The Youth Opportunities program offers money to organisations that host projects which support young people’s engagement in the community.
Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said the projects are the perfect way to see youth get involved in their local communities.
“The projects are a great way to engage constructively with a demographic that is traditionally very hard to reach,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.
“Young people need to be involved in all aspects of the project, from conception and planning through to design and delivery.
“I look forward to seeing the positive impact the projects have on youth across the state.”
Minister for Regional Youth Ben Franklin said the funding will support pathways for young people, particularly in regional areas, to get involved and increase connectedness within communities.
“Young people are key to maintaining vibrant regional communities, and the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government is committed to ensuring regional youth have all the tools they need to grow into their best selves,” Mr Franklin said.
“The broad range of projects will support young people, particularly in regional areas, to develop skills and find their place in their community.”
One of the successful projects this year was Arts and Cultural Exchange’s Parrallax, a project that will bring together young artists to develop costume and props that can not only bring out young people’s creative side, but also help to develop the skills and knowledge to work in the art industry.
Arts and Cultural Exchange Executive Director, Anne Loxley said that Parrallax brings together young artists from the local area for a series of costume workshops and alter ego development.
“The project aims to empower young people to determine and control their creative pathways in a free, safe and inclusive space. Young people will learn essential skills for conceptualising, producing and exhibiting fine art.”
Youth Opportunities offers grants of between $10,000 and $50,000 to local government and non-government organisations for youth-driven projects.
More than $15 million has been invested in 329 projects under Youth Opportunities since the program began in 2012.
A recent independent evaluation gave Youth Opportunities a glowing endorsement.
The evaluation found: “The program is being implemented well, achieving program objectives and benefits for young people, and should continue to be a source of funding for community organisations in NSW.”