Strong, youth-led projects shaping a positive future for young people

The future of youth-led solutions to the challenges of regional life looks bright with the emergence of four projects now in development stage as part of the Youth Speak Future Shaper program.

participants at the youth led late night libraries pilot held at tura marrang library

Photograph: Teenagers and young adults from across the shire enjoyed the Late Night Libraries pilot at Tura Marrang library in late September.

5 October 2022

The future of youth-led solutions to the challenges of regional life looks bright with the emergence of four projects now in development stage as part of the Youth Speak Future Shaper program.

Council’s Youth Resilience Officer Cal Champagne said, since the Bega Valley Youth Forum held in May, young people across the shire had been connecting and collaborating on the themes and ideas that surfaced at that event.

“Through pop-up sessions in libraries and the Future Shaper camp in July, four strong project concepts have emerged,” Cal said.

“Each of these projects has been through a screening process to ensure they are things that young people in the shire want, are achievable and will be effective in meeting the needs of young people.”

The projects - Youth Connect App, Late Night Libraries, Sprout the Youth Garden and StreetArt – are now being fully explored and project plans developed.

“Each project group is linked with an experienced community mentor who will work with them to build on the initial project idea; moving through a solid project plan to arrive at project launch and delivery of the project.

“The role of the mentors is to help solve challenges and address roadblocks to success rather than lead.

“Throughout the process our young project leads are exploring and learning the value of project management techniques and developing the skills required to work effectively within a team and in a community setting.”

There are also a number of projects still in the design phase, including Disaster Preparedness-focused projects being developed in partnership with Eden Marine High School and Eden Community Access Centre.

Cal said the Late Night Libraries project was off to a strong start following a pilot held at the Tura Marrang library on Friday 30 September. A second pilot at the same venue is scheduled for Friday 28 October.

“The Late Night Libraries project is about making the most of public spaces where young people can connect, create and have fun.

“We had 45 young people aged 12-24 from across the shire attend the event last Friday. A free dinner was provided along with a music jam corner, art supplies, video games and a collaborative art piece. It was a chance to just hang, chill and eat.”

“The feedback has been really positive and the project team is taking on board suggestions to be considered for the second pilot.” 

Cal said the other three Future Shaper projects were at different stages of development.

“The Youth Connect App project is focused on developing a digital platform designed to bring together event and support information for young people in one place,” Cal said.

“The project team will be holding a series of free app development workshops in Bega and Eden in November and December and there will be more information about that soon. The team is keen for any 12-24 year olds with an interest in coding and app development to come along and get involved.

“The Sprout the Youth Garden and StreetArt project teams are currently mapping out their project pathways and planning their first mini-projects.

“Anyone who’s interested in the planning process or in becoming a member of any of these projects can contact me at

For more information about Youth Speak, the Future Shaper program and Future Shaper projects, visit Council’s website at


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