Schools Partnership – Notes from YPO 2nd Feb

Notes from YPO:

The following information is a summary of the Youth Participation Officer’s notes from the Schools Partnership Meeting held @ Hawkesbury High on 2nd February, 2016. (The complete minutes will be added to a separate post when finalised).

Anti-Bullying Program: The 2015 Hawkesbury Youth Summit was an opportunity for Council to undertake research into the issues facing young people in the Hawkesbury. Bullying and Cyber-bulling were identified as ongoing issues and the Hawkesbury Council has committed to work with agencies to resource a suitable anti-bullying program for Hawkesbury High Schools (and to also investigate how this program can be provided to young people not engaged in mainstream education)

Schools have been contacted to explain the plan to deliver an anti-bullying resource pack as part of an on-going program. In early March, Schools will receive an Anti-Bullying Tool-Kit. This includes: anti-bullying posters, art-work and other promotional materials, investigative and creative activities and lesson plans. The resources cover all age groups from K-12. The resources will be on a USB and packaged in a small box called the Anti-Bullying Toolkit. Added to the USB will be info on the Schools Partnership Group Members.

Schools are invited to use the posters and promotional material included on the USB to promote, build awareness of, and generate momentum towards, the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence – March 18. Schools will also be invited to use anti-bullying activities or lesson plans from the Tool-kit on the day and throughout the year as time permits.

The next step for the anti-bullying program is for Council to assist in resourcing professional anti-bullying services. It is important this is a community decision which is why I would like the Schools Partnership Team to make recommendations regarding which anti-bullying services they would like the Council to support. Services Included: Brainstorm Productions – The Hurting Game, Cyberia, & Verbal Combat. Full-On Theatre – Escape From Worryville. Values for Life – School Seminars Beyond A Joke – Anti-Bullying Centre OzTaekwondo – Bully Proofing Workshops Harmony Solutions – Effective Seminars RRAAW – By Ricky Atkinson – Bligh Park Youth Project. (Resilience, Respect and Anti Bullying Workshops)

Mental Health Program Participants in the 2015 Youth Summit indicated that the primary issue young people face in the Hawkesbury is Mental Health, particularly a lack of resources and support in managing Mental Health issues and illness. In the past the Council has engaged with Headspace Penrith to help resource mental health services for young people in the Hawkesbury and this has had limited success. There have also been some attempts to provide community transport through Peppercorn Services to give young people in the Hawkesbury access to Headspace Penrith. This has also had limited success and is not currently running. I am pleased to be in contact with Chadwick Spinazaa, who has recently joined in on the discussion to provide Youth Mental Health Services in the Hawkesbury. I have also held discussions with St. John of God Richmond Private, and St. John of God Windsor (Hawkesbury Hospital – Public) in regards to opening the discussion about resourcing youth focused mental health services in the Hawkesbury. Stephen Lille from St. John of God Richmond directed me to Julie Poultney from Partners In Recovery who has some kind of co-ordinating role in Youth Mental Health through Uniting Care. I have not yet been able to speak directly with Julie but if anyone knows of any lines of contact could you please advise me?

There is a Youth Health Forum coming up held at Westmead Children’s Hospital called – Positive Psychology and Young people – It is free for people under 24 and might be a great opportunity for Student Representatives and service providers and take part in. Please invite some students to attend and come along if you can. – See Doc. What strategies can we create to build awareness and education about Mental Health in Schools and how can we create support groups within Schools to support people facing mental health issues, either themselves, or their in families or friendships?

Youth Week:
Youth Week will be held from 8th – 17th April 2016. The largest Youth Week Event in The Hawkesbury is called Youthfest which is held on Friday 15th April at Richmond Park Oval. This year we are inviting young people from all over the Hawkesbury to take part in creating their own exhibits/events to hold at the Youthfest. I have a flyer to advertise this.

Youth Leadership – Youth Frontiers Another recommendation from the Youth Summit was for Council to maintain contact with young people to provide opportunities for them to be involved in civic leadership and council process. The Youthfest flyer seeks input from young people is one step towards empowering youth to becoming involved in civic leadership. Council staff are invited to become involved in the Youthfest to have an opportunity to meet with young people, provide information about Council services, and advise as to how young people can become involved in the variety of Council projects. Please see the document on Youth Participation including – HART’s Ladder of Youth Participation.

Library/Gallery/Museum Programs The Council Gallery, Library & Museum have many interesting projects on all year round. They have requested assistance from the Community Services to enhance their marketing and communication lines with schools. They have some great things on including HSC study days, Film Nights, They are getting ready for their new 3-D Printer which will be rented for $5.00/hour and can be used by anyone. Etc. Please see the attached Library/Gallery/Museum Info.

Building Stronger Lines Of Communication With Schools
Current communication channels. School Newsletters/E-news/School Social Media. Principal Meetings. Building positive relationships is a must. Schools are busy and often admin members may not be involved with youth participation within schools so it is important to have the right contacts. What can we do to improve our relationships with Staff, Teachers, and Students in Schools?

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