Our Impact

Backing the Future: Bevis Masson-Leach

Bevis Masson-Leach

Making music is an outlet, a way to share your story and a positive avenue to vent frustrations and emotions which otherwise will get directed elsewhere. So we aim to provide a safe space for the young people involved to freely express themselves without censorship and embrace the cathartic process of music making. It can be deep, but it can also just be about having some fun in the moment.” - Bevis Masson-Leach

Bevis Masson-Leach received a 2022 NSW Backing the Future grant for Hometown – a pilot series of hip hop writing and production workshops held in the regional towns of Armidale, Nambucca Valley, Moree and Newcastle. This proposal was approved under VFFF’s Contributing to Society focus area.

Bevis is a music producer who grew up in Armidale but is now based in Newcastle. He works alongside Sadini Handunnetti, who provides mentoring support to young people participating in the Hometown program. Together, they recognise that music operates as a powerful tool for young people to connect, share their stories and have fun.

The Hometown program provides young people with the opportunity to work alongside local artists from their community, so far collaborating with Kobie Dee, Tasman Keith, Nate Weatherall, Kapital J, RISSA and Nathan Talakai. Bevis’ Backing the Future grant covered the cost of travel to regional communities, accommodation for the duration of the workshops, and payment for local artists and facilitators assisting the program. 

The pilot series wrapped in June 2023. The Hometown team shared a number of learnings with VFFF:

  • This work should be ongoing, not one-off – Hometown seeks to build the capacity of young people to engage with music as a form of storytelling and build their skills to be able to do it by themselves, rather than passing by a town, creating a few songs and then leaving;
  • Building local connections is invaluable – the Hometown team recognises the importance of working alongside existing organisations and existing stakeholders in each community, such as Mad Proppa Deadly in Armidale;
  • When rolling out workshops, expect each community to be different – a strength of the Hometown program is its ability to be flexible and adaptive to the needs and priorities of each group of young people;
  • Listening and responding to youth voices increases engagement – the Hometown team incorporates young people’s ideas into the agenda for each session and the workshop goals are completely youth led.

Bevis has documented the impact of Hometown through a series of videos. Check out the Newcastle video below!



  • Backing Young People
  • Rural and regional
  • $20K - $50K
  • 12 - 24 months

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