Support for children, teens and young people

Deputy Mayor Aitken with young people from the Multicultural Drop In.

More than 16,000 young people attended the Geelong City’s youth programs during 2022-23, while 6,154 hours of enhanced Maternal and Child Health service was delivered to families.

The City’s Annual Report for the last financial year has highlighted the many services that the City offers to support children, young people and families, including childcare, playgroups, youth services, education and health and wellbeing.

The L2P (Learner to Probationary) program engaged 193 active learner drivers aged between 16-21 (and in some circumstances up to 23 years) who don’t have access to a supervising driver or appropriate vehicle to gain behind the wheel experience to get their P-plates.

Fifty drivers achieved their probationary licences, and 101 mentor matches were made. The program currently has 98 volunteer mentors and 120 learner drivers.

The City managed 400 different local, district and regional playground spaces during 2022-23 to support children’s health, wellbeing, education and development.

The City hosted their 17th Geelong Children’s Week in October last year with more than 30 events that celebrated and recognised the talents, skills and rights of children.

The City worked alongside young people from the fOrT Youth Centre in Corio to deliver the SKAART Community Festival in April 2023, featuring a free BBQ, cultural foods, live music and bungee runs.

The Geelong Youth Awards celebrated 13 winners who make a difference in the community, and we also partnered with young people from the Multicultural Drop In to deliver Refugee Week activities.

Work began on the COVID-19 Youth Impact Report research project to better understand the ongoing impacts the pandemic is having on young people in the region.

In 2022-23, the City developed Youth Communities of Practice – a central point for local schools and youth-focused organisations to share information and develop innovative initiatives that respond to emerging needs.

Mayor Trent Sullivan said the insights in the Annual Report demonstrated the City’s commitment to supporting children and people 25 and under.

“We’re dedicated to ensuring our childcare, health services, youth hubs, youth programs and school-based programs are safe and inclusive spaces,” Mayor Sullivan said.

“There are so many highlights over the last financial year, including 1,451 first time parenting groups, the achievements of the Youth Council and the development of the Rainbow Youth Advisory Group.”

Inclusion and Care portfolio chair, Councillor Sarah Hathway, said children and young people were important members of the Greater Geelong community.

“Children, teens and young people make incredible contributions to our region, are compassionate and resilient, and see the world in a fresh and exciting way,” Cr Hathway said.

“Council is proud to support these younger members of our community to help them develop, feel included and be the best they can be.”