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Youth Sector Development Project. Kempsey Consultation – September 2008 Prepared by Julie Gill – Manager Mid North Coast Regional Council for Social Development. Youth Plan Priorities. Education/Employment Young people have opportunities for rewarding and positive lives Health and safety

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Youth Sector Development Project

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Youth Sector Development Project

Kempsey Consultation – September 2008

Prepared by Julie Gill – Manager Mid North Coast Regional Council for Social Development

Youth Plan Priorities

  • Education/Employment

    Young people have opportunities for rewarding and positive lives

  • Health and safety

    Young people feel and are safe

  • Participation in decision making

    The community values young people’s participation and opinions


  • Key partners

    DoCS, MNCRCSD, Kempsey Shire Council

  • Other partners

    Local schools, Wesley Employment, Police Youth Liaison Officer, Kempsey Family and Community Centre, Centacare, South West Rocks Community Services and Kempsey Family Support Services

  • Youth involvement


    Kempsey YAC. 2 youth leaders per group to lead session, welcome to country, website

  • Entertainment

    Smoking Joe Robinson

  • Food

    Take away pizza

Questions - Education

What would the perfect school look like?

Why do you think young people leave the area after they finish school?

What could be done to make our communities more youth friendly?

Questions – Safety

What sort of things make you feel safe?

What sort of things make you feel unsafe?

What happens at parties?

Are there any services in your local area where you could turn to if you needed help?

What about after hours?

Are there any safe places where young people can hang out in your area?

What makes it a safe place?

Planning cont.

Questions – Health

What do you think the main health issues are for young people?

What could be done to make young people healthier?

Questions – Participation and decision making

Government and services are interested in knowing what young people want. How do you think young people could give them that information?

Do you think the community values young people?

What could be done to improve that?

Planning cont

Day’s schedule

  • Welcome to Country

  • Youth Survey

  • Youth Consultations

  • Entertainment

  • Food

Results - Education

What would the perfect school look like?

  • Newer facilities and nicer aesthetics

  • More technologically focused (ei video conferencing, distance education options)

  • Better music equipment

  • More sporting equipment – Gym, pool, water sports, sporting academy, options for girls

  • More green spaces

  • More extra curricular activities such as discos and sport

  • More subject choice and non expensive, quality subject choice

  • Workshop options

  • More fun, creative options, enjoyable courses, relaxed teachers

  • Free tutoring and teacher support for distance education

  • Better communication between schools – more interaction,

    gala days, interschool activities

  • More parent involvement (P&C)

Results Education cont.

  • More Student Representative Council fundraisers

  • Gifted and talented programs

  • More options for work experience

  • Homework Centres that everyone can access and specialised teaching support

  • Creative options

  • Better toilets, lockers, and vending machines

  • More accessible library (flexible hours)

  • Shorter days, lunchtime activities, and excursion options

  • Better support (ei mentors through HSC)

  • Better student to teacher ratio

  • High school and tertiary education located closer together

  • Combine schools for subjects that don’t have enough numbers so more community sense between schools.

  • Breakfast programs

  • Rewards for attendance/good work – holidays, trips, excursions

  • More encouragement

  • Get students to feedback on what they think about how they are taught

Results Education cont.

  • People go to school for sport and friends

  • Kempsey is disadvantaged when compared with the subject choice offered in cities like Sydney

  • Clear, supported exit points along the continuum and links to employment and other education pathways would reduce stress encourage people to finish school.

  • Study space and time – computers in study room.

  • OOSH (Out of School Hours) Care – should be available at school. This would be good for kids who don’t have a good environment at home.

Results Education cont.

Why do you think young people leave the area after they finish school?

  • No local opportunities

  • No local jobs, more jobs elsewhere

  • The conception that ‘Kempsey is a hole’ makes people want to go and see new areas

  • Not enough tertiary/further education here TAFE and UNI

  • Nothing to do

  • No transport

  • Not enough recreation activities

  • Not enough places to “hang out”

Results Education cont.

What could be done to help young people who have already left school?

  • More TAFE courses – flexible,

  • More incentives and programs are needed to encourage young people to get jobs.

  • Better recognition of the particular skills that young people have, and more opportunity to develop and apply them

  • More apprenticeships

  • A University

  • Awareness about programs available

  • Better connection between employment programs and schools

  • More opportunity in school to build resume

  • Better transport

  • Jobs skills/life skills compulsory in all years (commerce and money lessons)

  • Internet cafes

  • Services to build life skills (driving lessons, driver safety programs)

  • Local library - better technology and computers etc.

