Contrary to popular believe, the Great Lakes isn’t primarily a popular retirement haven
Young people aged between 14 and 24 years make up almost 15 per cent of the population.
As part of a three-year plan focusing on addressing youth issues across the area, MidCoast Council plans to gauge assistance from young people and local community groups connected with the youth sector.
They are the future residents, workforce, influencers and leaders within our community, MidCoast Council community strengthening co-ordinator, Lyndie Hepple said.
Their thoughts, opinions and concerns are at the heart of a research study, developed with support from the University of New England (UNE), that will inform the MidCoast Youth Strategic Plan, Ms Hepple said.
The plan has become a priority for the Mid Coast local government area (LGA), she said.
“Working alongside local service providers, we identified the need for a co-ordinated approach to understanding and delivering upon local youth issues.
“As part of developing something that has relevance and meaning in supporting young people from all corners of our region, it’s critical they have a voice and guide the direction of the plan, and the initiatives contained within it.”
The first phase of the project kicked off in early August.
“We’re encouraging people 14 to 24 years old to take part by completing the survey that delves into what they think about living in the Mid Coast region, what challenges they and their peers face, their issues, and the concerns they hold for their future,” Ms Hepple said.
Survey participants can remain anonymous, or choose to continue their involvement by registering to take part in follow-up focus groups that will expand on key themes identified from the survey.
Parents and guardians of young people are also encouraged to share their views using the survey.
“By asking ‘what youth think’ we’re looking for strong participation in terms of numbers, and breadth of feedback that unravels the focus areas that really matter.”
Once complete, the Youth Strategic Plan will provide a region-wide framework for youth-focused support services, actions and initiatives for a three-year period, 2019-2021.
While MidCoast Council will lead the process in developing the plan, the local youth service sector will be instrumental in its implementation.
Consultation and research will be undertaken across the Mid Coast this month, followed by the focus group sessions, with an aim of having the MidCoast Youth Strategic Plan finalised and adopted by council early in 2019.
To find out more about this project, and to ‘tell us what youthink’ visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/youthink and link to the survey, which takes around 30 minutes to complete.
The survey will remain open until Friday, August 31.