A new education hub teaching life skills to Aboriginal youth across Byron and the Tweed will be one of 68 projects across the state set to become a reality thanks to a $40 million investment in the next generation of regional youth by the NSW Nationals in the state government.
Acting Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the $40 million ‘Our Region, Our Voice’ program will improve the lives and wellbeing of young people across regional NSW.
“This is an investment in the next generation – an investment in projects and initiatives that matters to them and that will help regional youth reach their potential,” Mr Toole said.
“We’re investing $522,550 to construct an Aboriginal education hub at Fingal Head where Elders will run weekly life skills programs that will cover budgeting, shopping and preparing a weekly cook-up for the wider Aboriginal community.
“This investment is a testament to the Nationals’ ongoing commitment in ensuring regional youth are empowered to build their own future. I’m excited to see these very important programs and initiatives start rolling out.”
Nationals Minister for Regional Youth Ben Franklin said nearly 2,000 young people were consulted to help determine the priorities for investment.
“This is an investment that has been shaped for youth, by youth and is based on findings from Regional Youth Insights – the largest regional youth research project ever commissioned by the NSW Government,” Mr Franklin said.
“The Nationals are committed to creating opportunities to support young people to live, work and achieve in regional NSW whether that’s through developing career pathways, improved health and wellbeing services, extracurricular activities or a newfound connection to culture and community.”
Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said he is delighted the NSW Government’s investment will support a much-needed service for local youth.
“This is a significant investment in our region and I’m very pleased to see funding go to an organisation that is working to enhance the lives and wellbeing of young people in our community,” Mr Provest said.
Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Leweena Williams said the organisation is excited to get started on the construction of the education hub.
“The centre will open up a number of opportunities to empower at risk Aboriginal youth in our region. Not only will it be an education facility, it will also host a Junior Aboriginal Land and Sea Ranger and Life Skills Program under the guidance of Elders,” Ms Williams said.
For further information about the NSW Government’s Regional Youth Insights visit www.nsw.gov.au/regionalyouthinsights
For further information on the ‘Our Region, Our Voice’ Regional Youth Investment Program visit www.nsw.gov.au/regionalyouthinvestmentprogram