Young leaders call for more safe spaces

July 2, 2021 BY

Cr Sarah Mansfield (left), Cr Jim Mason (centre) and deputy mayor Trent Sullivan (right) pictured with the 2021 Youth Council. Photo: CITY OF GREATER GEELONG

THE city’s youth representatives are calling for more safe spaces for young people as part of their first recommendation.

The 2021 Youth Council delivered its second report to the City of Greater Geelong Council during last week’s meeting with recommendations led by junior mayor Elliot Nicholas.

The junior council’s report highlighted the growing need to create social opportunities for young people after bouts of poor mental health and isolation caused by the pandemic.

Prior to the most recent COVID-19 restrictions, members of the youth council visited The fOrT, a youth dedicated space in Corio, where young people reported to be enjoying the sense of community, shared meals and activities on offer.

Aligning with the goals set out in the Social Infrastructure Plan, the junior councillors called for three more youth spaces to be established in the Brownbill, Kardinia and Bellarine wards, with priority to be given to a new hub in Central Geelong to create greater access.

Under the recommendations, the youth council also called for mental health services to be included at the hubs, and for young people to be involved in the design process.

Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher was pleased to see youth councillors taking on board the advice of their council mentors prior to the report.

“Council will seriously consider their recommendations about more dedicated and safe spaces for young people in the region, which are in line with the Social Infrastructure Plan’s strategic focus areas,” she said.

Chair of the Diversity, Inclusion and LGBTIQ+ portfolio, Cr Sarah Mansfield, said she was always open to new ideas on how to further support young people in the region.

“The Social Infrastructure Plan found there is a need in the community for more spaces for our young people, to ensure they’re engaged, healthy and feel safe,” she said.

“The Youth Council’s recommendations reflect this demand, and we look forward to working with them to progress the development of dedicated spaces for young people in Geelong.”

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