Ballarat Youth Strategy 2009 - 2014

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					                        Ballarat Youth Strategy

Ballarat Youth Strategy
     2009 - 2014

‘Our Commitment To Supporting
        Young People’


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                                                                                  Ballarat Youth Strategy


         Council thanks individuals, community groups and agencies that contributed to the
                  Youth Strategy by attending workshops and writing submissions

    In particular, Council thanks the young people who attended community meetings, completed
                 surveys, facilitated meetings with their peers or conducted interviews.

        Council also acknowledges the commitment that so many Ballarat organisations and
       residents make to young people through clubs, events and other health and wellbeing
                                       support networks.

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                                                                                                                                               Ballarat Youth Strategy
                                                         TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................................................. 4 
1.  INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................................... 5 
2.  VISION .................................................................................................................................................... 5 
    2.1 WORKING WITH COMMUNITY ORAGNISATIONS ........................................................................................................ 5 
3.  PLANNING AND RESEARCH ...................................................................................................................... 6 
    3.1 COUNCIL RESEARCH ...........................................................................................................................................6 
    3.2 FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT PLANNING FOR YOUTH ....................................................................................... 6 
4.  COUNCIL SERVICES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE .................................................................................................. 7 
    4.1 YOUTH SERVICES................................................................................................................................................8 
    4.2 YHQ ...............................................................................................................................................................8 
5.  COUNCIL ROLE......................................................................................................................................... 9 
    5.1 IDENTIFIED ROLE ...........................................................................................................................................9 
    52 ROLE OF OTHER ORGANISATIONS .......................................................................................................................... 10 
6.  KEY RESEARCH AREAS............................................................................................................................ 11 
7.  FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS......................................................................................................... 12 
8.  IMPLEMENTING THE YOUTH STRATEGY ................................................................................................. 13 
    8.1 IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW COMMITTEE ........................................................................................................ 13 
    8.2 MONITORING AND REPORTING ........................................................................................................................... 13 
9.  REFERNCES............................................................................................................................................ 14 
10.  ACRONYMS ......................................................................................................................................... 14 
ACTION PLAN............................................................................................................................................. 15 
APPENDIX I:  DEMOGRAPHICS AND TRENDS ............................................................................................... 25 
APPENDIX II:  PROJECT METHODOLOGY ..................................................................................................... 26 
APPENDIX III:  PRIORITY ISSUES AND OUTCOMES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE ....................................................... 27 
    1. HEALTHY, SAFE & INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES ........................................................................................................... 28 
    2. SUSTAINABLE BUILT AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS ................................................................................................. 32 
    3. DYNAMIC, RESILIENT LOCAL ECONOMIES ................................................................................................................ 34 
    4. CULTURALLY RICH AND VIBRANT COMMUNITIES ...................................................................................................... 35 
    5. DEMOCRATIC AND ENGAGED COMMUNITIES ........................................................................................................... 37 

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                                                                                                 Ballarat Youth Strategy
This Youth Strategy provides council and the community with a framework for addressing the health and
wellbeing needs of young people aged 12 to 25 over the next 5 years.

340 young people and representatives from organisations that engage with young people were directly involved
in this project. In addition the recently completed City of Ballarat ‘Generation Next’ survey provided information
from another 570 young people on a range of topics central to the Youth Strategy.

Consultation was undertaken through community forums and workshops, submissions and interviews. The
strategy also drew on findings from several council and state government documents including ‘Blueprint
Ballarat’, Council’s ‘Health and Wellbeing Plan’, ‘Future Directions’, the ‘Vulnerable Youth Framework Discussion
Paper’ and ‘The State of Victoria’s Young People’ report.

Council recognises that the needs of young people are diverse and vary depending on a range of factors
including age, nature of support networks, place of residence, manner in which their local community embraces
them and their sense of worth and wellbeing.

Because of this diverse range of needs council’s priority is to focus on preventative and proactive strategies that
benefit the greatest number of young people. This is the majority of young people who face the day-to-day
challenges associated with growing up but who do not have special needs that may make them vulnerable.

There are young people who face particularly challenging issues and require additional and more specialised
support than can be provided through council’s direct services. Council recognises it has a role through
leadership, advocacy and partnerships to work with other organisations to advocate for resources to strengthen
local services for these young people.

Therefore, council’s primary role is to invest in strategies that strengthen the social, recreation and educational
environments of young people. Typical of this role is the provision of youth activity and referral programs through
YHQ (Youth Headquarters); the planning and provision of arts, social, sport and recreation facilities; supporting
community initiatives and the strengthening of relevant networks and advocating for additional needs.

Priorities in the action plan are based on the significance of the issue as determined through community
engagement; the implications of demographic trends for Ballarat; the significance of the issue in other council,
state and federal planning for young people; the availability of resources to support the action and the potential
outcomes of the proposed action.

Council will establish a committee to oversee the implementation of the Youth Strategy. The working group will
convene quarterly to evaluate strategy outcomes and to review priorities with regard to changing needs.

Due to the diverse range of priority issues identified, the success of this strategy will require the involvement of
many government, business and community organisations. A community-based approach will harness the
energy, ideas and commitment of the whole community which in turn will optimise outcomes for Ballarat’s youth.

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Young people are integral to the Ballarat community and make significant contributions to community life. Youth
Strategy 2009-2014 provides a framework for improving health and wellbeing outcomes for young people aged
12 to 25 and defines council’s role in providing these. The City of Ballarat hopes that community groups and
organisations who work with Ballarat youth will use the results and recommendations in this document and work
with City of Ballarat, where appropriate, to deliver this Strategy and contribute to its ongoing improvement and/or

This strategy recognises that young people:
             Are an important part of the Ballarat community
             Have specific and diverse needs; and
             Play an important role in the planning of Ballarat’s future.

To create and provide ongoing opportunities for young people aged 12 to 25 in Ballarat and to improve their
health and wellbeing through empowerment, education, access and community and organisational support.

The Youth Strategy aims to:
    • Provide access to a diverse range of information and services
    • Respond to expressions of needs and aspirations
    • Enhance health and wellbeing outcomes and
    • Encourage participation in activities and events.

2.1 Working with community organisations
City of Ballarat recognises that there are many community organisations in Ballarat that have a strong level of
involvement and understanding of the unique needs, requirements and aspirations of young people.
City of Ballarat encourages these groups to embrace the Youth Strategy and where possible, provide feedback,
offer assistance or work in partnership with City of Ballarat to ensure a coordinated strategy that addresses the
needs of young people is implemented.

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3.1 Council Research
Council undertakes a range of research and service planning projects to ensure that it responds to the needs of
the community. Findings from these projects have been considered in preparing the Youth Strategy. This will
result in a well-integrated approach to service planning and delivery and identify projects where there can be
collaboration to optimise outcomes.

The following council plans and policies have been important in preparing the Youth Strategy and will continue to
be referred to as the Youth Strategy is implemented.

         Council Plan 2009-2013
         Blue Print Ballarat
         Health and Wellbeing Plan 2007-2009
         Community Safety Action Plan 2008-2013
         Positive Ageing Strategy 2008-2013
         Open Space Strategy
         Municipal Early Years Plan
         Cultural Diversity Strategy (Draft)
         Social Infrastructure Plan (Draft)
         Community Road Safety Strategy
         SMART Strategic Plan.

3.2 Federal and State Government Planning for Youth
In April 2008 the Federal Office for Youth, which was disbanded during the term of the previous government, was
re-established. At the time of preparing this strategy the Federal Government was undertaking research that will
underpin policy relating to young people.

3.2.1 State Government research
The State Government has produced several documents to guide the planning of services for young people at a
state level. These documents articulate the need for effective planning for youth services at a local level. The
documents also emphasise the need for a preventative or proactive approach to dealing with issues and
identifying opportunities to address them.

Of particular reference to the Ballarat Youth Strategy are the following State Government reports:
         Future Directions – An Action Agenda for Young Victorians
         The State of Victoria’s Young People, and
         Vulnerable Youth Framework Discussion Paper.

These documents conclude that despite the transition from childhood to adulthood being more complex in recent
years due to significant social, environmental and technological changes, the majority of young Victorians are
faring well. The documents also identify that there are many young people that require additional support due to
the particularly challenging issues they face.

In Future Directions (pages 18-27) the State Government identifies 40 actions that will assist the government
achieve its broad policy outcomes relating to young people. These outcomes are about young people:
         Contributing and making a difference
         Achieving potential through informed life choices
         Having resources and making connections
         Managing healthy, active and diverse lives
         Being safe and promoting safe behaviour.

