We believe that all young people deserve the chance to not just survive, but to truly thrive in our community. And to do that, they need to feel safe, loved, connected, accepted and inspired.
From July 2017 to June 2019, we’ve spent time in each of Moonee Valley’s 13 neighbourhoods, checking in with young people and creating opportunities for them to get involved, feel heard, have fun and learn new skills.
Our Moonee Valley Youth Survey (which had almost 500 responses) and on-the-ground experiences showed us that mental health is one of the biggest concerns facing our young people, so we made it one of our highest priorities.
We visited schools to teach Mental Health First Aid to almost 400 Year 10 students so they felt empowered to help themselves and their mates, as well as to 27 teachers, 21 people who work with young people and 48 parents.
Life isn’t always easy and our counsellors provided 1,128 hours of free and confidential counselling and one-on-one support to 225 people. Through this, we helped them develop skills to cope with problems and reach their goals including going back to school, managing their finances, and looking for work. Our L2P Learner Driver Mentor program has seen almost 3,000 driver hours logged and 29 young people getting their licence.
Young people need to be involved in all levels of decision-making on issues that impact them and are a really important part of solving broader community issues too. That’s why we made sure we involved them every step of the way. The voices of 335 young people were heard through 15 youth forums and consultations, four young people did work experience with our team, and we supported 23 young people to take local action as part of our Young People’s Committee.
We’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with over 10,000 young people at our events, forums, consultations and programs, including skateboarding deck art workshops, girls’ leadership programs, 17 high school pop-up events, pet therapy sessions, youth-only ice-skating rinks, and so much more.
But we didn’t want to just hold events and hope young people show up, we wanted to know which events they really wanted and then help them run them! Over the last two years, our Young People’s Committee ran the Valley Youth Carnival, Young People’s Award, International Women’s Day art competition, high school forums and more.
The FReeZA committee (made up of 33 young people) created and managed 16 arts and culture events which had 3,269 people attend. This included Loud In the Library at Sam Merrifield Library, comedy workshops, music performances at The Valley Youth Space in Niddrie, Pridham Plaza in Niddrie, the East Keilor Leisure centre and the Linear Green Spine Park in Airport West. Through these events, they gained valuable hands-on experience in project and event management, sound production, graphic design, catering and how to work as a team.
Diversity is what makes our city so special and our young people are champions of this! Almost 800 people went to two youth-led Cultural Diversity Week events (run by young people) and 150 people attended an Iftar dinner (the evening meal that Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast with) which was also run by young people. We re-launched the Rainbow Valley Queer Youth Group in mid-2018 and had 250 young people consulting and attending the meet ups. It is a welcoming, safe space for young people to hang out, create events, support each other and express who they are.
It’s been a massive two years and we are proud of what we have been able to achieve for, and with the help of, Moonee Valley youth. You can read our full report card here. There’s still plenty of work to be done and we can’t wait to see what the next two years bring.
If you, or someone you know, is a young person wanting to get involved in making changes in our community, learn new skills, or just have someone to talk to when you’re going through a rough patch, please get in touch with our Valley Youth team.
You can visit our website, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 9243 1225.