27 February 2023

Young people given a voice on the future of Eurobodalla

| Katrina Condie
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The Eurobodalla youth services team encourages the community to give feedback on the draft youth action plan available on the council’s website. Photo: ESC.

An action plan is being developed to make the Eurobodalla region an attractive place for young people to live, and a place where they can feel successful and valued, and pursue careers.

Eurobodalla Shire Council community development and participation manager Kim Bush said the plan would encourage everyone in the community, not just the council, to play a role in supporting young people to thrive.

She said the draft plan would focus on three main priorities over four years and would be on public exhibition until Wednesday, 15 March.

“After hearing feedback from 659 young people last year, we have set priorities on safety, wellbeing and opportunity,” Ms Bush said.

The council has drafted the youth action plan and is seeking feedback from the community, particularly people aged 12 to 24, who make up 11 per cent of Eurobodalla’s population.

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With Eurobodalla’s median age sitting at 54 and the NSW median age at 39, Ms Bush said it was important the council cemented strategies to ensure young people were considered when it came to support.

“Our shire has an older demographic, which means youth need to speak louder to advocate for meaningful activities, support from adults and safe spaces,” Ms Bush explained.

“As the shire continues to evolve, we need to work closely with our youth and the community to make sure we are meeting the current and future needs of our youth.

“We want our shire to be a place where young people choose to live, can feel successful, pursue careers and feel valued.”

The draft youth action plan highlights values young people have identified, such as exploration, freedom, learning and leading.

“These values are reflected by the need to address the lack of access to transport and housing; a desire for diverse events, activities and opportunities; the need for strong youth voices in the community; and access to enriching work and education,” Ms Bush said.

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The draft plan also considers the impact bushfires and the pandemic had on the community.

“With all the pressures young people face, it’s important we create positive influences and opportunities,” Ms Bush said.

“Cultural and social experiences can help shape a young person’s outlook on life. It will take a whole-community effort to bring to life and address the opinions and voice of young people and their role in shaping our region.”

The council’s youth services team took the lead role in developing the youth action plan and is continuing to run a range of community activities and events as well as supporting local services and organisations for young people.

Young people are encouraged to view and provide feedback on the draft youth action plan on the council’s website.

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