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Council provides a diverse range of opportunities through its service areas to cater for the health and wellbeing
of young people. Council recognises the need to continue to review these opportunities in light of the findings
that have emerged from the Youth Strategy and other council planning projects.

The following table provides an overview of the range and diversity of council provided opportunities that young
people have access to or which are provided to enhance the lives of young people.

    COUNCIL SERVICE                                      OVERVIEW OF PROVISION
 YOUTH SERVICES                    Provision of YHQ (Youth Headquarters) building providing spaces for
                                   programs and social engagement, access to computers and Internet and
                                   information and advice for young people
   Based in Armstrong
   Street, Ballarat                Special events including Youth Festival, Battle of the Bands and Australia
   5.5 effective full time
   staff; AND                      Special interest groups including Freeza, Zaque, Skate Park Users
   30 volunteers                   Youth Councillor program
                                   Training of volunteers
                                   Recreation activities including school holiday activities, skate events, social
                                   Promotion and support to community-based events and programs
                                   Counselling and referral services
                                   School visitation program
                                   Advocacy and networking with youth agencies, community organisations and
                                   various levels of government
 RECREATION                        6 skate parks                            32kms of cycling/walking trails
                                   5 BMX facilities                         200 neighbourhood parks
                                   5 outdoor pools                          18 major parks
                                   1 indoor Aquatic and Recreation          110 playgrounds
                                   Centre                                   15 community centres and public
 SPORT                             44 sporting grounds                      80 tennis courts
                                   8 netball courts                         55 sports pavilions
 ARTS AND CULTURE                  Libraries                                Public art
                                   Cultural events
 SUPPORT SERVICES                  Parenting programs
                                   Referral services
                                   Young mothers groups, playgroups and Maternal and Child Health Services
 FUNDING                           Community Grants Program
                                   Arts and culture grants
                                   Annual operating grants to community groups

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                                                                                                Ballarat Youth Strategy

4.1 Youth Services
Feedback received through the development of this Strategy reinforces the importance and high profile of
council’s Youth Services team. The team is regarded as professional, engaging and committed to young people
and their potential.

The impact of council’s Youth Services team is significant, particularly in terms of the range of events sponsored,
the youth council program and allied activities, special interest groups, support and referral services and
information about opportunities for young people in the broader community. The service has been particularly
successful in terms of the ongoing involvement of young people in civic affairs and various community initiatives.

5.1.1 Primary focus of Youth Services
The youth services team has recognised and embraced opportunities to clearly define its role over the next five
years and optimise community strengthening outcomes. The primary focus for the next five years will be on
‘building capacity’ in the community by:
              Facilitating whole of community planning for young people
              Advocating for the needs of young people and associated service and activity providers
              Referral of young people to relevant support services particularly through the information and
              referral centre based at YHQ
              Facilitating discussions and actions that strengthen community referral and information networks
              Providing advice and planning support to organisations developing programs for young people
              Optimising access to information through relevant and effective channels
              Encouraging innovation and partnerships
              Optimising the sustainability of the (youth) service delivery platform in Ballarat, and
              Providing programs that develop resilience in young people and support leadership opportunities.

4.2 YHQ
Youth Head Quarters (YHQ), the building from which Youth Services has been operating, has a significant profile
even among young people who have not used the facility or associated services. The presence of a specific
youth ‘space’ that offers a range of services has been recognised as an attractor for young people in Ballarat.
A review of YHQ concept suggests that this model should be continued and expanded to outlying townships. If
the development of youth spaces is considered for townships in the City of Ballarat, it will be important to align
them with other community based services to gain maximum impact.

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Council will play many roles in relation to the implementation of the Youth Strategy. The following provides an
outline of these roles:

        Service Policy and Planning - includes identifying service needs, gaps, opportunities and strategies to
        address these.

       Advocacy and Leadership - includes making representation with and on behalf of the community to
       potential service and project funding providers. It also involves encouraging, identifying, promoting and
       implementing new and alternative initiatives.

       Service Provision and Management - includes the direct delivery of services and programs and relevant
       infrastructure, and encouraging other government and private sector providers.

       Facilitation and Communication - includes maximising networking and the exchange of information and
       advice, identifying and encouraging partnerships and optimising awareness of opportunities.

        Organisational Development - includes an integrated approach to service delivery across the council
        organisation in partnership with a diverse range of partners, agencies and community to deliver services
        for young people.

In determining these roles, the following has been taken into consideration:
       Capacity of council to sustain its role over the life of the strategy
       Resourcing opportunities available from other sources
       Capacity of the community in relation to ‘actions’ in the strategy; and
       The extent of benefits for the wider community because of council’s involvement.

5.1 Identified Role
In keeping with the ‘Vulnerable Youth Framework Discussion Paper’ council has identified the role that it will play
in relation to the different sectors of young people identified in the discussion paper.

Council will play a major role in providing opportunities for the majority of young people who do not need
additional support interventions. It will however, play a key role in advocating on behalf of those young people
that need additional support and for whom these are not accessible

    The Majority of Young People
    Th i s is the l a rg e g ro u p of y ou n g p e o p le w h o c o p e w el l w i th the n o r m a l vu ln e r a bi li tie s
    th a t a r ise th r ou g h a d ol e sc e n ce .

    C o u n ci l R o le s :        Young People W ho Ar e Experi enci ng
    Se r vic e Po l ic y
                                   Addi ti onal Pr obl ems
    a n d P l an n i ng            Th is is th e g r ou p o f yo u n g pe o p l e w h o e xp e rie n c e a d d itio n a l p r o b le m s th a t
                                   re q u ire ‘ e ar ly se rvi ce in te rve n tio n ’ .
    Ad v oc a cy a n d
                                   C o u nc il R o le s :
    L e a de r sh ip                                                  Young People W ho Are H ighl y Vulnerabl e
                                   Se r vic e Po l ic y               T h is i s th e g ro u p o f y o un g p e o p l e w h o e xp er ie n c e a h i g h le ve l o f
    Se r vic e Pr o vis io n                                          v u ln e ra b i li ty a n d r e qu i re co m p r e he n s ive a n d co o rd i na te d
                                   a nd P la n n in g
    a n d M a n a ge m e n t                                          i n ter ve n tio n s fro m a r a ng e o f su p p o rt se r vic e s.
                                   Ad vo c a cy a n d
    Fa c il ita tio n a n d                                           C o u n c il R o l e s:
                                   L ea d e r sh ip
    C o m m u n ica ti on                                                                            Young People W ho Are At
                                   Fa ci li ta ti o n a n d           A d vo c ac y a n d            H igh Ri sk
    Or g an i sa tio n a l
                                   C o m m u ni ca tio n              L e a d e rs h ip              T h is i s th e re l a tive l y s m a ll g r o up o f yo u n g p e o pl e
    D e ve l o pm en t
                                                                                                     w i th a n e xtre m e l e ve l o f vu l n e ra b il ity a n d w h o re q u ir e
                                                                      F a cil i ta tio n a n d       i n te n s ive s u p p or t. Ma n y a re a l re a d y i n cu s to d i al
                                                                      C o m m u n ic a tio n         s e tti n gs .

                                                                                                     C o u n c il R o l e :

                                                                                                     A d vo ca c y a n d
                                                                                                     L e a d e rs hi p

                                                                                                 Source: ‘Vulnerable Youth Framework Discussion Paper’, page 12

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Consistent with the State Governments ‘s ‘Future Directions’ policy for young people, Council will
focus strongly on prevention strategies through strengthening networks in which young people
operate – their family, friendship, education and training, and community networks. Council believes
this approach will deliver far more sustainable outcomes and will have significant benefits for other
sectors of the community.

5.2 Role of other organisations
This strategy recognises the vital role that community organisations, State Government agencies and the not-for-
profit sector plays in providing for the needs of young people in the city. Council acknowledges that it alone does
not have the capacity to provide for all the health and wellbeing needs of the young people of Ballarat and that a
combined approach is needed.

