Photo: Nambucca Heads High School’s 2022 Youth Advisory Council.
Credit: Leah Moore, The Moores Photographers
This project uses small grants to remove any financial barriers that are holding young people back or opens doors to expose them to new experiences, opportunities and people.
Youth Advisory Council
A repeatedly heard theme from our community is that young people need to be the drivers of youth-focused change. The establishment of a Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is an important response to this theme and a direct way to amplify the ideas and concerns of youth.
You can read more about the YAC and how they are facilitating change in this article.
This pilot council group aims to give youth the ability to directly impact the youth agenda in our community. This group will be the first of its kind which will be an extremely empowering experience.
Each month, 7 young people from the Valley, aged 16 to 24, will be invited to speak to the issues the council is currently addressing, or use that opportunity to put forward and talk to one of their own motions.
In addition to council meetings, the group will come together for both a collaborative and skill-building discussion with subject experts.
There are many potential benefits of engaging and broadening one’s experience through an advisory group. These include:
- Having the ability to share knowledge and insights and learn from others
- Feeling of empowerment when contributing to the wellbeing of the community and one’s peers
- Promotes expertise
- Networking and connections – links youth with professionals and leaders across the community whilst enhancing youths’ credentials and visibility
- Practical experience of decision making and advisory processes
- Enhances youths’ profiles including employability skills
- It is gratifying for young people to see their advice being applied and followed and their voices being heard.
Subject experts schedule 2022:
- Wednesday 6 April – Caz Heise, Voices 4Cowper
- Wednesday 4 May – Kate Munro, CEO Youth Action
- Wednesday 25 May – Eliza Zanuso and Dean Besley, Bellingen Youth Hub
- Wednesday 24 August – Russell Ingram, Office for Regional Youth | Regional Youth Community Coordinator – Mid North Coast
To enquire about the opportunity or learn how you can contribute to this program, please contact us using the form below.
Opportunity U Youth Grants have closed for the 2023/24 financial year, and we are not accepting applications.
Information about the initial program is below.
With the help of our community, we created opportunities for young people in the Nambucca Valley to have greater exposure to social, educational, career, and sporting opportunities. These small grants helped lift any financial barriers and allowed youths to engage in opportunities they may not otherwise have when living in Regional NSW.
To be eligible for an Opportunity U grant, young people must:
- Be between 8 and 18 years of age
- Live in the Nambucca Valley
- Require financial assistance to be able to achieve their personal goals.
All youths must be referred to this program.
Are you a local business or community organisation that wants to contribute to future Opportunity U youth grants?
- Change a young person’s life with an opportunity that inspires
- Shift our collective community attitude towards young people. Let youth know we care
- Make a direct investment in the future of the Nambucca Valley
For more details on how you can contribute, please email: email@example.com
WHERE DO THE GRANTS GO?
"Aila lives very remotely with limited transport. She has now started her studies at TAFE and with your help now has her own laptop to be able to keep on top. Aila can complete her studies, which in the long run will help her work towards other qualifications and be able to gain employment. This shows how well we can work together as a community for our youth and future."
"The Opportunity U Grant has been awesome and really helpful. With the money I was able to buy a new electric guitar, and equipment to help me perform. I have been going great with my solo performances at various local venues."
"Thank you so, so much for the Opportunity U Grant. I'm really happy because I was able to have my art in an art exhibition at Bellingen"
"This funding has allowed me to further pursue my passion of photography. I was given a camera which has opened so many new opportunities such as doing team photos for the local footy club as well as helping a local personal trainer with marketing their business on social media. It has helped me so much. Thank you."
"I was worried most about where I would be after school if I made it through and what I would've achieved by the time I finished. There were some challenges and still are to this day. There is a lot of pressure, like having heaps of studying to do and handing it in on time. Lockdown made this worse because I had no motivation to do any of my work and didn't think I really needed to. My experience with Molly as part of the Future U program was definitely worth it. She gave me more experience for when I get older like helping me get my RSA & RCG. Molly is a perfect role model and has helped me heaps. The Opportunity U grant gave me more guidance to what I want to do in the future, so I thank Molly and Uniting for being so helpful and kind. Keep doing what you're doing!"
"The grant was really helpful for me in a lot of aspects of my life. Glasses are expensive and I was not in the position to get new prescription ones that weren’t going to break on me, plus it was affecting my participation in school as I was not able to read the board. I now have enough pairs of glasses to have at home and at school ensuring I can always read what’s on the screen for school, and as I am now driving, I require glasses. I have been able to drive places safely and engage in schoolwork, without having to leave myself short financially."
"The grant from Opportunity U allowed me to be involved in netball and touch football. I represented the Nambucca Valley in netball and played in 6 carnivals on the Mid North Coast and then State Titles in Sydney over 3 days. The grant provided much needed funds for uniforms and travelling costs for touch football. I play for my local team the Macksville Falcons, and represented the Nambucca Valley at the State Cup touch tournament in Port Macquarie and the regional Eagles team in a tournament played in Orange. The grant also enabled me to represent The North Coast in both Junior and Senior touch football for school and travel to Lismore, Wollongong and Mudgee."