Empowering Brimbank’s future

Youth Junction chief executive Blake Edwards and Youth Minister Natalie Suleyman at the launch of Brimbank Empowering Communities. (Damjan Janevski) 336486_01

Hannah Hammoud

Young people have joined forces with community service providers in Brimbank to lead the delivery of innovative crime prevention initiatives.

The launch of the Brimbank Empowering Communities early intervention project aims to bring together community members and organisations to develop evidence-based initiatives that engage and reflect the voices of young people in the community.

Chair of the project action group, Blake Edwards said the project is committed to asking young people and their families what they need to thrive in the community and inspiring them to co-design initiatives that meet their needs.

“At a community forum, young people stood up and told us that they need safe and spaces toparticipate in prosocial activities, opportunities for education around cultural diversity, and initiatives that enhance community pride,” he said.

“Importantly, young people told us that they were proud to be part of Brimbank, but they questioned whether Brimbank was proud of its young people.”

The project will fund four community-designed initiatives that maximise the life potential of young people in Brimbank by connecting them to culture, community, school, family, and the economy.

The action group’s remaining funding will enable the delivery of a Hackathon Project with young people across Brimbank.

Through a series of workshops designed and facilitated by Endeavour Youth Australia, students at Copperfield College, St Albans Secondary College, Victoria University Secondary College and the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation will be guided to identify and understand key concerns facing themselves and their peers, and work in groups to design projects that address these issues.

The workshops aim to build the capacity of young people to engage in advocacy and activism and inspire them to become leaders for change within their communities.

The workshops will culminate in a Hackathon session where young people will pitch their ideas to their peers and vote on their preferred project. The winning project at each setting will be

awarded $50,000 for its implementation throughout 2023-24.