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During the latter half of 2020, the Ballarat Foundation has conducted consultations and extensive research in order to develop a new Youth Strategy for the Ballarat Community.

Students from Ballarat High School, Mt Clear Secondary College and Phoenix P-12 Community College participated in the consultation process for the Youth Strategy and identified three key areas of improvement that, if addressed, would significantly enrich the lives of young people in Ballarat and the surrounding areas.

The students identified food security, job ready and life skills training courses and transportation as the areas of focus for this Youth Strategy.  

These align with the Ballarat Foundation’s four pillars of focus:

  • School Readiness
  • Youth Success
  • Housing security
  • Food security

One of the Ballarat Foundation’s focus pillars is centered around ‘Youth Success’ and the notion that young people’s voices are essential in helping to determine their futures and the future of their communities. This fundamental belief has driven the Ballarat Foundation to passionately and enthusiastically pursue the creation of this Youth Strategy.

The Ballarat Foundation’s Youth Strategy program was delivered over a 10-week period, with facilitated workshops once every week. 

The program was divided into three core sections:

  1. Brainstorming 
  2. Consolidating 
  3. Presenting

Brainstorming:

The initial weeks of the program focused on facilitated youth lead discussions concerning areas in the community that the young people would like to address and improve. All participants contributed their individual thoughts and ideas and the group was able to develop a wide variety of aspirations for the youth strategy to address. 

Consolidating:

After the initial brainstorming process, participants began to consolidate these ideas and set out several focused goals that they wanted the Youth Strategy to achieve. Participants were able to outline three actionable goals for the strategy through group discussions and facilitated feedback. 

Presenting: 

The final section of the program involved the participants creating and delivering a 30 minute presentation to members of the Ballarat Foundation Board. All participants presented a 2-3 minute section, outlining the process of the program and the final goals and recommendations of the group to the Board members. 

The presentation was a key component of the program, facilitating young participants to collaborate in designing, practising and delivering a professional presentation that showcased their commitment to the 10 week program and provided the Ballarat Foundation with youth led recommendations for the community. 

Following these steps, from the information gained through the consultation with the students a report was developed focussing and linking the students’ identified goals with current research and global context of those matters.

We are proud of the work of the students and their contribution to the development of the Ballarat Foundation Youth Strategy. We look forward to 2021 as we start to implement the actions set out in this strategy.