National Youth Week begins with a bang as the Sutherland Shire’s council reveals an action-packed timetable of events with many local organisations participating in youth orientated activities.
Throughout the first week of school’s Easter break, the week of April 10th, Shire known groups such as Skate Boarding NSW, Project Youth and Cronulla Surfing Academy have announced free workshops for the community’s youth. The goal being to provide a platform for young people to share their ideas, host events, have their voices heard on issues important to them and celebrate their contribution to the community.
The timetable of epic events was advertised widely throughout the area with the council’s twitter often posting updates and linking to their website that holds the full list of events,
The event advocates for positive mental health within the younger generation of our community, with invaluable sponsorships from headspace Miranda and Engadine District Youth Services this goal is in clear sights.
Cara Thompson, a Youth Access Clinician from headspace Miranda, said that “experiences shared amongst like-minded, youthful individuals introduces them, especially in the case of this festival, to a positive social situation. That’s really the aim here; we want them to learn important social skills while also encouraging getting outside, having fun and supporting your peers within such a brilliant community”.
Recent findings from Mission Australia’s latest Youth Survey, conducted between 2014-2016, reveal that one in four young people are at risk of severe mental illness. The Black Dog Institute, an Australian research institute aiming to reduce the incidence of mental illness, said in their report on the survey that “these findings confirm that mental illness is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century and one that has to be tackled by the community”.
When asked about the sense of community within the Shire’s youth and how the festival positively impacts this Lauren Johnston, from Cronulla Surfing Academy, said “with such a diverse range of events on offer I think there is something for everyone. Street Art Workshops, Music Festivals, our Surfing Lessons – such a great mix and such fun to be had outdoors. Getting kids outdoors and active. Creative juices flowing. You really can’t go wrong”.
Events continue through to April 18th, and kids big or small are encouraged to join in on the free festivities!