that showed meaning in their lives.
In the group, Talia* began to share a story about her great grandma who lived in Kenya, a woman who she admired. She told the group how her grandmother had died after giving birth to her mother, and how her great grandmother had taken on the responsibility of caring for her family. She went on to tell the group how her great grandma was a strong woman. We talked about the values connected to Talia’s* story, about strength and courage and that these were the qualities that she remembered about her great grandmother.

one-childs-tree-lifeOne child’s Tree of Life

 This story seemed to inspire each of the girls to tell their own stories. Some girls shared memories of sadness or of bullying and so we were able to speak with the children about empathy, justice, trust, loyalty and appropriate responses to circumstances. During Girl Talk we had a lot of fun creating paintings, beads and jewellery as well as having some rich personal and educational

 Group exercise



  • ACU
  • Clifton Hill Tennis Club
  • Collingwood African Association
  • Collingwood Library
  • Collingwood Neighbourhood House
  • Cubbies
  • Drummond Street Services
  • Kid’s Own Publishing
  • RMIT
  • St Joseph’s Primary School
  • St Martin’s Community Church
  • The Fitzroy Markets
  • Westside Circus
  • City of Yarra Leisure

Main Sponsors:

  • ANZ Staff Foundation
  • Campbell Edwards Trust
  • FareShare
  • Leader Community Newspapers
  • Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation


Business Contributions:

  • Bakers Delight, Glenferrie
  • Sandton Hair Gallery

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