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                                                                                                    Ballarat Youth Strategy

6. Key Research Areas
The research areas used to develop the Youth Strategy have been developed from the Community Indicators
Victoria ‘Dimensions of Wellbeing’. These criteria or ‘dimensions’ have been used by council to develop its
Health and Wellbeing Plan 2007-2009 and are defined as follows:

                    DIMENSION                                     CHARACTERISTICS / MEASUREMENT
 Healthy, Safe & Inclusive Communities                    Quality of Life
                                                          Healthy Lifestyle
                                                          Accessible Services
                                                          Social Networks and Community Connectedness
                                                          Personal and Community Safety
 Sustainable Built & Natural Environments                 Access to open space and public areas
                                                          Active transport
                                                          Housing and accommodation
                                                          Energy use / water and air quality
 Dynamic, Resilient Local Economies                       Employment opportunities
                                                          Access and equity
                                                          Work-life balance
                                                          Vocation and training opportunities
                                                          Supporting business/industry sustainability
 Culturally Rich & Vibrant Communities                    Cultural diversity
                                                          Arts/cultural opportunities
                                                          Recreation opportunities
 Democratic & Engaged Communities                         Opportunities for meaningful participation processes
                                                          Governance networks
                                                          Transparent and accountable local government

Source: City of Ballarat Health and Wellbeing Plan 2007-2009 and Community Indicators Victoria Project 2006

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                                                                                                 Ballarat Youth Strategy

The strategic directions are based on the identified priorities and are in context to each dimension (refer to
appendix IV). They provide guidance for the future provision of youth services and the implementation of a
diverse range of initiatives that benefit young people.

7.1 Key Directions:
 ‘Healthy, Safe & Inclusive Communities’ research findings suggest the following key directions should be
         Initiatives that value and celebrate young people and enhance community understanding of young
         Integrated, effective and accessible health services and programs for young people.
         Strengthening of volunteering and mentoring activities for young people.
         Positive health related behaviours.

 ‘Sustainable Built and Natural Environments’ research findings suggest the following key directions should
be addressed/considered:
        Planning and provision of safe built and natural environments for young people.
        Management of public spaces to encourage use by young people.
        Provision of diverse accommodation options that respond to the short and medium-term needs of young
        Accessible and well-planned recreation facilities to meet a range of diverse needs and interests

 ‘Dynamic, Resilient Local Economies’ research findings suggest the following key directions should be
        Improving learning and employment opportunities that respond to the specific needs of young people

 ‘Culturally Rich and Vibrant Communities’ research findings suggest the following key directions should be
         Increased participation by young people in the arts, recreation and sport.
         Initiatives that minimise barriers and maximise intergenerational relationships.
         Accessible programs and activities that cater for young people from diverse backgrounds.

 ‘Democratic and Engaged Communities’ research findings suggest the following key directions should be
         Information and communication that is relevant and accessible to young people.
         Council service planning that is well integrated.
         Opportunities for young people to engage in decision-making and leadership activities.

The key findings and recommendations are outlined in the Action Plan (appendix I) and are to be implemented
collaboratively by council and key stakeholders. The Youth Strategy recognises that council, community and
government partnerships play a crucial role to achieve quality outcomes for young people.

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                                                                                             Ballarat Youth Strategy


The Youth Strategy is a working document and will be reviewed to ensure that it continues to respond to current
issues and opportunities.

8.1 Implementation and Review Committee
An Implementation and Review Committee will be established to oversee the implementation of particular areas
of the Youth Strategy and to monitor its progress. The committee will consist of
             Council staff,
             The Youth Council; and
             Representatives from relevant community sectors including government, education, health and
             wellbeing, leisure and business sectors.

Meetings of the Implementation and Review Committee will be scheduled quarterly and will discuss completed
actions as well as future plans and strategies to implement key direction and actions.

8.2 Monitoring and reporting
The following will be implemented to ensure the Youth Strategy is effectively implemented and monitored:

 What                        Details
 Establish Implementation    Committee to oversee the implementation
 and Review Committee        of the strategy and review actions as they
                             are adopted
 Quarterly meetings          On a quarterly basis the Action Plan and
                             priorities will be reviewed to identify
                             changing needs and issues and to ensure
                             the Strategy is being implemented in
                             accordance with the Action Plan.

 Annual Report               An Annual Report will be provided to
                             council summarising the status of
                             implementation of the Youth Strategy

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                                                                                        Ballarat Youth Strategy


   1. Community Indicators Victoria Project, Grampians Region, 2007
   2. Vulnerable Youth Framework Discussion Paper, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne, 2008
   3. Future Directions- An Action Agenda for Young Victorians, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne,
   4. The State of Victoria’s Young People, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development,
      State Government of Victoria, Melbourne, 2008
   5. City of Ballarat. Health and Wellbeing Plan 2007-2009
   6. Generation Next - The Youth Have Spoken, City of Ballarat Youth Council, 2007
   7. City of Ballarat. Council Plan 2009-2013
   8. City of Ballarat. Blueprint Ballarat. November 2007
   9. City of Ballarat. Community Safety Action Plan 2008-2013
   10. City of Ballarat. Positive Ageing Strategy 2008-2013
   11. City of Ballarat. Municipal Early Years Plan 2005
   12. City of Ballarat. SSMART Strategic Plan 2007-2009


SSMART ASSK:             Surviving Substance Misuse & Alcohol Risk Taking, Alcohol and Substances Survival
MCH:                     Maternal Child Health
DHS:                     Department of Human Services
LLEN                     Local learning Exchange Network
BADAC:                   Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative
RYAN:                    Regional Youth Affairs Network
BLX:                     Ballarat Learning Exchange
CHAN:                    Central Highlands Art Network
LGA:                     Local Government Authority
CALD:                    Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
CAFY:                    Community Action For Youth

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                                              YOUTH STRATEGY ACTION PLAN
DIMENSION: Healthy, Safe & Inclusive Communities
   • Initiatives that value and celebrate young people and enhance community understanding of young people
   • Integrated, effective and accessible health services and programs for young people
   • Strengthening of volunteering and mentoring activities for young people
   • Positive health related behaviours

Priority Issue        No.   Actions                                                                  Year           Lead Council business Unit
Tolerance and Respect 1     The development and implementation of a Youth Charter                    2009           Community Development,
                                                                                                                       • Youth Services
Building Resilience        2        Increase outreach to young people by 15 projects                 2009 ongoing   Community Development,
                                                                                                                       • Youth Services
Volunteering               3        Increase opportunities for students and volunteers who are 12-   2010/1011      Community Development,
                                    25 years within the City of Ballarat                                               • Youth Services
                                                                                                                       • Human Resources

Priority Issue        No.  Actions                                                                   Year           Who/Partnerships
Responsible Behaviour 1    Continue as an active member of the SSMART ASSK Network to                2009 ongoing     • Young people
                           reduce alcohol related harm in young people via:                                           • State Government agencies
                               • Promote and provide drug and alcohol free events for                                 • Education sector
                                  young people                                                                        • SSMART ASSK network
                               • Participate in strengthening generation core group and                               • Community organisations
                                  SSMART ASSK network                                                                 • Not- for- profit organisations
                               • Reviewing evidence based research to inform our
                                  service delivery eg. The mapping of alcohol supply
                                  demand project

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                                                                                                                                         Ballarat Youth Strategy

Priority Issue       No.   Actions                                                                    Year           Who/Partnerships
                     2     Work with partners to implement the Central Highlands Drug                 2009 -2013       • Education sector
                           and Alcohol Action Plan.                                                                    • Health services
                                                                                                                       • Victoria Police
                                                                                                                       • Commonwealth & State
                                                                                                                           Government Agencies
                         3      Advocate for evidence-based programs that develop resilience in       2009 ongoing     • Young people
                                young people, eg. SSMART ASSK program.                                                 • State Government agencies
                                                                                                                       • Education sector
                                                                                                                       • Strengthening Generations
                                                                                                                           core group
                                                                                                                       • Community organisations
                                                                                                                       • Not for profit organisations
Health and Wellbeing     4      Work with existing networks and providers to ensure health            2009 ongoing     • Primary Car Partnership
Programs                        promotion activities and services are provided                                             (RYAN)
                                                                                                                       • Young people
                                                                                                                       • State Government agencies
                                                                                                                       • Education sector
                                                                                                                       • Community organisations
                                                                                                                       • Not for profit organisations
                         5      Facilitate a gap analysis regarding availability of services for      2010/2011        • Primary Car Partnership
                                young people. Results provided to relevant networks of youth                               (RYAN)
                                organisations.                                                                         • Young people
                                                                                                                       • State Government agencies
                                Resources: $12,000 subject to available funding                                        • Education sector
                         6      Work with relevant council family and children services to identify   2010/2012        • Young people
                                opportunities to more effectively integrate these programs with                        • Family day care
                                mainstream youth services                                                              • Best Start Programs
                                                                                                                       • Children Centres
                                                                                                                       • MCH Nurses
Volunteering             7      Work with tertiary institutions to identify student                   2009 ongoing     • 18-25 year olds
                                engagement/volunteering opportunities and formalise these                              • University students
                                relationships and engagement pathways                                                  • Community organisations
                                                                                                                       • Business sector
                                                                                                                       • Not-for-profit organisations

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                                                                                                                                     Ballarat Youth Strategy

