At a workshop hosted by the Weeds and Rabbits Project in May 2019, participants co-designed projects aimed at boosting youth participation in their local communities.
These are a selection of the co-designed ideas.
Project 1: Green action project
A project designed to cater for VCAL students: 25 students will be selected to introduce migrants to experience nature and conservation projects, as well as offer employment pathways for these young people. Building partnerships addressing local project needs as well as integrating the identified needs and wants of young people in our communities.
Project 2: Reclaiming the forest – Strathbogie treks and trails project
Engaging a diversity of stakeholders to help empower local young people to embrace healthy lifestyles as well as improving habitat promoting healthy environments on an established national parks reserve.
Project 3: The life of a ranger – re-wilding weekend
Providing university and TAFE students opportunities to explore career pathways with Parks Victoria through a re-wilding weekend. A multi-faceted educational camping adventure weekend will guide and support young people to learn about biodiversity and take action on invasive species such as Sallow Wattle with local Parks Victoria rangers.
Project 4: Supporting women in land management mentoring program
Targeting women on the Mornington Peninsula who are looking to connect to natural resource management. Creating career and volunteer pathways for women through a six-month mentoring program which will offer inter-generational connection and supportive pathways into the industry.
Project 5: Youth agency and leadership for youth and the environment
Providing youth with the skills and agency to deliver environmental projects. Through the support of the Loddon Plains Landcare Network, this project will offer mentorship to a group of young people to develop leadership and other transferable skills they can take into other areas of their life. The project encourages self-governance and organising, peer support and leadership / succession, and the ability to design and deliver their own programs.
Project 6: Re-wilding Wombat Gully
Engaging local high schools to remove invasive species and bring back biodiversity for local fauna. School students identified as park users will be invited to rehabilitate wombat habitat by removing a monoculture of boneseed. The day will integrate cultural appreciation and connection experiences as well as educational activities integrating hikes with researchers, and other Parks Victoria staff.
Project 7: Beyond recovery project – falling in love with Murrindindi
A project to help the local community to move beyond recovery after the Black Saturday fires, and invite people (new and long-term) to an event which showcases the beauty and diversity of the local landscape. The event will showcase local projects and people already doing great stuff to protect natural areas including invasive species management and help others to discover how they can also play a key role in protecting the place they love.
Project 8: Make your break worthwhile – a job readiness program for youth
An overnight project focusing on developing skills, taking a break and having fun. This capacity-building and mentoring program aims to train a cohort of young people to develop a diversity of project and specific land management skills which will help build young people’s job-readiness, confidence and ability to sustainably manage our landscapes. Resulting in qualifications and connection to local mentors, young people will walk away better connected to local people and local opportunities.