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Local youth tell us what they love about Hedland

Published: Monday, 13 November 2017 at 12:00:00 AM

As part of the Tell It Live It Campaign the Town of Port Hedland invited youth representatives from Hedland Senior High School, the Youth Involvement Council and Wirraka Maya’s Transition to Adulthood program to a Youth UpRising workshop to voice their thoughts and ideas on how the Strategic Community Plan 2018-2028 could better address youth.

After a number of interactive and group brainstorming activities, the participants came up with a list of what they believe are the best things about Hedland, current issues affecting youth in the community, and potential solutions to create an attractive place for young people to live.

The participants said they were proud to live in a culturally diverse community which boasts sunny weather, ample recreation, outdoor lifestyle and an acclaimed skate park, but also voiced worries about issues affecting youth in the community.

Participant Verinia Binsaad has spent her whole life in Port Hedland and says, because of her family heritage in the area, the town will always be home.

“Everyone here is family to me.”

“I’d like to see more tertiary opportunities because family is very important to me but if I want to go to uni I’ll have to leave.”

“The main problems affecting youth are drug and alcohol abuse, bullying and mental health.”

“We should be giving them more support. Make sure they feel worthy. Everyone who comes here should feel welcome.”

The youth suggested a number of ways that the community could improve to help people in need find support and a sense of place in the community.

One of the participants said he would like to see more churches and refuges for people in need because he likes areas that have a bit of peace and quiet.

“Church is good to get away from all the nonsense,” he says.

 To improve safety and create vibrancy for young people, they said they would prioritise, and focus on improving, areas like: arts, culture and events, youth activities, community safety initiatives, parks and gardens, and sport and recreation.

Participant Rowan Dann says “There needs to be more opportunity for kids so they don’t go down wrong track. To keep young people in school there could be more trips and organized events that engage young people in Schools.”

“This [Youth UpRising workshop] is good if it means we can help the community and make it better.”

The Town of Port Hedland believes that engaging youth and hearing their ideas and insights, which come from first hand experiences of living in the Hedland community, are valued and essential to creating the ten-year plan that reflects and caters for our community’s range of needs.

Binsaad says “Us kids usually feel our ideas don’t matter but this makes it feel like they do.”


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