Priority Issue       No.   Actions                                                               Year           Who/Partnerships
Mentoring            8     Support Lead On to identify and promote mentoring opportunities       2009 ongoing     • Lead On
                           for young people                                                                       • Young people
                                                                                                                  • Education sector
                                                                                                                  • Community organisations
                                                                                                                  • Non Government organisations
Tolerance and Respect    9       Support new and existing programs that celebrate the            2009 ongoing     • Young people
                                 achievements of young people in order to enhance the                             • Service groups
                                 communities understanding and acceptance of the contribution                     • Neighbourhood renewal
                                 and diversity that young people provide eg. Youth Recognition                        programs
                                 Awards, Intergenerational Activities                                             • Educational sector
                                                                                                                  • Sport Clubs
                                                                                                                  • Victoria Police
                                                                                                                  • Local Media
                                                                                                                  • State Government agencies

                         10      Enhance relationships with local media providers to increase    2009 ongoing      •   Local media providers
                                 understanding and acceptance of young people
Socio Economic           11      Support specific groups of young people to develop              2009 ongoing      •   Young people
Disadvantage                     opportunities that maximise their outcomes                                        •   Township/community
                                                                                                                   •   Service groups
                                                                                                                   •   State Government
                                                                                                                   •   Victoria Police
                         12      Integrate and partner with other programs being delivered for   2009 ongoing      •   Community organisations
                                 specific groups of young people, such as Wendouree West                           •   Service groups
                                 Youth Group and BADAC

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                                                                                                                                           Ballarat Youth Strategy

DIMENSION: Sustainable Built & Natural Environments
   • Planning and provision of safe built and natural environments for young people
   • Management of public spaces to encourage use by young people
   • Provision of diverse accommodation options that respond to short and medium term needs of young people
   • Accessible and well planned recreation facilities to meet a range of diverse needs and interests

Priority Issue            No.  Actions                                                         Year           Lead Council Business Unit
Social Infrastructure     4    Investigate the most effective community space                  2009           Community Development
Planning                       options for Youth Services, based on the findings of            ongoing           • Youth Services
                               the Social Infrastructure planning
                          5    Engagement of 10 young people as representatives on             2009           Community Development
                               various City of Ballarat committees                             ongoing           • Youth Services
Safe and Inclusive        6    Facilitate an annual workshop with Strategic Planning           2009           Community Development
Environments                   around safe environments for young people                       ongoing           • Youth Services
                          7    Participate in the implementation of the Community              2009           Community Development
                               Safety Action Plan                                              ongoing           • Youth Services

Priority Issue          No.            Actions                                                 Year           Who/Partnerships
Safe and Inclusive      13             Advocate for planning and delivery of developments      2009 ongoing     • Both residential and commercial
Environments                           that ensure there is public open space that is safe,                         developers
                                       welcoming and accessible for all young people.                           • State Government Agencies
                               14      Facilitate opportunities for the community to improve   2010             • Victoria Police
                                       safety for young people                                                  • Community organisations
                                                                                                                • Retail/ entertainment precinct
                               15      Ensure that recreation and open space planning and      2009/2010        • Young people
                                       provision continues to:                                 ongoing          • Sport and Recreation clubs and
                                           • Identify the needs and opportunities to                                associations
                                               provide for unstructured recreational needs                      • State Government agencies
                                               for young people
                                           • Plan for sporting infrastructure based on
                                               substantiated need

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                                                                                                                              Ballarat Youth Strategy

Priority Issue          No.   Actions                                               Year           Who/Partnerships
                        16    Implement recommendations from the ‘Community         2009 ongoing     • Young people
                              Road Safety Strategy’ that create and maintain safe                    • Transport operators
                              environments for young people                                          • Victoria Police
                                                                                                     • Retail/ entertainment precinct
                                                                                                     • Sport and recreations clubs
                                                                                                     • VicRoads
Short to Medium Term   17     Work with relevant agencies to identify the           2009/2010        • Primary Care partnership
Accommodation                 accommodation needs of young people and strategies                     • Young people
                              to address these (e.g. access, barriers, cost,                         • Accommodation services
                              students)                                                              • Education providers
                                                                                                     • State Government agencies
                                                                                                     • DHS

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                                                                                                                                            Ballarat Youth Strategy

DIMENSION: Dynamic, Resilient Local Economies
   • Learning and employment opportunities that respond to the specific needs of young people

Priority Issue           No.   Actions                                                          Year           Lead Council Business Unit
Employment and Training  8     Facilitate a youth employment network with City of               2009 ongoing   Community Development
                               Ballarat                                                                           • Youth Services
                                                                                                                  • Human Resources
                               9       Engage with a minimum of 20 youth ‘Work for the          2009/2010      Community Development
                                       Dole’ participants per year                                                • Youth Services

                               10      Provide opportunities for work experience and training   2011/2012      Community Development
                                       with in the City of Ballarat                                               • Youth Services
                                       (refer Action 39 of Health Plan)

Priority Issue          No.            Actions                                                  Year           Who/Partnerships
Employment and Training 18             Work in Partnership with youth specific education and    2009 ongoing     • LLEN
                                       employment networks to review and enhance:                                • Youth Options Guarantee
                                           • Inter-agency partnerships                                           • Young people
                                           • Employment and learning pathways                                    • Education and Training sector
                                           • Alternative work (eg. Part time for students),                      • Business
                                               work experience and training opportunities                        • Not-for-profit organisations
                               19      Work with relevant agencies to develop effective         2011/2012        • Young people
                                       advertising opportunities for work experience and        ongoing          • Educational and Training sector
                                       part-time jobs                                                            • Business
                                                                                                                 • Not-for-profit organisations
                                                                                                                 • Media

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DIMENSION: Culturally Rich and Vibrant Communities
   • Increased Participation by young people in the arts, recreation and sport
   • Initiatives that minimise barriers and maximise intergenerational relationships
   • Accessible programs and activities that cater for young people from diverse backgrounds

Priority Issue             No. Actions                                                           Year           Lead Council Business Unit
Intergenerational Programs 11  Develop and implement a minimum of four                           2009 ongoing   Community Development,
                               intergenerational activities to expand intergenerational                            • Youth Services

Priority Issue             No.          Actions                                                  Year           Who/Partnerships
Intergenerational Programs 20           Identify and provide opportunities to expand             2009 onwards     • Education sector
                                        intergenerational learning and engagement programs.                       • Not-for-profit organisations
                                        Working in line with Positive Ageing Strategy
                                        (Refer to positive ageing strategy)
Activities Auspiced by Youth   21       Identify and act on opportunities to optimise outcomes   2009/2010         •   Young people
Services                                relating to events auspiced by Youth Services                              •   Program Partners
                               22       Review the type and range of programs and activities     2010 ongoing      •   Young people of all ages
                                        currently provided by Youth Services to ensure they                        •   Community organisations
                                        cater for the specific needs of 10-14, 15-18, 18-21,                       •   Educational providers
                                        21+ year age groups.                                                       •   Recreation providers
                                                                                                                   •   Arts & Culture
                                        Resources: $15,000 ongoing

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                                                                                                                                 Ballarat Youth Strategy

Priority Issue           No.      Actions                                                   Year         Who/Partnerships
Recreation Opportunities 23       Ensure young people 18+ are involved in planning for      2010/2011      • 18 – 25 year olds
                                  unstructured recreation opportunities to identify their                  • Community organisations
                                  recreation needs.                                                        • Recreation providers
                                                                                                           • Education providers
                             24   Work with young people from culturally, linguistically    20101/2011     • CALD support groups
                                  and religiously diverse (CALD) backgrounds, to                           • Indigenous support groups
                                  identify and increase participation both in current                      • Disability support groups
                                  council services and broader community recreational                      • Educational providers
                                  and cultural activities                                                  • Arts and Recreation sectors
Arts Initiatives & Culture   25   Ensure the implementation of the Arts Strategy            2009/2010      • University of Ballarat
                                  optimises opportunities and outcomes for young                           • Professional Artist
                                  people                                                                   • State wide Youth organisations
                                                                                                           • Melbourne fringe
                                                                                                           • BLX
                                                                                                           • Arthur Creative
                             26   Support Central Highlands Art Network (CHAN) and          2013/2014      • Representative of LGA from CHAN
                                  participation of young people on the steering                            • Representative of CHAN partners
                                  committee and working groups

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                                                                                                                                           Ballarat Youth Strategy

DIMENSION: Democratic & Engaged Communities
   • Information and communication that is relevant and accessible to young people
   • Council service planning that is well integrated
   • Opportunities for young people to engage in decision-making and leadership activities

