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A draft Youth Strategy under development at Lake Macquarie City Council aims to activate and celebrate #LakeMacnextgen.
Manager Community Partnerships Andrew Bryant said the strategy was still in its embryonic stages and would continue to be shaped largely by input from the City’s younger generation.
According to Census data, almost one-third of Lake Mac’s 205,000-strong population is aged under 25.
“The new Youth Strategy is about our young people, so it’s only right that we speak directly to them in putting it together,” Mr Bryant said.
“We want to know what issues are most important to under-25s in Lake Mac, how they get around, what they like to do and what we can do to make them happier and a more engaged part of our community”.
Council has already consulted extensively with young people to determine areas for action.
“This next step of engagement, which includes an online survey, will help us nail down priorities – not just among young people but those who work and interact with them, and the broader community,” Mr Bryant said.
Council will harness the power of social media to gauge feedback on priorities.
An Instagram competition will run concurrently with the survey, with young people invited to upload a photo, drawing or painting that says something about why they love Lake Mac.
Completed online surveys and Instagram entries tagged with #lakemacnextgen go in the running to win $100 vouchers to Charlestown Square.
Mr Bryant said the new strategy would build on the strengths and successes of young people through a variety of channels, including:
Providing youth-friendly recreation opportunities
Engaging young people through art, creative processes and new technology
Hosting and promoting live music, art exhibitions and festivals
Providing safe places that encourage youth participation
Providing low-cost, safe transport options
Creating stronger links between Lake Macquarie’s Youth Council and local schools
Increasing the use of renewable energy and reducing public littering
The survey can be completed online at shape.lakemac.com.au/next-gen until November 15.
Mr Bryant said the Youth Strategy would be drafted and exhibited following this latest round of community engagement, with a view to implementing it in 2020.