Youth Space Latrobe

Minister’s Statement

Ms MIKAKOS (Minister for Youth Affairs) (10:03:54) — I rise today to update the house on the significant progress the Andrews Labor government has made in the development of the $4.3 million Youth Space Latrobe and how we are actively involving young people from the valley in its development. The Youth Space Latrobe project has involved an extensive co-design process that has actively and strategically involved all relevant stakeholders and most importantly the young people of the valley themselves. The process has sought to empower local young people to take pride in their community and has helped to develop their leadership skills.

In July I was pleased to announce that the YMCA will run the centre in partnership with another nine organisations. These agencies will work with young people to help them learn and develop, as well as providing social enterprise and internship activities to boost their employment opportunities. The Youth Space Latrobe consortia, led by the YMCA, consists of Berry Street, Baw Baw Latrobe Local Learning and Employment Network, Scouts Victoria, Quantum Support Services, Latrobe Youth Voices, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, the Gathering Place, AGL Loy Yang and GippSport.

A new youth governance committee is also being established to help ensure young people are engaged in the governance of the space and to shape the types of programs and services to be delivered. Fourteen driven and passionate young people will form the first youth governance committee, helping to set an agenda, drive change and give voice to priority issues for young people in Morwell and surrounding communities. They will be supported by mentors and a part-time Youth Space staff member when needed, and training will also be provided in areas like how a committee operates, budgeting and finance, communication and advocacy, presentation techniques and social media.

Our government is amplifying the voices of young people, ensuring their involvement in decisions that impact on them, which is a key commitment of the Youth Policy: Building Stronger Youth Engagement in Victoria, and our government’s investment in youth affairs has almost doubled since November 2014 to support this. Our government recognises that young people are the future of our state and deserve a voice on matters important to them.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Ms Shing, as the local member, for her great advocacy for this project and also for supporting and encouraging the young people involved in the co-design process and giving young people in her electorate a real opportunity to be involved. We know that young people in the valley deserve every opportunity to be supported, and our government is backing them.