Free Online Events to Help Support Young People

Published on 17 June 2020

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Song-writing workshops, cooking classes, SmartPhone filming tutorials, yoga, mindfulness, leadership sessions and even an online busking competition! These are just a few of the workshops offered in ‘Level Up’ – an initiative launched by Moyne Shire FReeZa and Youth Council in collaboration with Colac FReeZa, and Brophy Family and Youth Services.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives of young people in profound ways. Moyne Shire Council asked its young people what they need to help bounce back from social isolation through a recent survey.

Moyne Shire Mayor, Cr Daniel Meade, said that many young people have struggled to feel included and connected during the pandemic and are seeking more social interaction and opportunities for engagement.

“We know that young people in our community want support in areas such as life skills, self-care strategies and personal development,” Cr Meade said.

“Results from Council’s survey have sparked the creation of a series of free online events, aimed at helping young people to re-engage, channel their creativity, stimulate personal development and foster good mental habits.”  

The Level Up program underpins initiatives developed by Council in the Moyne Youth Plan, to support the health and wellbeing of young people in the region.

“COVID-19 has challenged all of us to think differently. This program aligns with Council’s strategies to help engage young people at a time when it is of most use, and build their capacity to better support themselves and their peers in the future,” Cr Meade said.

Delivered online via Zoom, the scheduled events are targeted towards meeting the social and developmental needs of people up to the age of 25, living in the South West.

Fifteen-year-old, Moyne Shire Youth Councillor, Hannah Van Der Aa, said that the key challenges faced by young people include feeling a sense of isolation and disconnection from friends, their emotional wellbeing and a need for ‘more fun’ in their home life.

“Many of us are looking for new ways to be engaged and entertained at home,” Ms Van Der Aa said.

“Whilst it’s not quite the same as real life interactions, the online events are really important in helping to improve our emotional and social connections, and allow self-expression.”

Cr Meade said, “Council urges young people not to neglect their mental health and use this time to develop their skills in various areas and reduce the implications of isolation on their education and social interaction.” 

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