Priority Issue           No.   Actions                                                             Year           Lead Council Business Unit
Information and          12    Prepare an information and communication framework                  2010/2011      Community Development,
Communication                  that:                                                                                 • Youth Services
                                   • Considers the different information needs of                                    • Marketing and Communications
                                      different age groups
                                   • Uses information channels and facilities that
                                      are relevant to young people
                                   • Develop a marketing strategy on the most
                                      effective ways to inform and communicate
                                      with young people about events and activities
                                   • Complete a review of all current literature

                                        Resources: $5,000 to assist with development of
                                        framework in year 3
                                13      Develop a Youth Services Website that caters for the       2009/2010      Community Development,
                                        information and communication needs and                                      • Youth Services
                                        preferences of 12-14, 14-18, 18-21 year olds and 21+                         • Marketing and Communications

                                        Resources: $5,000 required
                                14      Youth Services to advocate for youth needs across          2009 ongoing   Community Development,
                                        Council business units                                                       • Youth Services
                                                                                                                     • Leadership team
Youth Council &                 15      Continue to support the Youth Councillor program and       2009/2010      Community Development,
Governance                              identify opportunities for other interested young people   ongoing           • Youth Services
                                        to engage in related leadership teams                                        • Governance

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                                                                                                                                               Ballarat Youth Strategy

Priority Issue          No.                Actions                                                   Year           Who/Partnerships
Information and         27                 Develop ‘new residents’ information that is relevant to   2009/2010        • 18-25 year olds
Communication                              young people moving to Ballarat                                            • Universities
                                                                                                                      • Community organisations
                                           Resources: $5,000 required                                                 • Business sector
                                                                                                                      • Not-for-profit organisations
Accessibility                     28       Work with relevant stakeholders to research local and     2009 ongoing     • Young people
                                           state issues for young people in relation to transport                     • Local Transport operators
                                                                                                                      • State Government agencies

Nb. All financial resources for the actions are within operational budget unless stated otherwise

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                                                                                                    Ballarat Youth Strategy

Appendix I: Demographics and Trends
The following demographics provide additional context and information to the strategy and should be taken into
consideration as necessary.

3.1 Population
The total population of Ballarat is estimated at 90,404 and is the third most populous municipality in regional
Victoria. The city has experienced a population increase of approximately 1.2% between 2001 and 2008 with the
population estimated to increase to 103,853 by 2021.

The number of young people in the 10-24* age group as a percentage of the total population, is anticipated to
decrease slightly from 23% to 21.7% over the period of this strategy (2009 to 2014).

* Note that age group breakdown is not available for the target age group for the Youth Strategy (12-24 years of

3.2 Outward migration of young people
Rural and regional areas experience a significant outward migration of young people seeking education and
employment opportunities in larger centres and metropolitan Melbourne. This trend will continue, however, the
Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that for the first time in 20 years there was a decrease in the net loss of
young people to Melbourne (between 2001 and 2006).

3.3 Additional trends
The following additional demographic trends have been highlighted for their relevance to this study. Some of the
population indicators relate to young people outside the age range for this project because these indicators are
not available specifically for the 12 to 24 age group.

Trends relating to young people:
        There are significantly more girls (80.8%) still at school at 17 years of age than there are boys (72.6%).
        Ballarat has a slightly higher percentage of young people aged 17 who are still attending school (76.7%)
        than the region* (75.4%) and country Victoria (74.4%) and a slightly lower level of retention than for
        Victoria as a whole (78.3%).
        18% of young people in Ballarat aged 15-19 who are not at secondary college are not engaged in work
        or study. This compares with 15.4% in Victoria as a whole.
        The number of 20-24 year olds with Year 12 education or higher qualifications is significantly higher for
        Ballarat (82.4%) than for country Victoria as a whole (76.4%) and the difference is greater for males
        (80.9% for Ballarat and 73.5% for country Victoria) than for females (83.9% for Ballarat and 79.3% for
        country Victoria).
        Ballarat has a significantly lower percentage of 18-34 (20.1%) year olds who participate in ‘citizen
        engagement activities’ (47.1%) compared to the region (54.7%) and country Victoria (55.1%).
        18-34 year olds in Ballarat are less likely to feel part of their community in comparison to the total
        Ballarat population.
        A greater percentage of young people in Ballarat (56%) report having participated in the arts compared
        to those in the region (52%), country Victoria (53.4%) and Victoria as a whole (53%).
        Ballarat has a significantly higher percentage of people aged 15-24 years working and living in the
        same local government area (89.6%) than does the region (77.6%) and country Victoria (78.3%).
        The percentage of 18-34 years olds in Ballarat (20.1%) who report being limited by transport is similar
        to the region (21.4%) but less than country Victoria as a whole (25%).
        (*Grampians region)
                           Source: Forecast id 2008 for Ballarat City Council and Community Indicators Victoria.

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                                                                                                  Ballarat Youth Strategy

Appendix II: Project Methodology

This project involved extensive community engagement and review of relevant documents and research
material. It identified 19 Priority Areas that need to be addressed over the next five years to achieve a range of
health and wellbeing outcomes for young people.

The priorities are based on following criteria:
1.       The significance of the issue as determined through engagement
2.       The implications of demographic trends for Ballarat
3.       Identification of issues through other strategic planning processes
4.       Identification of issues as a priority by Council, State and Federal Governments

The following diagram outlines the methodology used for the project.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION                            KEY DIRECTIONS                                  ACTION

                                               19 PRIORITY AREAS FOR
                                                                                         HOW PRIORITIES HAVE BEEN
                                            HEALTH & WELLBEING PROGRAMS                            DETERMINED
                                            BUILDING RESILIENCE
 Workshop with Young People (29)                                                        Priorities have been determined
 Community Orgs Forum (29)                                                              in consideration of 4 key criteria.
 Community Agencies Forum (46)                                                           (refer to section 7.1)
                                            TOLERANCE & RESPECT
 Council Staff Workshop (25)                RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOUR
 Surveys (50)                               SAFE & INCLUSIVE
 Questionnaires (151)                       ENVIRONMENTS
 Submissions & Interviews (11)              ACCOMMODATION – SHORT &
                                            MEDIUM TERM
                                            SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE                       43 actions have been developed
                                            PLANNING                                    in response to the findings of the
                                            NEIGHBOURHOOD RENEWAL                       strategy.
 Blueprint Ballarat                         EMPLOYMENT & TRAINING
 Council Plan                               ACTIVITIES AUSPICED BY YOUTH
 Health Plan                                SERVICES
                                            RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES                         THE ROLE OF COUNCIL
 Other council planning                                                                 Council has identified the role that
 documents                                  INTERGENERATIONAL PROGRAMS
                                            ARTS INITIATIVES                            it will play in relation to each of
 State Government research and                                                          the actions. (Refer to section 7)
 planning projects and papers               INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION
 Australian Bureau of Statitics             ACCESSIBILITY
                                            YOUTH COUNCIL & GOVERNANCE
                                            RESPONSIVE & INTEGRATED

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                                                                                                  Ballarat Youth Strategy

Appendix III: Priority Issues and Outcomes for Young people

The project identified 19 priority issues and 43 actions to address these. The following lists the priority issues and
the outcomes that the strategy is aiming to achieve.

           PRIORITY ISSUE                                    OUTCOMES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
    1    Health & Wellbeing                  Effective and accessible services and programs that respond to the
         Programs                            specific needs of young people.
    2    Building Resilience                 Improved access to programs that develop emotional, social and
                                             personal competencies.
    3    Volunteering                        Strengthened volunteer engagement opportunities
    4    Mentoring                           Strengthened and expanded opportunities to engage in mentoring
    5    Tolerance & Respect                 Community wide celebration, support and respect of young people.
    6    Responsible Behaviour               Responsible behaviours associated with the use and serving of
    7    Neighbourhood Renewal               Increased engagement of young people ‘Neighbourhood Renewal’
                                             initiatives and strengthening of outcomes.
    8    Safe & Inclusive                    Well planned and managed public spaces so they are safe and
         Environments                        embracing of young people.
                                             Expanded and strengthened sport, recreation and social opportunities
                                             and networks.
    9    Accommodation – Short &             Improved short and medium term accommodation options.
         Medium Term

    10   Social Infrastructure               Effective provision of council services and programs (e.g. location,
         Planning                            level and type of provision, partnerships).
    11   Employment & Training               Increased employment and learning options and creative business
                                             development initiatives
    12   Activities Auspiced By              Expanded opportunities and partnerships from community event
         Youth Services                      initiatives.
                                             Strengthened social and recreation opportunities that cater for the
                                             needs and aspirations of specific demographic groups.
    13   Recreation Opportunities             Expanded and effective engagement of young people from different
                                             cultural backgrounds in recreation, social and arts programs.
    14   Arts Initiatives                    Expanded arts engagement opportunities and planning for the arts
                                             that recognizes the unique needs of young people.
    15   Intergenerational                   Intergenerational tolerance, understanding and engagement.
    16   Information &                       Effective and relevant communication and information.
    17   Responsive & Integrated             Council planning for services, programs and infrastructure that is
         Services                            integrated and effectively considers the needs of young people.
    18   Accessibility                       Improved transport options.
    19   Youth Council &                     Increased opportunities for young people to engage with the Youth
         Governance                          Council and Youth Council projects.

