Cardinia Shire Council Youth Strategy 2012 16

Cardinia Shire Council Youth Strategy 2012 16

Cardinia Shire Council Youth Strategy 2012–16



Business Unit:Community Wellbeing Department

Adopted: Draft for public release 6 March 2012

Review Date: 2016


Cardinia Shire Council Youth Strategy 2012–16


Cardinia Shire is a rapidly changing and diverse community with a combination of rural townships and areas of high population growth. Cardinia Shire’s youth population is expected to increase from 17,458(2012) to 26,653(2022).This forecasted population growth brings about significant challenges for Council.

The development of the 2012–16Youth Strategy;is a timely opportunity to assess the current needs of young people in the Shire and assess how they can best be met into the future. It is also an opportunity to think strategically, so in 10 years and beyond there is a positive and strong community environment that supports young people to achieve their goals and aspirations.

Recent research on the early years of life identifies that appropriate care, nutrition and stimulation affect the ‘wiring’ of neural pathways which are essential to development and learning. Patterns of brain development extend into the teenage years, with growth and change occurring in the brain during pre-puberty years and extending into adolescence. This research strengthens the need to promote healthy development in young people.

The Youth Strategy is the result of work undertaken by Council and the Youth Strategy Reference Group. The strategyprovides the basis and framework for the delivery of youth services over the next five years. The strategic actionsin the strategy are derived from a comprehensive analysis of the issues and needs of young people as identified through consultation with young people, service providers and community. Detailed research was also undertaken to inform the strategic actions. The 2012–16 Youth Strategy background paper provides a comprehensive overview to support the strategy.

The strategy builds on the foundation of Council’s previous investment in supporting young people who live, work, learn and playin Cardinia Shire. Itprovides Council with strategic direction to advocate, plan, coordinate, and deliver a range of services and activities for young people.

In addition to the specific work of Cardinia Shire Council’s Youth Services Team, the strategy adopts a ‘whole of Council and community’ approach to meeting the needs of young people. The strategic action support partnership opportunities with various specialist services and community organisations as well as recognises the valuable work among youth done by organisations such as sporting clubs, youth organisations (scouts and guides) churches, schools and cultural groups.

The Youth Strategy is underpinned by the Cardinia Shire Council Youth Policy 2012 to 2016.

Development and consultation

Cardinia Shire Council undertook a thorough process of research and consultation including forums and surveys, in the development of the Youth Strategy.

Through the collection and collation of data a number of key themes were identified and form the basis of the strategy.

Consultation with young people, parents, community and those services that work with young people formed an important part of the process to determine what was important to young people and the areas of priority.

Key themesinclude;

  • limited affordable office space in Pakenham for primary, early and secondary intervention services
  • rapid population growth will see an estimated 18,227 young people aged 10 to 24 years living in the growth corridor between Beaconsfield and Pakenham[1] (2022)
  • lack of comprehensive, coordinated service system, which enables the continuity of care and response to the range of needs of young people and their families
  • lack of support for young people with a disability
  • lack of support for emerging CALD population
  • limited support for young people with mental health and/or drug and alcohol issues.

The 2011 youth survey data highlighted:

  • poor public transport system
  • concerns in relation to drug and alcohol use among young people
  • bullying, violence and perceptions of safety
  • need to increase passive recreation options; cinemas, shopping centres, skate parks
  • need to increase volunteer opportunities for young people in particular young females
  • lack of non-competitive recreation activities for young people
  • need to increase cultural events including dance and music
  • young people using social networking sites and internet to access information
  • young people have aspirations to go onto further education; however there are barriers to meeting these aspirations (limited local post-secondary/higher education opportunities)
  • low school retention rates[2].

Strategic actions

The following strategic actions describe how Council will implement its Youth Strategy and address the issues raised in the community consultation and research. It is intended that these actions will be addressed through partnerships with other levels of government and community organisations.

  1. Advocate internally and externally for adequate local resources including a skilled youth sector workforce that reflects the needs and diversity of young people in the Shire.
  2. Work with local businesses and education providers to promote, develop and facilitate education, training and employment pathways for young people.
  3. Develop an evaluation framework to capture the outcomes for young people accessing Council’s youth services and ensure the key learning is fed back into planning.
  4. Ensure the voice of young people informs and influences the continuous planning and improvement of services.
  5. Develop a range of prevention and early intervention approaches to support young people around the key areas of concern identified by them.
  6. Maximise the engagement of young people, community, business and service providers through the development and implementation of a comprehensive communications strategy.
  7. Explore and foster partnership opportunities with government and non-government agencies, where there is an identified gap in service delivery; and develop services that meet the current and future needs of young people and their families.
  8. Promote a positive image of young people.
  9. Develop youth specific facilities that provide information, advice and pathways to accessible support for young people and their families.
  10. Encourage and support young people to become actively engaged as young citizens.
  11. Review, monitor and promote the implementation of the 2012–16 Youth Strategy.

Key deliverables

Council aims to implement the strategic actions by 2016 in partnership with other levels of government and community organisations. There is a clear need for external resources to supplement Council’s financial commitment.

Cardinia Shire Council will provide leadership and work in partnership with young people, families, the community, other agencies and business in achieving these key deliverables.

The key deliverables of the youth strategy:

  • development of a youth specific facility in Officersubject to available funding and resources
  • range of youth specific/targeted recreational opportunities
  • maximising local resources including skilled youth sector workforce to meet needs of young people
  • targeted advocacy, planning and approaches around key areas of concern for young.
  • youth survey (bi-annually)
  • funding opportunities sought from State and Federal governments and philanthropic foundations, to support the implementation of the Youth Strategy.


Young people are an integral part of Cardinia Shire. The Cardinia Shire Council Youth Strategy focuses on improving the overall health and wellbeing of young people through advocacy; support; and the provision of activities, initiatives and services.It aims to provide diverseand innovative opportunities and services which support and connect young people to family, community, education and employment.

Council has a key local leadership role in developing an integrated approach to planning and service provision for young people and their families.Council acknowledges the strength of other health, welfare and recreation services in the Shire and works closely with partnerships to help support the needs of young people.

The strategy outlines more than just future priorities for Council’s Youth Services. It provides a basis for a whole of Council and community approach to the support of young people; that is underpinned by current research, youth policy, and feedback from young people and stakeholders.


[1] Informed Decisions 2011 Available at Downloaded 14 September 2011

[2]Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Adolescent Community Profile: Cardinia Shire Council 2011