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NSW youth explore new frontiers

21 Nov 2017

24 community projects, developed by high school students, have been recognised by the Minister responsible for Youth, Ray Williams, at a ceremony at Parliament House. Youth Frontiers is a state-wide mentoring program that encourages young people in years 8 and 9 to use their creativity, passion and determination to make a positive difference in their local community.

Mr Williams said the awards were an opportunity to recognise students and their mentors who have developed projects to support the local community.

“Each student is paired with a mentor who volunteers to spend about an hour per week with them over six months during school. With the support of their mentor, students are encouraged to come up with creative solutions to local issues and in the process develop key life skills,” Mr Williams said.

Brandon McManus from Oxley High School built a vegetable garden at Billabong Clubhouse, a local mental health facility. Clients at Billabong help maintain the vegetable garden and half the produce is donated to local nursing homes.

“Participating in this project has been great. I was able to help the community, meet new people and learn new skills,” Brandon said.

Other projects celebrated include:

  • Arranging a veterans’ group afternoon tea for ANZAC Day, created by Sarah Pugh from Newcastle High School
  • A free exercise program for seniors, created by Flynn Wallis Smith from Belmont High School.

There are eight categories for the community project including Community Harmony, Youth Mental Health, Engaging in Sport, Empowering Young Women, The Centenary of ANZAC, Environment and Conservation, Group projects, and a General category.

The NSW Government has committed $6.3 million over the next three years to continue Youth Frontiers from 2018 to 2020.

Since 2015, Youth Frontiers has connected about 3500 young people with their communities through quality mentoring.