Results Education cont.

  • Free school base tutoring

  • School more open – available for all youth, not just ones still in school.

  • More information about programs and opportunities through school newsletter, paper, Star FM, Internet – email list for all youth (Sign up, efficient email system)

  • For people who have already left school to have more motivators, inspiration talks. For example bring in Dhunghutti Elders to teach Aboriginal Studies

  • Life skills/Lifestyle class run either compulsory or kept open for people who are not in school. Eg: Cooking, cleaning, financial aspects i.e. Loans, managing accounts and bills

  • More access to op-shops furniture (to give young people a place to get started).

  • Youth mentors (one on one support

  • Youth services

  • Parent support group

  • Sporting and other activities – PCYC

  • Variety of things to do (Boxing, surfing, youth events

  • Career advice/counsellors

Results Education cont.

  • What could be done to make our communities more youth friendly?

Results - Safety

  • What sort of things make you feel unsafe?

  • Police

    • Not being there when you need them

    • Lack of communication

    • Discrimination against youth

    • They moralise so we don’t bother reporting to them

  • Fighting – violence

  • Skate park – fights, being stood over

  • Can’t trust people in Kempsey

  • Nowhere safe places for youth to go to at night

  • Robberies

  • Trucks along the highway through town

Results - Safety cont.

  • Not enough lighting around the town

  • Discrimination and segregation between communities

  • Drunks – People drinking in the street

  • Paedophiles

  • People on drugs

  • Not enough support

  • Family (for some)

  • Youth vandals

  • Bullying, particularly on buses – good bus drivers take control

  • Tough attitudes

  • Community fear of youth

  • PCYC is not safe

  • No transport

Results – Safety cont.

What happens at parties?

  • Drinking alcohol – Parents / older siblings buy alcohol. Problem for young teenagers – 12-15 years get smashed. Older teens grow out of getting drunk and only drink socially.

  • Have fights

  • Take drugs – sharing drugs

  • Drink drive

  • Fun, dance, socialise

  • Unwanted and unsafe sex (rape) – when under the influence of stuff we normally wouldn’t do

  • Hurt, bashed, rapped, robbed - Need a place to have a safe party and someone sensible to go to get help

  • Theft / vandalism, gate crasher problems

  • Risk taking (walking back home or lift with drunk person – no transport)

  • Drink spiking

  • Peer pressure

  • Need safe places to hold parties, and parents to be involved

  • Police needs to crack down on headland at SRW. SWR kids taking ‘pingers’

Results - Safety cont.

Are there any services in your local area where you could turn if you needed help?

  • Not police

  • Case worker

  • Job Networks - Wesley

  • Youth refuge – Not anymore, closing down next week

  • Centrelink

  • Hospital, ambulance, fire fighters

  • Kids helpline – crime stoppers

  • Neighbourhood Centres

  • Counsellors (although school counselors breach confidentiality)

  • Coaches / team leaders, teachers, Church Chaplain

Results - Safety cont.

What about after hour’s services?

  • Family

  • Police - (Not the police at SWR or Crescent Head, it takes them too long to respond)

  • Booze bus – night patrol Hospital

  • Kids Helpline

  • Youth refuge

Results - Safety cont.

Are there any safe places where young people can hang out in your area?

  • PCYC – of a day, not at night

  • Home

  • No, nothing at SWR

  • The park at Frederickton

    What makes it a safe place?

  • People you know and trust and can get help if needed

  • Community ties

  • Protection and security

  • Parents

Results - Health

What do you think are the main Health issues for young people?

  • STD’s

  • Drugs, alcohol, smoking, petrol sniffing

  • Depression, self harm, suicide, ADHD

  • Body image

  • Obesity, diet

  • Fighting

  • Food cost and lack of income – hard to get cheap healthy food

  • Diabetes, cancer, dental health

  • Poverty

  • Sporting injuries

Results - Health cont.

What can be done to help young people become healthier?

