Office for Regional Youth
Creating opportunities for young people
The Office for Regional Youth was an initiative of the Deputy Premier John Barilaro and is headed by the State’s first-ever Minister for Regional Youth, the Hon. Bronnie Taylor. The Office for Regional Youth was established within the Department of Regional NSW to provide a coordinated and strategic approach to respond to regional youth issues.
To develop a strategic approach and direction, the Office for Regional listened to advice and insights of regional young people, parents, employers and youth workers. Further, the Regional Youth Taskforce, an annually refreshed ministerial advisory group, raise key issues and priorities to the Minister on behalf of their regional peers living in regional and rural communities and towns.
The Office for Regional Youth will support a whole-of-government approach by ensuring young people’s voices are heard and influence regional youth initiatives.
John Barilaro, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional New South Wales, and Bronnie Taylor, Minister for Regional Youth, Mental Health and Women with the inaugural Regional Youth Taskforce.
The Regional Youth Taskforce
The Regional Youth Taskforce is made up of two young people from each region of NSW, aged 12 to 24 years.
The Office for Regional Youth is working in partnership with the Advocate for Children and Young People to support the Regional Youth Taskforce as they provide advice to Minister Taylor on issues that affect young people living in Regional NSW.
Each meeting focuses on a pillar of the Regional Youth Framework: Wellbeing, Connectivity, Work Ready or Community.
The 2019-20 Regional Youth Taskforce members are:
- Jasmin Hughes and Josef Graf Cooper for the Central Coast Region
- Ashish Thapa and Maddy Jerrett for Central West and Orana Region
- Ben Johnstone and Nyokia Townsend for the Far West Region
- Katherine Sutcliffe and Jack Antcliff for the Hunter Region
- Amanda Reid and Lachlan Page for the Illawarra Shoalhaven Region
- Laura Murray and Ryan Dwight for the New England and North West Region
- Jan Jaafr and Caitlin Axelby for the North Coast Region
- Luca James and Marina Gabra for the Riverina Murray Region
- Khawlah Albaf and Allie Roberson for the South East Region
Since the first meeting in October 2019, the Regional Youth Taskforce has been consulted out of session on the issue of drought, summer school holiday programs for drought affected communities and a school curriculum reforms.
Regional Youth Framework and Action Plan
The Regional Youth Framework outlines the strategic whole of government priorities across four pillars:
Wellbeing: young people are mentally and physically healthy, safe and thrive in their communities.
Work ready: young people have the opportunity to learn, work and achieve in regional NSW and prepared for regional jobs of the future.
Connectivity: able to access services and opportunities easily.
Community: connected to and valued by their community.
The Regional Youth Framework is underpinned by the Regional Youth Action Plan.
The Regional Youth Action Plan will see government agencies work together to deliver a range of short, medium, and long-term programs, services and initiatives.
The Action Plan has a combination of state-wide and regional initiatives which will need collaboration by partner agencies.
Importantly, the Action Plan is designed to be flexible so that issues that impact regional communities such as drought and bushfires can be included as the needs arise.
COVID-19 has changed many things including the way we can interact and support each other. There is even more help available than ever before. The Youth Services fact sheet is a quick reference guide to websites and services for young people that you can contact if you do need help.