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Cyber Café visit fuels ideas for Youth Action Centres

A visit to the Burnt Toast Cyber Café in Mornington, provided delegates with first hand knowledge that could be utilised in developing Youth Action Centres

By Latrobe City Council - 13th June 2001 - Back to News

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A visit to the Burnt Toast Cyber Café in Mornington by a number of Latrobe’s youth agency representatives last week, provided the delegates with first hand knowledge that could be utilised in developing Youth Action Centres in Latrobe City.

Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Brendan Jenkins, said the visit was part of a fact-finding venture, investigating key elements of the internet café and furniture repair program in the Mornington Shire. The Cyber Café is part of a program delivering innovative training, and recreational and business opportunities for young people on the Mornington Peninsula.

"Plans for Youth Action Centres in Latrobe have been on Council’s agenda for some time with an initial brainstorming of ideas through community groups, and Latrobe’s Youth Services staff, and a survey conducted with two hundred young people from Lowanna College last year, Cr Jenkins said.

"A great deal of interest was generated for the idea, and seed funding was sourced through the Federal Government’s Family and Community Services (FACS) department to employ a project officer. A project officer was appointed at the end of April and has been drawing various elements together in a proposal for the establishment of Youth Action Centres at four sites in the municipality," Cr Jenkins said.

"The visit to Mornington last week, has stimulated more ideas on how to provide the young citizens of Latrobe with similar services through Council’s proposed Youth Action Centres.

Youth Action Centres Project Officer, Euan Comrie, a member of the delegation which visited Mornington, said committees had been formed in Moe, Morwell, Churchill and Traralgon to investigate potential sites for the

Youth Action Centres, and develop appropriate programs.

"These programs are being designed by young people for young people, with a clear training and educative focus in mind," Mr Comrie said.

"Management at the Cyber Café in Mornington, identified much of their success to linking-in with a range of government funded training programs such as Job Placement Employment & Training (JPET). They also explained that young people often lack a space of their own within the CBD, placing them on the fringes or outskirts, and giving young people a message that they are not wanted. Clearly the Cyber Café provides that space," Mr Comrie said.

Councillor Jenkins said that providing young people with similar facilities in regional towns could go a long way towards reducing the massive resource and brain drain, that many rural areas such as Latrobe City experienced through the loss of young people to other major centres such as Melbourne.

"It is often forgotten that young people in the 15-19 year age group also have one of the highest levels of disposable income. It only makes good economic sense to facilitate the spending of their time, efforts and income resources within their own local communities," Cr Jenkins said.

"While the initial funding for this program is only for the project development stage, we feel sure the Federal Government will see the benefit of implementing further funding so that the project can become a reality," Cr Jenkins added.

Mr Comrie said young people were still being sought to provide input to the project, and suggestions for access to suitable space for potential Youth Action Centres in the Moe, Morwell, Churchill and Traralgon CBDs were still needed. Mr Comrie can be contacted at Latrobe City Council, telephone 1300 367 700, or by email,


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