HORSHAM Rural City Council voted to adopt its Youth Strategy at its August meeting.
The strategy outlines future plans to promote the Horsham municipality as “a youth-friendly rural city, with engaged and empowered young people who have access to the services and opportunities they need for a healthy, safe and happy life”.
Its development came after extensive consultation with young people, schools, community organisations local youth agencies and the general community.
The council’s community services director Kevin O'Brien said the strategy had been out for public consultation throughout July and a number of submissions were received.
"A total of 43 submissions and comments were received and we thank those people for their valuable feedback," he said.
"We also had 325 people, including 200 young people, who participated in the first consultation period back in April."
At the council’s monthly meeting on August 27, Cr Josh Koenig said he was pleased to see the strategy get to its current stage.
“A big congratulations is in order for all the hard work (arts, culture and recreation manager) Anne Donovan has put in throughout the process,” he said.
“It’s very exciting to know that it involved the youth on every level.”
Primary school teacher Cr Alethea Gulvin said she had students discuss the strategy with her at school.
“Two of them came up to me and told me this plan they had to have a bike path,” she said.
“It’s so great to see that they are very passionate. There are so many young people in the community who have ideas that they want to have heard. I’m just pleased that we’ve been able to make this happen for them.”
The strategy will see a transition away from the centre-based model delivered through Nexus to an internal youth officer who will be well placed to deliver on emerging priorities and co-ordinate engagement with young people.
It was also recommended that a form of youth council be developed to enhance engagement between young people and the council.
The motion was carried unanimously.