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Youth leading the way in Corryong

11 Jan 2024

Corryong Neighbourhood Centre continues their work in developing young leaders in Corryong.

Corryong Neighbourhood Centre's main focus at the moment is the YACVic Futureproof project. "Futureproof was handed to us by Towong Shire after they realised that the requirements of this statewide project were a better fit with our existing youth program," said Sara Jenkins, CNC Coordinator. "We already had a head start with youth engagement and a youth working group which had been established to involve young people in the community bushfire recovery process."

Futureproof is a youth led, place based project focusing on young people being better prepared and more resilient in times of emergency. "Our local youth recognised that, for our region, that is not about participating in emergency management training," said Sara. "It is about building skills, confidence and connection with other people; about strengthening mental and physical health; about understanding more about the world in which we live – at all levels and about nourishing and reinforcing young peoples’ connection with their community.

From this understanding, the CNC youth team has worked with local young people to identify four pillars on which to build this project and 14 separate initiatives to help meet these needs. "Although some of the participation numbers in each initiative are small, a small change in a few individuals can have a big impact in our rural community," said Sara, "and we have developed the initiatives to reach as many young people as possible and to achieve realistic and sustainable outcomes."

The activities under the project include driving instruction and mentoring; developing entrepreneurship through regular participation in the local Farmers Market; giving youth a meaningful voice in community development conversations; building opportunities for specific interests to grow and thrive; exploring our region and attitudes with 'Mystery Tours' and delivering a number of focused short courses to prepare young people for life.

"We have five young people forming our paid youth team on this project," said Sara, "including two full time youth workers who are also part of the target demographic of 12-25yo. The program participant number are continuing to grow as the initiatives get up and running and we are excited to see how the project develops over the next 12 months."

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