Mentoring to help young people be leaders in their local communities is the focus of a new $3.1 million NSW Government program launched today in Newcastle by Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello.
Mr Dominello joined Newcastle MP Tim Owen at a youth forum to announce the opening of the Youth Opportunities program, which will support innovative youth leadership projects across NSW.
“Everyone benefits when young people are fully involved in community life – they bring vitality and fresh perspective and can feel rightfully recognised for their positive contributions,” Mr Dominello said.
“That’s why this new $3.1 million program will support youth-led activities in communities all around the State.
“Funding is available for projects that use mentoring and other strategies to help young people feel more included in and give back to their communities.
“With the right chances and the right choices, young people have so much to offer our society and the Government is committed to fostering those opportunities,” Mr Dominello said.
Youth and community organisations and local government can apply for grants of up to $50,000 for one-off, time-limited projects. A total of $2.6 million in grant funding is available. A further $500,000 in funding will be allocated to targeted initiatives, such as fostering local government and civic engagement among young people, linking young graduates with employers, and helping young Aboriginal people get the driver’s licenses that help them get jobs.
Mr Dominello said the development of Youth Opportunities follows a series of extensive consultations with young people across the state.
“I asked the NSW Youth Advisory Council and other youth stakeholders to find out how young people participated in their local communities, how they are supported, and how we can do better,” Mr Dominello said.
“That’s how young people’s views and ideas have been instrumental in the development of Youth Opportunities.”
Grant applications open today (27 June) and close 30 July. For more information about Youth Opportunities, go to www.youth.nsw.gov.au.