Have Your Say on Draft Youth Strategy

Published on 13 September 2018

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Young people of Baw Baw Shire are strongly encouraged to review and have their say on Council’s draft Youth Strategy titled Building the Best Years.

The draft strategy is now open for a four-week Have Your Say consultation period with feedback submissions open until 5.00pm on Wednesday 10 October.

Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Cr Joe Gauci said the draft strategy outlines a renewed focus on how Council engages with, supports and advocates for young people in the Shire.

“Earlier in April we visited several schools, service providers and community groups and engaged with over 600 young people. Feedback told us that young people want access to more local community events and activities, more parks, trails and open spaces and better access to mental health services”, said the Mayor.

“Building on this early consultation, we’ve developed a draft youth strategy. Now we’re asking, have we got it right?”

The draft strategy builds on five key pillars:

  • Youth Leadership: Fostering relationships and partnerships with community stakeholders and different tiers of government to actively promote youth leadership. 
  • Participation: Engaging young people and improving their access to safely participate in their community, education, employment programs and services.
  • Health and Wellbeing: Integrating initiatives that improve health outcomes.
  • Advocacy: Advocating young people at relevant forums and providing advice to other levels of government.
  • Innovation: Responding effectively to changing needs. 

The draft strategy has been developed with a view to employ a full-time Youth Officer. Funds for the position and associated projects have been allocated in Council’s 2018-19 budget.

West Ward Cr Jessica O’Donnell said once adopted, the strategy will guide our work in the youth services space including how we partner with key agencies and the community to help young people thrive. 

“Sixteen percent of our local population is aged 12-25 years old equating to over 7,800 young people living in Baw Baw. We want to develop a strategy that supports continuous engagement and ensures young people contribute to Council plans and strategies that matter to them”, said Cr O’Donnell.

“We strongly encourage young people to review the draft and make sure it meets expectations. It’s your feedback we want the most as this strategy will shape how we all work together moving forward.”

For more information or to review the draft strategy and make a feedback submission, please visit www.bawbawshire.vic.gov.au/HaveYourSay

Following this consultation period, all feedback will be considered and consolidated and presented back to Council at a future meeting. Those who have taken part in the community engagement process will be informed of the outcome.

Any enquiries can be directed to Council’s Community Development team on 5624 2411.