Youth counselors call for a safe space

The Greater Geelong City Youth Council has recommended the need for a centralized integrated youth space for young people in the area.

At Tuesday evening’s Council meeting, Deputy Mayor Angelle Mackay identified opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of young people in Greater Geelong.

The report noted that a “safe and inclusive” youth space would address the significant increase in mental health issues and social impacts that COVID-19 has had on young people.

The report also noted the group’s activities to date, including participation in Deakin University’s Growing Up in Cities project, participation in the Barwon Water community consultation, and the Racism, Raw & Real forum.

“Participating in the feasibility study workshops for future youth hubs and sharing our views on the need for space and design ideas has been very rewarding,” Angelle said.

“We believe an integrated youth space in central Geelong would enable young people to access the support services they need to protect their safety and well-being, and we believe the benefits would far outweigh the costs of creating such a space.

“I also particularly enjoyed the Racism, Raw & Real forum, where we heard from a number of First Nations people and people from diverse cultures and languages ​​who shared their personal experiences of racism. I encourage everyone to attend the event in the years to come.

In the report, the youth advisers also asked the Council to consider creating an interim youth space while additional funds are raised for a permanent centre.

The Youth Council’s fourth and final report to the Council will be presented on Tuesday 13 December.

The Youth Council is made up of 12 young people aged 12 to 17, with three representatives from each of the council’s four wards.

Nominations for the 2023 Youth Council are open until November 7; for more information and to apply, see geelongaustralia.com.au/youthcouncil.

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