Zal is a Finalist for Western Australian of the Year in the Youth Category

Zal Kanga-Parabia has been volunteering with Propel for 6 years in various projects and recently became our Creative Coordinator for the Youth Week WA KickstART Festival.

He has been working with the KickstART youth committee over the last 7 months developing a program of over 70 free events for young people around WA and collaborating with other organisations like the State Theatre Centre of WA, Art Gallery of WA, State Library of WA, Scitech and the New Museum of WA to streamline opportunities directly to young people and create mentorship programs that build deep connections that develop young leaders and artists in our community.


“Propel Youth Arts WA was where it all started for me. They welcomed me when I had no idea who I wanted to become and when I was thrown into the deep end of the art world, I had the support I needed! I have been so lucky to be on the other side and now work with some incredible collaborators and absolutely astonishing young people who are giving so much to our community.”

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About Zal

Zal’s efforts in his work as a youth, community artist have been commended through the ECU Vice-Chancellor’s award, the Cultural Endeavours Award and Runner Up WA’s Young Person Of The Year award (YACWA 2015), for his charity work including guiding youth who have experienced homelessness to tell their stories through photography, as part of Home Is Where My Heart Is (2012 – 2016).

Zal was awarded runner up for Best New WA work - Martin Sims Award in Fringe World Festival 2017 for his intimate sold out performance at the State Theatre of Western Australia in which he performed and mentored 20 young people. He was selected from hundreds of entries to be involved in the Perth International Arts Festival - PIAFLab 2017 and created a work with international artist Inua Ellams: The Midnight Run – 40 Audience Flute Ensemble with 16 Tone Piano and Spectrograph score – A story of communal music sharing. Zal recently completed his Bachelor of Arts in photomedia and physics. His key focus is diversity through art and he created a 90 page astronomical photo book which looks at subjectivity in science receiving best monograph at the 2017 Graduate Exhibition, Edith Cowan University.

‘Selfless’ and ‘creative’ are two words embodying everything Zal is about. He truly pours his heart and soul into volunteering his time towards projects supporting local artists, youths and non-profits. Currently he is directing the Youth Week WA KickstART Festival, programming and organizing over 70 free events to impact thousands of young people in WA. He single-handedly founded and produced the Youth Music Program at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre where, from December 2014, he tirelessly provided opportunities and one-on-one mentorships to local young musicians, filmmakers, stage production teams and artists to work together and create large scale productions, recreating a long lost community of rural arts that spreads the message of togetherness and diversity; this is his foremost passion.

He acquired the Lesley Couzens Arts Fellowship grant to travel to London and present workshops on return. He has volunteered over 300 hours at the Perth Observatory and hundreds of hours for Youth Affairs Council WA, Propel Youth Arts, the KickstART, Fairbridge, Stretch and Crab Festivals and Make Place Mandurah, supporting young people, especially those at risk to find alternatives and positive ways to express themselves and make use of their time through creativity.