Youth Strategy and Policy to be developed by Coffs Harbour City Council

Woolgoolga teenagers Tanvir Sahota, Jack Molan and Cash Howarth are among many Coffs Harbour youths whose needs will be prioritised in a Youth Strategy and Policy to be developed by Coffs Harbour City Council later this year. Photo: Coffs Harbour City Council.


A YOUTH Strategy and Policy will be developed by Coffs Harbour City Council in the second half of 2021 in response to engagement undertaken with the public on Council’s Youth Issues and Options Paper last year.

The Youth Issues and Options Paper provided the community with a comprehensive research paper outlining the current context for young people living in the local government area.

It also undertook to collate and communicate the service Council provides to young people in the community, and this was the first time a consolidated view of these activities had been articulated.

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The Youth Issues and Options Paper was publicly exhibited from 27 July to 24 August last year.

In that time, fourteen submissions were received, eleven surveys were completed and ten interviews conducted with people working in the youth sector.

Following the public exhibition process, a priority recommendation from the youth service sector was for Council to develop a Youth Strategy and Policy to incorporate other recommendations received from the community following the public exhibition of the Youth Issues and Options Paper.

Youths aged between 12 and 25 years currently account for around 15% of the Coffs Harbour population.

“Young people are known to be among the most heavily impacted by the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Council’s Section Leader Community Planning and Engagement Madeleine Lawler.

“Young people in the community have disproportionately borne the load of education disruption and structural changes to the employment market.

“They are also exhibiting poorer mental health outcomes and are vulnerable to instability in their home circumstances.”

Council’s Youth Issues and Options Paper, including recommendations, was the result of lengthy, in-depth engagement with young people between the ages of 12 and 25 and youth service providers over a two-year period.

It outlined key needs, issues and opportunities relating to young people throughout the Coffs Harbour local government area.

The engagement process between Council and local youth service providers identified seventeen recommendations including a recommendation for Council to support a Youth Forum, which Council is proposing to hold in line with the 2021 review of its Community Strategic Plan.

The remaining recommendations will be used to help focus discussions with young people as the Youth Strategy and Policy is being developed.



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