Youth officer to boost local services

Therese ColmanAugusta Margaret River Times
Councillors Naomi Godden and Julia Meldrum are supporting plans for a youth officer to be based at the Margaret River Youth Precinct.
Camera IconCouncillors Naomi Godden and Julia Meldrum are supporting plans for a youth officer to be based at the Margaret River Youth Precinct. Credit: Therese Colman

The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River has set aside money for a youth officer to be located at the region’s Zone Room.

Shire deputy president Julia Meldrum and councillor Naomi Godden backed the decision after identifying the need for more youth services in the area.

Shire manager of human and community services Nigel Anderson said the council had allocated $30,000 in the 2018-19 budget towards achieving goals outlined in the Strengthening Youth Plan 2018-22.

The money would be spent to “improve access to health and support information services, including drug and alcohol education opportunities ... and investigate the viability for a youth worker to be based out of the Zone Room to offer youth support services”, he said.

Cr Godden said the need for a youth officer was identified by a panel of young people during the development of the plan.

“We have a fantastic facility with the new skate park and Zone Room, and it provides the perfect opportunity for a drop-in centre and youth services to provide support for at-risk young people,” she said.

“Research shows that early intervention with young people, especially at-risk young people, can support them to develop skills to manage challenges as they arise. The youth worker would hopefully be someone that young people trust and seek out when life gets a bit tough.”

The Shire is seeking expressions of interest to partner with youth and social work groups in the region.

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