The Weekly Advertiser

Horsham council releases draft youth strategy for comment

Horsham Rural City Council is encouraging the community to have its say on a draft youth strategy out for public comment.
Mayor Pam Clarke said the plan signaled the council’s commitment to better outcomes for young people in Horsham district. 
“After spending the past two months consulting with our community, it is very exciting to now be able to present a draft strategy to the community,” she said.
“Young people are our future so we need a strategy that helps to ensure they have the resources they need to grow up safe, healthy, happy and resilient and are provided the opportunities and skills they need to learn, work and engage with the community.”
The draft strategy will guide how the council will work with young people, services, schools and the community across the next 10 years.
“There will be changes in the way we deliver youth services, changes in how we engage with young people and changes to our advocacy platform,” Cr Clarke said.
“We encourage residents to view the draft strategy and action plan and make comment by the closing date.” 
Community services director Kevin O’Brien said the plan recommended a transition away from the current centre-based youth services model delivered under the Nexus brand.
“It is proposed the council shift its youth services resources to an internal youth-officer role who will be well placed to deliver on emerging priorities and co-ordinate engagement with young people,” he said.
“This is necessary for Horsham to continue to grow and evolve as a vibrant, inclusive and youth friendly community.”
The plan reveals Horsham has many assets to offer young people but the region’s youth also faced challenges.
“Respondents said they valued the safety and peacefulness of the Horsham area, while many expressed concerns about drug and alcohol use, bullying and mental and physical health,” Mr O’Brien said. 
The draft youth strategy is designed to empower young people with a voice in decision making across all councils work areas. It also proposes to develop a youth council.
“We are not defining the model as we think it is important that young people tell us what they want,” Mr O’Brien said.
“It will also provide opportunities for our young people to co-design services, spaces and activities that are welcoming and inclusive.” 
The draft youth strategy is available for comment until July 29, and can be viewed at council offices in Natimuk and Horsham or on the council website,
Feedback will be used for a final draft strategy, which will be presented to the council for approval later this year.

The entire July 11, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!


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Posted on Jul 11 2018

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