As a part of National Youth Week (NYW) 2018, Byron Youth Service (BYS) consulted with 28 young people from around the Shire, representing three of the main high schools.
‘Our purpose was to connect with local youth in this very specific way, to find out what it’s like for them living in this area, what their issues are, their hopes and their worries,’ said Berri, who organised the forum in collaboration with Byron Shire Council and the BYS team.
‘This will help shape our strategic plan and services, to make sure we are aware of emerging trends and to help keep our programs relevant,’ she said. The young people were open, articulate and informative, she said.
‘They spoke about the challenges of drug use, personal safety in Byron CBD at night, pressure to perform in school and how it affected their mental health due to lack of sleep and addiction to social media. ‘BYS also invited these young people to come up with ideas about how the BYS could raise the awareness of BYS and its services and also attract funds to support more valuable and effective youth initiatives in this area – youth initiatives that arise from young people for young people,’ said Berri.
‘Young people always come up with the best ideas,’ said Deb Pearse, who has been working for BYS for 19 years.
‘The day was topped off with a vibrant art installation, led by local art facilitator Karma Barnes of the In.scribe Youth Arts Mentorship project.
‘The Youth Week event to look out for is the [email protected] skate comp at the Brunswick Heads skatepark,’ Deb said. Registrations start from 10am and comp starts at noon on April 22.