Engage grant boosts young aims

11 Jan 2018 Ovens and Murray Advertiser, Wangaratta VIC (General News) INDIGO communities are to continue to benefit from a $100,000 Victorian government grant to encourage youth development and awareness projects. Indigo Shire Council is one of 18 organisations in northern Victoria to share in an allocation of $1.94 million from the governments Engage program, announced on Friday, for a project called Indigo Opportunities. Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) said Engage was designed to better connect young people and the communities in which they live and would help to strengthen their education, training and job pathways and improve health and well-being. She said the funding in Indigo Shire between 2018 and 2020 would help to build confidence among young people and deliver abilities for them to make decisions for and with their communities. Every young person should have the opportunity and support they need to reach their full potential, Ms Symes said. Engage is helping young people of different backgrounds and experiences to get involved in a range of activities so they can achieve their goals. The new round of funding extends Indigos previous involvement in the program. It will be used to develop specific action groups for skills development in towns and communities. It will also support an Indigo Shire lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and youth support group which was set up in 2016. The group provides connection, support and an advocacy platform for LGBTQI young people and their allies. Engage will also be used to support the Indigo Shire lifeguard program. A pilot program ran in 2016-17 and with the fresh funding the council will be offering 10 positions this year to local young people to receive free lifeguard and first aid training. They will be mentored in themes of leadership, communication and job interview processes. The participants will then all be offered shadow shifts at their chosen local pool and a formal job interview with Momentum One the employer for Indigo Shire swimming pools. Last year six young people from the program were employed at the local pools. Other funds will support Youth voice a changemakers program to boost youth communication in the shire and build leadership and advocacy skills. Funding will also be directed towards the development of a Mental health peer support model. This will lead to the engagement of expert trainers in youth mental health first aid to provide a formalised training package for young people and adult community leaders working with young people. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.