Biennial summit helping young people shape the future of youth services in western Sydney
A major biennial summit focusing upon the future of youth services in a rapidly growing region of western Sydney is being held at Richmond High School on 5 April.
More than 120 young people from throughout the Hawkesbury area will gather to discuss the results of a current regional youth survey with the aim of making tangible and lasting recommendations that will impact the delivery and nature of youth services in the area for years to come.
The Hawkesbury Youth Summit is a project in partnership between The Hawkesbury City Council, the North Richmond Community Centre and Wesley Mission – a large provider of youth services in the region.
High schools in the region have been asked to select and send 10 to 15 student representatives to the Summit.
Mental health, drug and alcohol issues, lack of transport, cyber bullying, poor employment opportunities, domestic violence, family breakdown and disengagement from school are some of the prevalent issues that young people are dealing with each day.
Wesley Mission has been working closely with Hawkesbury City Council during the past few years through its strategic Hawkesbury Youth Interagency. The Interagency, Wesley Mission and other providers are well aware of the mounting demand for services and the complex and growing needs of young people in the region.
Survey questions were designed by young people who participated in a youth friendly forum for several months. The event is free with Richmond High School catering students providing food sandwiches and morning tea for all staff and young people.
“We have prepared an exciting program for Youth Summit participants which will include an opportunity to discuss concerns about living, studying, or working in the Hawkesbury area and to voice ideas about changes they would like to see in the Hawkesbury,” said Lynsey Monaghan, Wesley Mission’s Western Sydney Youth Team Leader.
“There’s also an interactive program from facilitators Burn Bright; a fast-paced song making experience with The Human Sound Project plus the opportunity to meet with youth service providers from the Hawkesbury and learn about their services. It will give young people the opportunity to have a say about important issues and to be to be involved in decision making that impacts them.”
The CEO of Wesley Mission the Rev Keith Garner said he was delighted that Wesley Mission could play such an important and strategic role in helping to support young people.
“Wesley Mission has a long history of providing youth services in western Sydney and it does this in partnership with other providers. We form part of the network of support in the Hawkesbury area but have a clear focus on local solutions to local problems. The Youth Forum and the survey will help the community work towards a proactive path for sustainable outcomes.”
Around one in five people in the Hawkesbury region are aged 12-24 years and as many as 35 per cent in some localities in the LGA.
Place: Richmond High School
Date: 5 April 2017
Time: 9.30 am – 2.30 pm