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                                                                                                 Ballarat Youth Strategy

Appendix IV: Key Findings aligned with the Health and Wellbeing
Dimensions (City of Ballarat Health & Wellbeing Plan 2007-2009
sourced from Community Indicators Victoria 2006)

Healthy, Safe & Inclusive Communities
1.1 Health and Wellbeing Programs

    “A vibrant, resilient and sustainable community recognises the efforts of its volunteers and seeks equality for
    its citizens. Its members are physically and mentally healthy, have a sense of wellbeing, are connected to
    others and have access to a range of services. It is a community that nurtures its children and young people
    and embraces learning. Attributes such as meaningful work – be it paid or unpaid – or spending time with
    the family are important to such a society. The social dimension reinforces the desire to have a society built
    on mutual respect, self-restraint and generosity of spirit, one that creates opportunities for people to
    participate in community life and self-realisation.” (Source City of Ballarat Health & Wellbeing Plan 2007-
    2009 sourced from Community Indicators Victoria 2006)

Build on existing networks
Feedback from the agency forum and community group conducted as part of the project identifies a
preparedness to build on existing networks to provide a well-integrated network of government, private and not-
for-profit services and opportunities for young people. There is an extensive array of government and
community-based health and wellbeing agencies and groups that cater for young people. Workers from these
groups are committed to providing accessible health services for young people and are enthusiastic about
strategies that further integrate service delivery. In addition, Ballarat has several service networks that bring
together many of these groups (e.g. CAFY, RYAN).

Need for a health service model
Discussions were particularly active around the need for a health service model for young people. This model
would provide clear referral, feedback and monitoring pathways and be accessible for all young people
regardless of place of residence. Agencies identified opportunities associated with co-ordinating funding
submissions, exchanging information on new program initiatives, minimising service duplication and joint events
and activities.

After-hours services
A common issue expressed by agency workers was the need for greatly improved after-hours services for young
people. The lack of after-hours support services means young people are left unsupported and vulnerable in
times of crisis. Youth workers report distress at not having the means to support young people at these times.

Existing service provision networks should be supported to document gaps in after-hours service provision,
identify and integrate strategies to address shortfalls and advocate for funding to support program initiatives.
This will build on current networks and strengthen existing service provision. It will also avoid service duplication
that can occur if a separate service is introduced to cater for after-hours needs.

Emergency and crisis accommodation
Of particular note is the lack of emergency/crisis accommodation in Ballarat and no emergency accommodation
options for young people in outlying areas. The difficulty young people living in outlying areas have accessing
services, particularly in a discrete manner, was also noted. Currently young people needing crisis
accommodation are housed in a hotel in Ballarat and are not provided with any additional support or supervision.

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                                                                                                  Ballarat Youth Strategy

These environments are inappropriate for young people in a state of distress and who are among the
community’s most vulnerable people. Of the young people responding to the Generation Next survey, 125 (63%)
indicated they had experienced homelessness.

Problem gambling
The Generation Next report also identified gambling as a potential issue with 88% of respondents identifying
gambling as an existing issue for them and/or their family. More than half of these young people (58%) indicated
that they did not know where to go for assistance with gambling issues. The report indicated that young people
are more likely to gamble through the TAB/Racing (76% of those that gamble), electronic gaming machines (64%
of those that gamble), card games (42% of those that gamble) and lotteries (42% of those that gamble).

Making services more accessible
Health and wellbeing service providers expressed a desire to make general community services more accessible
to young people and to investigate ways to achieve this. Consideration can be given to using different channels
through which services are promoted to young people and making services more accessible e.g. location, time,
youth appropriate staff.

For example, council’s Maternal Child Health Service has committed to trialling a playgroup for young mothers
and their babies outside of the formal healthcare setting. There is an opportunity to support other initiatives that
seek to break down barriers and introduce young people to services in a more familiar environment.

1.2 Building Resilience

Resilience programs
There are several programs for young people operating in and around Ballarat that have resilience outcomes as
part of their objectives while others have core resilience attributes as part of their platform. Resilience-based
programs aim to create supportive environments (inclusive, valuing) through which participants can develop
resilience skills and competencies (self-worth, confidence). Some of these programs are co-ordinated through
the education system while others are facilitated by community-based groups (e.g. Lead On Ballarat) and health
and wellbeing agencies (e.g. Ballarat Community Health).

These programs are based on research that verifies that young people who have well developed resilience
attributes are less vulnerable when exposed to negative situations and are better able to deal with these
situations. There is a growing body of research that identifies significant benefits associated with programs that
are based on developing defined resilience competencies in young people.

There is an opportunity to more effectively identify local programs, their target audiences and the way by which
young people can access them (e.g. self-referral, agency referral). This could be done in conjunction with the
listing and promotion of local mentoring programs.

Inter-generational programs
Anecdotal feedback received through the project identified an interest in intergenerational programs following the
recent success of such projects (e.g. young people teaching older adults how to use their mobile telephone).
Intergenerational programs are another avenue through which to achieve community strengthening and
resilience outcomes. Of particular relevance for young people are intergenerational programs that have the
potential to provide friendship and support. These ‘created opportunities’ can address gaps that have occurred
because of the breakdown in traditional family and community networks.

1.3 Volunteering

Difficulty identifying volunteer opportunities
Many students undertaking studies at tertiary institutions in Ballarat are required to complete volunteer and/or
work placements as part of their study. Students attending the project forum indicated a difficulty in identifying

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                                                                                               Ballarat Youth Strategy

volunteer placements in the community and in particular placements where their vocational skills could be

Framework for promotion required
There is an opportunity to develop a framework through which community groups, local business and not-for-
profit organisations can promote volunteer and work placement opportunities for students. This would provide an
avenue through which all young people, including students, could access volunteer opportunities.

Different strategies required to engage young people
Feedback indicates that younger age groups (e.g. 12-14) are less likely to seek volunteer opportunities than are
older age groups (21+). Instead they are more likely to engage through word of mouth. Older age groups
indicated that they are more likely to use the Internet as a source of information about volunteer opportunities.
Because this study is dealing with a wide age range, different strategies for engaging young people in
volunteering need to be considered.

Community organisations report a decline in volunteering generally but also a reluctance in young people to take
up volunteering roles. It is likely that the current administration philosophy of many community organisations is
not attractive to young people and a rethink is needed by groups if they are to attract young volunteers.

1.4 Mentoring

Mentoring programs successful
There are several mentor programs available to young people in Ballarat largely through health and wellbeing
agencies. Of particular interest is the emergence of mentor programs that assist young people develop life skills
and competencies through programs that have specific outcomes (e.g. event production, small business
development). Ballarat ‘s successful ‘Lead On’ is an example of the latter type of program involving community

Building on Grampians Regional Mentoring Network
There is an opportunity to build on the work that has commenced through the Grampians Regional Mentoring
Network. Information about the programs operating through this network is not easily accessible on the Internet.
Young people and workers wanting to refer young people to programs would have difficulty obtaining relevant

Lack of information about mentoring programs
The central ‘Youth Mentoring Network’ website only lists the Ballarat ‘Lead On’ mentoring program. Other
information on the Internet suggests there are five programs operating in the region but does not provide
information about the programs and does not identify whether they are accessible to young people in Ballarat.

1.5 Tolerance and Respect

Concern of gangs and intimidation
Anecdotal feedback through the project indicates a concern by a significant number of young people about the
presence of ‘gangs’ or groups of young people associated with defined areas or activities in the municipality.
Young people expressed a dislike for these groups because of the negative perception they create about young
people generally. They also feel intimidated by these groups.

Whether the level of fear or intimidation is justified based on actual aggression or invasion of property is not
clear. Young people are however communicating a dislike for these groups and it is clear that they are having a
negative impact on the social and built environments in which young people engage.

Sense of injustice and misrepresentation
A strong sense of injustice emerged through the project with many young people feeling they were
misrepresented in the media and misunderstood by adults. There is a sense that they are stereotyped into
right/wrong or good/bad based on a range of assumptions.

