A NEW strategy could ensure young residents in the Horsham Rural City area are not overlooked.
Horsham Rural City councillors voted to release its draft youth strategy for public consultation at a meeting on Monday night.
Community services director Kevin O’Brien said the strategy sought to empower young people by giving them a voice across all council work areas.
The strategy proposed a youth council be formed to offer young people with meaningful opportunities to interact with council.
Yarriambiack and Hindmarsh councils have already established youth councils who discuss issues that are important to their peer groups and take action to make necessary changes
Mr O’Brien said the strategy would have council move away from its current youth services delivered under Nexus and work towards developing a new model.
“We are not defining the model, as we think it is important that young people tell us what they want,” he said.
“It will also provide opportunities for our young people to co-design services, spaces and activities that are welcoming and inclusive.”
Horsham Council’s draft youth strategy was shaped around its results found through a youth survey.
Councillor Alethea Gulvin said young people often find it difficult to see the opportunities available to them. She said the strategy purpose was to make everyone feel safe and included.
“We have sports and other areas of our community for youth to go to, but they are not always beneficial to everyone,” she said.
“People should not be afraid to stand up and make a statement – without statements how can we see changes happen.”
Mayor Pam Clarke said the strategy will guide how council would work with young people, services, schools and the community across the next 10 years.
“There will be changes in the way we deliver youth services, changes in how we engage with young people and changes to our advocacy platform,” she said.
“Young people are our future so we need a strategy that helps ensure they have the resources they need to grow up safe, healthy, happy and resilient and are provided the opportunities and skills they need to learn, work, and engage with the community.”
Cr Clarke encourage people to view the draft strategy and action plan and make comment by July 29. She said feedback received will be used to finalise the youth strategy.