10 June 2020
Council wants to know what young people living in in the Bega Valley, aged 12 to 25, need to support their ambitions, hopes and dreams, so it can help create the resources, services and facilities to meet those needs.
“Through the 2020 Youth Speak survey, we will listen to our young people and identify the opportunities and gaps in our current environment so we and other local agencies can better support and lift-up our Valley youth,” Mayor Sharon Tapscott said.
“We want to help create the same opportunities here that young people have in our cities. That includes meaningful work experience, volunteering opportunities, mental health support and improved transport options for young people starting out in the workforce.”
The survey, open from 9 June until 25 June, is on Council’s website and aims be inclusive of all local young people no matter where and how they live.
“This is part of a program being developed by Council as a result of concerns raised about the widening gaps in youth opportunities across the Shire,” Cr Tapscott said.
“Councillors are committed to doing better at supporting young people to have a voice about their futures and the things that are important to them.”
She said this was not about telling them, but about listening and supporting youth-led ideas and initiatives as a way of doing better for our young people.
“We haven’t always shone brightly in this space. Councillors recognise this. There are opportunities to give a voice to our youth that have been missing or were created in the past and not sustained. We know we can and need to do better,” Cr Tapscott said.
“We want to work with local young people to make sure that what we build together can live on, growing and adapting with need as part of the fabric of the Valley.”
Mayor Tapscott said treating this need seriously had never been more important.
“The lives of our young people have been disrupted by drought, bushfires and now COVID-19. As we recover from these bushfires and emerge from the shock of COVID-19 restrictions we must create ways to truly support and foster great futures for them,” she said.
“We want to nurture and grow our young people with social support, fostering connection within the broader community, and creating a sense of meaning, ownership and belonging.”
2020 Youth Speak Survey is the first step in a broader youth program. A Youth Forum, to be held in Bega later this year, is another step and those completing the survey will be invited to nominate to attend.
Mayor Tapscott said the survey is anonymous but does ask for the location of respondents so Council can identify themes that might be common to localities.