Minister for Youth Affairs Ryan Smith is calling for Victoria's regional and rural councils to apply for this year's Local Government Youth Inclusion Grants.
Mr Smith said the grants provide an opportunity for young people to get involved in their local community, share new ideas across regional networks and create meaningful change.
"Young people today are our leaders of tomorrow and it is important that they connect with and shape their communities, as well as providing ideas on how to build and develop our local communities," Mr Smith said.
"The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to providing opportunities for young people to get involved in their local community and have their say. For rural and regional communities this is incredibly important so that these communities continue to thrive and retain young people.
"There are nine grants of up to $30,000 currently available and I encourage all eligible regional and rural councils to apply," Mr Smith said.
Examples of how the funding can be used include:
- establishing a youth reference group to work with Council to develop a Youth Charter;
- establishing a youth advisory committee to participate in Council planning and decision-making;
- facilitating a youth summit to identify opportunities for young people to provide feedback on a range of community planning issues; or
- supporting a youth action group to work with council staff to develop an online, social media process to engage and consult with diverse groups of young people."The views and beliefs of young people are very important to the future of Victoria and we need to ensure they have access and ways to make themselves' heard," Mr Smith said.
"When young people have a say in local matters that affect them, they are more likely to remain involved and active in their communities."
The grants are a component of the Coalition Government's $3.2 million Shape It! program which aims to improve the retention and attraction of young people to rural and regional Victoria.
Applications close on 31 October 2012 and more information can be found at www.youth.vic.gov.au