  • Making healthy food more affordable, food vouchers for the poor

  • Fresh food in schoolcanteens, lunch provided at school, juice bars, promotion through guest speakers

  • Variety of choices of exercise at school. Make sport compulory

  • PCYC open on weekends and more programs offered (fitness, touch football)

  • Better promotion of health foods to youth (ei young people are always featured in junk food advertisements)

  • More sporting activities (year round), activities at the surf club

  • Interesting education on depression and healthy eating (Beyond Blue regularly at school)

  • Approachable, drop in counselors who maintain confidentiality (male and female)

  • Drop in medical appointment systems, traveling doctors, better transport to medical facilities

  • More funding for emergency departments

Results - Health cont.

  • More dry zones – alcohol

  • Government funding – food vouchers for the poor

  • Focus on changing attitudes towards smoking and eating junk food

  • Provide other forms of entertainment to detract from drinking

  • Introduce weight loss programs in schools (gym)

  • Tax bad foods – use money for healthy lifestyle programs

  • Promote education to families and schools

  • Doctors and nutritionists to schools (like dentists)

  • Youth school nurses – encourage youth to work, easier to relate to

  • Encourage and create incentives to become healthier eg competition

  • School to employ a nutritionist

  • Reduce homework to make more time for sport and reduce stress

  • Young people to become aware of what they are eating

  • Talks about people who have overcome health issues and how they overcome it

  • Start healthy diets from home – encouragement and incentives for parents

  • Gym should be funded by the government

Results - Participation in decision making

Government and services are interested in knowing what young people want. How do you think young people could give them that information?

  • Ask us, give us a chance to have a say, Consult youth on relevant decisions

  • Letters, surveys, petitions, posters, notice boards

  • My Space, U Tube, email , – every one uses it

  • Youth forums – like today, more needed. Youth get to have a say

  • Newsletters, community newsletters

  • Feedback website, blogs

  • Through School

  • Sending reps to talk to youth (politicians)

  • Ring them up

  • Discussion groups

  • Suggestion box

  • At PCYC, going to where the young people hang out

Results - Participation in decision making. cont

Do you think the community values young people?

  • No – Youth get blamed for everything ; they try to get rid of us

  • They expect us to act like adults

  • Make us do everything because we are young

  • Try to bring us up the way they were brought up

  • Shop keepers are arrogant, they always think we are up to something

  • Racism

  • People get judged on face value – usually negative, usually spoken to, not asked

  • Police pick on P platers – no trust – asking for more ID

  • Generalise us all

  • Nothing for youth other than skate park

  • Don’t listen to youth advice

  • Parents think they know what we want

  • Conflicting interests with parents

Results - Participation in decision making. cont

How does the community value young people?

  • Some organised sport

  • Achievers are supported

  • Incentives/bribery – you do this and you get that (this is good and bad)

Results - Participation in decision making. cont

What could be done to improve that?

  • PCYC is out of the way, no one knows where it is or want to go because of the location

  • Community to come together, discussions – education, what are we doing now?

  • Give youth a chance to make their own decisions

  • Positive media output

  • Education about racism

  • Provide course activities for youth to show positive youth image

  • Learn about history of KMC

  • More funding for youth activities

  • Places for youth to hang out

  • Promoting positive things that could come out of KMC i.e. heritage, beaches

  • Low cost transport for youth, especially weekends

Results - Participation in decision making. cont

  • RSL needs to have disco’s again

  • Stop talking about negatives, think more about positives, focus on achievements

  • Provide workshops, youth programs, skate comps, events aimed at youth

  • Respect young people

  • Better communication between youth and adults in terms of parents, police etc

  • Better show, more events, life skills, art galleries aimed at youth

  • More youth forums

  • Sell some pubs, put money into youth instead

  • Build something for youth, and get youth involved

  • UNI should be free and schools should be upgraded

  • Game centre combined with neighbourhood centre

Young people’s feedback about the forum

  • “Wesley asked me if I wanted to come along; I said yeah, then I thought no I won’t go, all they do at these things is talk at you. I went anyway, and look, you couldn’t shut me up! I felt like we really had a say”

  • “It was great to have the day run by peers”

  • I didn’t like too many probing questions that repeated themselves”

  • “The room was crowded and it was hard to hear”

  • We loved have Jo come along and perform, and talk to us”

  • It was useful”

  • “We had a say”

  • “Pizza and the day off school. That was mad”

  • It was fun

  • “Where do we go from here? How can we get involved in the next step and talk to the decision makers”

  • “This is great, but our parents and the wider community need to hear what we have to say, not just services and decision makers”

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