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                                                                                               Ballarat Youth Strategy

Creating a balanced view
There is an opportunity to work with relevant community stakeholders to ensure a balanced representation of
young people. This in turn will assist to minimise barriers and resentments between young people and the
Young people are looking for an opportunity to work with agencies and media outlets to present a more balanced
view of young people and in particular to profile positive role models.

1.6 Responsible Behaviour

Current inappropriate behaviour
There was significant concern expressed by agencies and young people about the level of anti-social and
inappropriate behaviour exhibited by some young people. Reports indicate that much of this behaviour is
associated with excessive use of drugs and alcohol and binge drinking. Several programs have been developed
in conjunction with the police and schools to increase young people’s awareness of the impacts of the
inappropriate use of alcohol (e.g. SSMART ASSK).

Engaging with nightclubs, sports clubs and liquor outlets
Initiatives need to continue to engage with nightclubs, sports clubs and liquor outlets to ensure a cohesive
approach to deal with issues associated with inappropriate use of alcohol. Anecdotal feedback from agencies
indicates a need to engage closely with those adults who exacerbate the issue by supplying minors with alcohol.

Risk-taking behaviours
Other council strategies (e.g. Community Safety Plan) also identify the need to address issues associated with
alcohol abuse as well as other risk taking behaviours such as ‘hoon’ and underage driving. Findings from the
Youth Strategy reinforce findings of the Community Safety Plan which identify several ‘hotspots’ for anti-social
behaviour (e.g. transport interchanges, CBD precincts) about which young people are concerned.

Enhance existing programs
There is an opportunity to continue to work with stakeholders to identify strategies to enhance existing programs,
identify gaps in program provision and build on these to target specific issues and age group needs. Young
people who are confident, have a positive sense of self, strong community and family networks are less likely to
engage in risk-taking and self-harm activities. Programs to address these issues in Ballarat need to consider a
range of initiatives including preventative and intervention activities.

Strengthening the environments in which young people operate – their family, education, friendship and
community networks – will also have benefits for the broader community which shares many of these networks.

1.7 Neighbourhood Renewal

Programs and identifying other opportunities
There are two Neighbourhood Renewal (NR) sites in the City of Ballarat – one site was completed at the end of
June 2009 and covers the suburbs of Wendouree and Wendouree West, whilst the other suburb of Delacombe
is due for completion in 2011.

In Wendouree several projects have been undertaken under the NR banner that respond to priorities identified in
the Youth Strategy. These include the installation of the BMX track (alternative recreation activities), upgrading
of sport reserves and parks, improved street lighting (improved safety) and engagement in special projects with
the local police (security).
It is important that these programs continue to identify opportunities to engage with young people and to identify
initiatives that will encourage positive engagement of young people within their communities.

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                                                                                                  Ballarat Youth Strategy

1.8 Key Directions:
In summary, the ‘Healthy, Safe & Inclusive Communities’ research findings suggest the following key
directions should be addressed/considered:
          Initiatives that value and celebrate young people and enhance community understanding of young
          Integrated, effective and accessible health services and programs for young people.
          Strengthening of volunteering and mentoring activities for young people.
          Positive health related behaviours.

2 Sustainable Built and Natural Environments
2.1 Safe and Inclusive Environments
    “It is recognised that we are dependent on the natural world to sustain our lives. The natural world provides
    clean air and water, detoxifies pollutants, and provides raw materials for building, transport and food
    production. Landscapes, plants and animals have intrinsic value and enrich our lives by providing
    experiences and recreational opportunities. In urban settings, parks and gardens contribute to people’s
    sense of wellbeing.

     (Source City of Ballarat Health & Wellbeing Plan 2007-2009 sourced from Community Indicators Victoria

Design and its affect on public space uses
The design of public spaces influences their accessibility, type and extent of use and the level of comfort users
feel when accessing the space. Young people choose to access public spaces for reasons that are specific to
their age group, for example ‘to be seen’ or to ‘hang out’ with friends. Therefore the planning of public space
must look at opportunities to integrate and manage different activity demands e.g. pedestrian access and
gathering space for young people. Findings indicate that some young people are feeling excluded from public
spaces related to shopping precincts which is resulting in some inappropriate reactive behaviour.

Parks and playground planning
Planning for parks and playgrounds must continue to identify opportunities to accommodate the social and
casual recreation needs of young people. This is particularly relevant in outlying areas where recreation options
are limited.

Sport and alternative recreational activities
Young people generally expressed satisfaction with the quality of sport opportunities and facilities as it relates to
traditional sports, such as football and netball. It is important to ensure that planning for sporting infrastructure
continues to consider the changing demographic and participation trends of young people. Findings indicate that
young females in particular are looking for a wider range of recreation activities. Activities that have a social
component and/or can be undertaken at any time are particularly important to young people (e.g. skateboarding,
bike riding, horse riding).

Clubs and activities
Ballarat has a significant number of successful and inclusive clubs and activities for young people. However the
study identified the need for a forum through which groups could exchange information and advice and learn of
programs that are catering for the diverse range of young people’s needs.

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                                                                                                 Ballarat Youth Strategy

The Community Road Safety Strategy includes a number of recommendations that are specific to young people.
These relate to 18-25 year old drivers (highest risk group of road users), traffic safety in the school curriculum,
safe cycling and pedestrian routes and safe driver education.

Council is currently reviewing its Community Safety Action Plan which will need to consider issues about safety
and the perceptions of safety that young people have raised throughout this project (e.g. anti-social behaviours,
public safety).

2.2 Accommodation: Short to Medium Term

Accommodation squeeze
Accommodation considerations in Ballarat are particularly significant given the additional demands associated
with students moving to Ballarat to undertake tertiary training. People working with young people expressed
concern at the accommodation squeeze particularly for local young people looking for accommodation upon
leaving home. This strategy recognises the need to address short to medium-term accommodation needs, and
as a priority the lack of crisis accommodation. Crisis accommodation has been discussed more fully under the
issue of ‘health programs’ in the Healthy, Safe & Inclusive Communities criteria.

2.3 Social Infrastructure Planning

Council has prepared a Draft Social Infrastructure Plan (SIP) which identifies the city’s social infrastructure needs
for the future. A number of infrastructure provision trends identified in the plan are particularly relevant to the
Youth Strategy.

Need for a ‘community hub’
The plan identifies the benefits of creating a ‘community hub’ that co-locates a range of services and facilities
(council and non-council) that are central to most communities. Community hubs create opportunities for young
people to access several services at one venue, allow for the discrete use of services and increase opportunities
for intergenerational networks to evolve.

Need for municipal facilities
The SIP report also found there is an increasing trend among councils to provide for young people through a
dedicated youth facility at the municipal level, which is supported by youth-friendly multi-purpose spaces at the
district or more local level.

Review arts strategy in relation to young people
The SIP report also found that councils are gradually increasing their involvement in community arts, with some
councils developing dedicated arts centres while others are providing spaces in multi-purpose community
centres. The Youth Strategy is consistent with this approach and recommends that council review its arts
strategy to identify additional opportunities relating to young people.

Alternative recreation opportunities and play facilities
Significant emphasis is being placed on play facilities that cater for children, youth and young adults. The Youth
Strategy supports the development of alternative recreation opportunities for young people.

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2.4 Key Directions
In summary, the ‘Sustainable built and natural environments’ research findings suggest the following key
directions should be addressed/considered:

        Planning and provision of safe built and natural environments for young people.
        Management of public spaces to encourage use by young people.
        Provision of diverse accommodation options that respond to the short and medium-term needs of young
        Accessible and well-planned recreation facilities to meet a range of diverse needs and interests.

3 Dynamic, Resilient Local Economies
3.1 Employment and Training

    “Innovation and creativity are required if local economies are to thrive in the coming century…Wealth is
    distributed so that everyone’s basic needs are met, and quality of life is attained irrespective of advantage,
    disadvantage or circumstance….. The economic theme is strongly tied to a skilled workforce and thus the
    education and skill levels of its citizens. It is envisioned that our schools will be dedicated to creating
    capable, confident, emotionally mature young people who are equipped to reach their full potential.”
    (Source City of Ballarat Health & Wellbeing Plan 2007-2009 sourced from Community Indicators Victoria

Perception of job opportunity
Anecdotal feedback from the study is consistent with findings from the Generation Next report which found that
67% of survey respondents felt there were enough job opportunities in Ballarat, however more than half of these
(34%) expressed a need for a greater variety of job opportunities. In terms of practical or work experience
opportunities 39% of respondents felt opportunities were limited.

Work opportunities need to fit in with studies
Students are looking for greater flexibility in work options so they can also undertake study. This is particularly
relevant in Ballarat given the large student population associated with tertiary education in the city. Students
reported an inability to gain work experience and, in particular, paid work experience in their field of study.

