Young people hurled wet sponges, shot some hoops and grooved to tunes spun by a DJ on Thursday in a welcome reprieve from the challenges of growing up.
Dozens of children, teenagers and their families flocked to Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation for this year's National Youth Week celebrations.
Chief executive Kim Davison said the music, sporting and social activities were designed around this year's theme, 'It starts with us'.
"It certainly does start with us as a community, and especially as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids.
"I think it's time we started to focus on kids a bit more.
"It's great for our young people to come together with their parents and other members of the community to relax and celebrate youth."
Ms Davison said young people who accessed the Erindale centre often struggled with problems related to education, drug and alcohol use and suicide.
"There are so many obstacles and so many pressing issues they come across in their everyday lives.
"There's a myriad of issues, they don't just present with one. We find it's multiple issues on top of multiple issues."
Ms Davison said there was a need for Indigenous young people to receive more individualised attention to address their problems and give them more of a voice in their community.
"I think sometimes the young ones just need some love and direction."
The event was among a series of National Youth Week activities organised in the capital to celebrate young people and bring youth matters to the forefront.
The Youth Coalition of the ACT took over the Legislative Assembly reception room, bringing their Just Saying event to policymakers and politicians.
The packed event was hosted by high-profile ABC political reporter Alice Workman and featured nine presentations from young people aged between nine and 25 years of age.
Sophie, a 22-year-old neuroscience student from Australian National University told the event better protections for young people living with mental illness was needed in Canberra.
"In any given year, one-quarter of the youth of the ACT have a diagnosable mental illness. Mental health … also directly relates to so many other significant issues in our community," she said.
"Some of these include homelessness, stigma, self-esteem, the economy, population health, employment, substance abuse, education levels, quality of life and individual contribution to society.
"Improve mental health intervention and we'll be well on the way to improving all of these other issues too."
Jasmine, a 10-year-old pupil from Canberra Girls Grammar, spoke about her vision for young people in Canberra.
"My answer to the question of why should politicians or decision makers care about what young people have to say is they really need to, so children's self-esteem can get more confident and doesn't get wrecked all the time."
Ministers Yvette Berry, Shane Rattenbury and Mick Gentleman joined the event, along with opposition youth spokesman Andrew Wall.