Shifting the focus to youth

STRONGER ties between Latrobe Youth Network and local parliamentarians are expected to emerge from a recent meeting between the local group and State Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood.

Mr Blackwood, also Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, met with LYN to “discuss advocacy for young people in our local communities”, according to Latrobe City youth development officer Andrew Legge.

Mr Legge said LYN was a localised network of organisations, individuals and representatives of youth agencies located within the Latrobe Valley.

The network met monthly and comprised of organisations and agencies such as Headspace, Centre for Multicultural Youth, Latrobe Community Health, Centrelink, The Smith Family, Berry Street, Department of Human Services, Latrobe City, Quantum Support Services and the School Focused Youth Service, he said.

“We meet to promote opportunities to optimise the quality of life for all young people within Latrobe.

“This is achieved through the promotion of a wide range of quality programs and services for young people and the sharing of information, knowledge, skills and resources that will build their capacity.”

As part of its advocacy role, LYN invited Mr Blackwood to help it establish procedures and protocols enabling it “to voice the current and emerging needs of young people to Parliament”.

Mr Legge said the MP was “supportive of strong and effective communication” between local politicians and LYN.

“He outlined effective strategies for working with parliamentarians,” he said. “The LYN has also been given the opportunity to access documents concerning youth, which are addressed in Parliament, and to inform on issues concerning young people up to Parliament.”

Mr Blackwood asked the network to alert himself or State Member for Morwell Russell Northe “to any issues of concern that the LYN had surrounding young people in the Latrobe Valley”.

He also called on LYN to submit its suggestions on “how to resolve the issues for the youth within the community to help the Ministers improve and work on the issues at hand”.

All enquiries regarding the monthly LYN meetings can be made to Mr Legge on 5128 5073.