Vocation education and training
Community Indicators Victoria (CIV) data indicates that Ballarat has a lower percentage of 15-19 (29.6%) and
20-24 (19.2%) year olds enrolled in vocational education and training than the Grampians region and country
It is not clear if this is due to a lack of opportunity, demand or whether figures are skewed because of the large
number of students engaged in university education.

Young people not engaged in education or employment
CIV data also shows that 18% of young people 15-19 are not engaged in education or employment. This is lower
than for the region and for country Victoria, but is a significant percentage of young people. Ballarat also has a
significantly higher number of 15-19 year olds studying at non-school institutions (37.7%) than does the region
(29.3%) and country Victoria (24.5%). This indicates the importance of alternative education pathways for
Ballarat’s young people.

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General satisfaction levels
Findings from the Youth Strategy would indicate that young people are generally satisfied with education and
training opportunities available to them. Services appear to be well integrated and the sector appears to be
responsive to needs and issues that arise.

Other opportunities
The project also identified opportunities to enhance skill and knowledge development opportunities for people
who work with young people in a professional and/or voluntary capacity. Opportunities may include hosting
training and development programs in Ballarat, co-operative training and information sharing initiatives between
relevant organisations and enhanced information relating to training and development initiatives available
through private, not-for profit and government agencies.

3.2 Key Directions

In summary, the ‘Dynamic, Resilient Local Economies’ research findings suggest the following key directions
should be addressed/considered:
         Improving learning and employment opportunities that respond to the specific needs of young people.

4 Culturally Rich and Vibrant Communities
4.1 Activities Auspiced by Youth Services

    “Our culture and leisure activities shape our community identity. Art, film and literature reflect and comment
    on the social issues of the times. A culturally rich community protects heritage sites, preserves social
    knowledge and provides opportunities to participate in sporting and recreational activity – all of which assist
    in creating a better work – life balance. It is also a community that celebrates diversity and is welcoming to
    people of diverse cultures.” (Source City of Ballarat Health & Wellbeing Plan 2007-2009 sourced from
    Community Indicators Victoria 2006)

Measure and evaluate events
Ballarat Youth Services is well recognised for the range and quality of services that it provides. Many young
people attend these events. This study has identified the need to clearly define the purpose and desired
outcomes for each event to ensure the benefit of the event can be measured and evaluated.

Adding value to events
There is an opportunity to build on some of these events and identify additional opportunities for spin-off and/or
ongoing programs and projects. There is also an opportunity to identify and engage with other organisations (e.g.
health and wellbeing agencies) that can partner with council and add value to event programs.

Tailoring events to age groups
The study has also identified the need to define the different target groups catered to by youth services. It is
recognised that the 12 to 24 age range is significant but that young people passing through the various stages of
this age range have very different service, support and information needs. Any service review should consider
the merits of defining services in terms of 12-14, 15-17, 18-21 and 21-25 year olds.

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4.2 Recreation Opportunities

Perception of limited social and recreational options
Anecdotal feedback suggests that young people under 18 feel their recreation options are largely limited to sport;
those over 18 feel their recreation options are limited to sport and nightclub activities.

Ballarat has a significant range of recreation options for young people. It would appear that information is not
youth-friendly or accessible and that clubs need support in connecting more effectively with young people.

4.3 Engaging cultural groups

Strategies required to engage groups
Specific strategies are required to maximise participation in recreation and sporting activities by different
culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups. Of particular relevance for Ballarat are indigenous, non-
English speaking background (NESB) and refugee groups. There is a complexity of issues that need to be
addressed in order to successfully involve some of these groups in mainstream community activities.

4.4 Arts Initiatives

Revisiting arts subsidy costs and issues
The sustainability of community arts-based activities is a challenge particularly given there is wide community
thinking that arts should be free or low cost. There has long been angst in the arts community about the level of
subsidy that is afforded to the sporting community (infrastructure provision, grounds maintenance) compared
with that afforded community arts.

Need to reconsider Arts Strategy
A common and frequent theme throughout the study was the need to cater for the arts interests of young people
more effectively. There is a very strong interest in music-based programs and opportunities. This presents an
opportunity to build on the arts-based programs currently offered through Youth Services. This study supports a
review of the Arts Strategy to consider the specific arts and cultural needs of young people and how these might
be addressed.

Establish Arts Network
Consideration should be given to the establishment of an Arts Network to identify and encourage arts-based
opportunities for young people and to promote the arts in Ballarat. The network should be community driven and
should widen its focus over time as resources become available and as interest grows.

4.5 Key Directions
In summary, the ‘Culturally Rich and Vibrant Communities’ research findings suggest the following key
directions should be addressed/considered:
         Increased participation by young people in the arts, recreation and sport.
         Initiatives that minimise barriers and maximise intergenerational relationships.
         Accessible programs and activities that cater for young people from diverse backgrounds.

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5 Democratic and Engaged Communities
5.1 Information and Communication

    “In a democratic community, people participate in decision-making and local government processes are
    transparent and accountable. People have confidence that government will make good decisions and run
    for elected positions. Because they are engaged they feel empowered, that they have personal political
    efficacy and that they are in control of their destinies. (Source City of Ballarat Health & Wellbeing Plan
    2007-2009 sourced from Community Indicators Victoria 2006)

Differing communication needs per age group
Young people have very different information and communication preferences to the general community. Within
the 10 to 25 age group, there are discrete age groups that have different information and communication needs
and preferences.
This strategy recommends that council work with different groups of young people to clearly identify information
needs and the most effective information channels through which to communicate this information.

Taking information to young people
There is an array of organisations in Ballarat that provide services and offer engagement opportunities for young
people. Information about these however is not necessarily available through channels or in a format that is
relevant to young people. Anecdotal information received through the project indicates that information has to be
‘taken to young people, they won’t go and find it’, and that it has to be succinct and preferably on a central

Preferred channels of communication
Young people responding to the Generation Next survey indicated that TV (69% of respondents), followed by the
Internet (62% of respondents), radio (57% of respondents) and SMS (56% of respondents) were the most
effective ways to inform young people. Initiatives that support agencies, organisations and clubs to get their
information online and in a format that is relevant to young people should also be encouraged (e.g. young
people’s page).

Relevance of a ‘New Young Residents Kit’
Given the significant student population in Ballarat there is merit in considering the production of a ‘New Young
Residents Kit’. This kit would provide information on essential services and community engagement

5.2 Accessibility

Transport barriers
Transport was identified as a significant barrier, particularly for young people in outlying areas seeking access to
services and recreation activities outside their immediate communities. There is an opportunity to investigate
options to optimise access to existing transport by minimising barriers (e.g. public use of school bus service).

Feeling unsafe on public transport
23% of young people responding to the Generation Next survey indicated they did not feel safe on public
transport. The survey did not identify if this was linked to specific times or places, however anecdotal feedback
suggests that transport interchanges are a particular area of concern for some young people. Young people felt
that more frequent services and a greater security presence on transport would increase their sense of safety.

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Maximising trail linkages
Opportunities to maximise trail linkages between Ballarat and outlying townships and between facilities within
each township are particularly important for young people because these connections allow for improved access
via independent and safe off-road travel.

Comprehensive pathway system required
Council has recently completed its Open Space Strategy which prioritises promotion of greater participation in
walking and cycling. It is acknowledged that in order to achieve the recreation and lifestyle benefits of these
activities, a comprehensive and connected pathway system is essential.

5.3 Youth Council and Governance

Youth Council proven effective
Council’s Youth Council program engages several young people from across the municipality and is highly
regarded by the general community and agency workers. Young adults previously on the Youth Council report
that their involvement provided them with skills and opportunities that would not otherwise have been available to

Awareness of Youth Council
Research carried out for the ‘Generation Next’ report indicates the Youth Council has a significant profile among
young people (50% of survey respondents were aware of Youth Council). Of YHQ programs only the Stuffest
Festival had a higher level of awareness (84%) among survey respondents.

5.4 Responsive and integrated services

Involvement of council and community stakeholders
This project highlighted the need to implement planning frameworks that ensure the effective involvement of all
council and community stakeholders. The engagement of a diverse range of stakeholders optimises the
understanding of the range of issues relevant to a project. It also ensures a diversity of strategies for addressing
issues and engages a range of stakeholders who play a role in implementing the strategies.

5.5 Key Directions:
In summary, the ‘Democratic and Engaged Communities’ research findings suggest the following key
directions should be addressed/considered:
         Information and communication that is relevant and accessible to young people.
         Council service planning that is well integrated.
         Opportunities for young people to engage in decision-making and leadership activities.

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Description: Ballarat Youth Strategy 2009 - 2014