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Published Monday 15 March 2021
Tags:General, Media Release

Doors open on new Youth Hub

Wallan’s very own Youth Hub was officially opened by Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green and Mitchell Shire Mayor Cr Rhonda Sanderson on Friday 12 March.

The former Wellington Street kindergarten building has been transformed into a $1.74 million one stop shop of essential youth support provided by The Bridge Youth Service to meet the needs of young people in one of the Victoria's fastest growing towns.

The Bridge Youth Service will manage the facility, providing their suite of services as well as assisting other providers outreaching to the area. Services that will be available include housing and homelessness services, mental health, substance abuse, family relationships and support for young parents.

There will be a variety of early intervention programs including family reconciliation, adolescent support, links to education, future parenting programs and school disengagement. It is envisaged new group programs and other services will be provided once the facility is opened.

The integrated Youth Services Hub features:

  • youth social spaces
  • consulting rooms
  • intake rooms
  • GP room
  • modern reception and waiting area
  • · landscaped open space, seating and shade
  • open plan kitchen

The initiative has been a key focus for the Mitchell Shire Youth Council who worked alongside Mitchell Shire Council to highlight the need for increased youth services, particularly mental health support in the area. The partnership helped secure government funding for the fit-out.

Council made an in kind contribution of $1.09 million to the project, the State Government contributed $645,789 through the Growing Suburbs Fund.

The Youth Services Hub ticks two very important boxes recommended by The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System – it provides early intervention and offers services much closer to home.

Comments from Mayor Cr Rhonda Sanderson

“Youth mental health and wellbeing is a priority for our community, and the Youth Hub will provide essential support services to our young people.

“Projects like the Youth Hub are imperative to keeping up with the growth in our communities and to delivering on our commitment to provide a healthy, connected and sustainable community now and into the future.

“It has been great to work in partnership with our Youth Council, the Victorian Government and The Bridge Youth Service to be able to bring this much-needed service to our community. Partnerships like this are critical for delivering good outcomes for our community.

“We’ve seen firsthand from young people and service providers in the community how important locally accessible services area. The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System has highlighted this too.

“It’s good to be to be able to give old building a new lease on life for a good cause."

Comments from Mitchell Shire Youth Council Youth Mayor Thomas Starkey

“Having a Youth Hub like this in Mitchell is crucial to the health and wellbeing of young people in our community.

“Being able to access mental health support locally means young people can get the help they need without having to travel hours on public transport or wait months for appointments. This support will change lives and set young people up for a positive future.

“The Youth Council has been working hard to highlight the need for more youth mental health facilities in our community and this is a great achievement for everyone involved."

Comments from The Bridge Youth Service, CEO Melinda Lawley,

“Improving access to services is crucial and we need to provide effective and easy pathways, closer to the young people’s homes and their families

“Working with other providers, we will be able to coordinate and integrate support for young people closer to their homes”

“We are working hard to attract new mental health funding for young people in Wallan and the whole Mitchell area.”

This page was last updated on 15 March 2021.