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Koroit and Myrtleford youth set to shape towns of tomorrow



Young people in Koroit and Myrtleford will next month have an exciting opportunity to help their peers from across the state shape the rural towns of the future.

Rural Councils Victoria’s latest project, Tomorrow Towns will work with youth in both communities to understand how councils can better support the engagement of young people so that local places reflect their values and aspirations.

Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) Chair, Cr Rob Gersch said the two towns were selected as pilots from 11 applications from members across the state.

Tomorrow Towns will develop a tool kit that all rural councils can use. This will be informed by collecting input from the young people in both these towns,” Cr Gersch said.

“The project team will work with Moyne and Alpine shire staff and their youth to identify relevant local issues, understand current barriers to young people’s involvement and look at opportunities for young people to be involved in local planning,” he said.

“Those involved will also benefit from training and mentoring, so the project will develop skills in the two communities.”

Cr Gersch said the project was born from rural communities’ need to attract and retain young people.

“Rural towns and councils need to be attractive and hold promise for young people – they are the basis of social and economic sustainability going forward. Through this project we are going to ask young people from rural towns, who may or may not currently live in a rural community, about their values, hopes and the roles they can play to shape future rural communities.

“By engaging meaningfully with them now, councils can hopefully sow seeds that will attract young people back, even if they leave to study or seek broader life or work experience first.”

The project will seek the input of young people, councils and communities in May and RCV will then produce a toolkit of practical, implementable ideas to inspire and support other rural councils and communities. RCV has engaged SED Advisory and ThinkUp to deliver the Tomorrow Towns project.

RCV is the alliance of Victoria’s 38 rural councils. It supports and promotes sustainable, liveable and prosperous rural communities, including a program of activities focussed on developing practical solutions to issues shared by the state’s rural councils and communities.

Rural Councils Victoria is supported with funding from the Victorian Government’s $3.3 million Networked Rural Councils program.

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