Identifying the problems, finding the answers

IDEAS to bring about improvement in issues such as homelessness, climate change, sexual identity and asylum seekers were discussed at length in an unlikely place this week. 

South-west students who took part in this week’s Change It Up session at Mortlake P-12 College identified problems in their local communities — then planned ways to address them. 140514DW26 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

South-west students who took part in this week’s Change It Up session at Mortlake P-12 College identified problems in their local communities — then planned ways to address them. 140514DW26 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

About 40 young people from across the south-west gathered at Mortlake P-12 College on Monday and Tuesday, exploring what they could change in their communities and how to make it happen. 

Young people from the Moyne and Corangamite shires and Warrnambool city participated in the Change It Up program, an initiative of the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA).

Spokesman Alex Snow said the two-day session asked the participants to discuss what they liked in their communities — and what they didn’t. 

“There were some really big issues discussed, things like mental health, homelessness, sexual identity and some global issues, like climate change and asylum seekers,” Mr Snow said. 

“I told them this was the type of things the Prime Minister discussed in Canberra, so it was impressive to see these young people wanting to make a difference.” 

He said after coming up with an issue to focus on, the participants then went about creating projects that could be implemented in their local communities to bring about a change for the better. 

“We had some members of the community come in and offer feedback and advice on the ideas and then the participants pitched for funding to make their idea a reality.” 

He said there was up to $1000 available to the groups to help deliver their ideas and FYA representatives would help them work out the most effective ways to use the cash.

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