Youth issues on agenda
Working groups will be formed to focus on the development of local youth after a forum on the region’s support for young people was held last week.
The Department of Education, the Geographe Education Support Centre, the Department of Communities and the Great Southern Employment Development Committee hosted the breakfast forum with representatives from the business community, education, police, human services and the Busselton City Council in attendance.
Guest speakers Magistrate Michelle Pontifex and youth support worker Nicole Slevec provided an insight into the opportunities and challenges they believed young people in the community faced.
The discussion focused on opportunities and issues facing Busselton youth in the next five years and encouraged ideas and proposed initiatives to support the demographic.
Organisers said the challenges identified included socio and economic wellbeing, access to public transport, youth identity and connection to the wider community, lack of education and training opportunities coupled with a lack of meaningful employment prospects.
To further develop these community-wide initiatives, hosts plan to create a series of working groups to address the outcomes.
Attendee, South West Coach Lines general manager Lisa Shreeve said about 40 people attended the forum and other issues raised included drugs and alcohol, access to support services, parenting and social activities.Mrs Shreeve said young people would have access to more services and facilities if transport was integrated with events,services and facilities.
“We often try and recreate the wheel by applying for funding for more events, more support services, better training, more social activities when in reality these are all around us, but we don’t support the existing services.
What we do is try and compete by setting up new services and spreading the vegemite so thin, that some of these become unviable and then we complain we have no services for young people,” she said.
“The answer, I believe, is in events and activities, to integrate the cost of transport in the ticket.”
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