Council Services / Community

Circular Head Council - Youth Strategic Plan

Councils run services which provide help to groups within our communities with special needs like youth or seniors. This tends to occur where the State or Commonwealth governments cannot provide services the local community wants or needs - or governments simply need the expertise of councils to get practical solutions happening. 

Our regional areas can be a challenging place to grow up in.  

Local opportunities for recreation, socialisation, fitness, education and careers can be quite constrained for young people living outside major centres. Circular Head Council thought their Youth Policy, was in need of a shake up, in order to give local kids the best chance in life. 

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Figure 1: A still taken from Circular Head Council's YouTube video about their 'Seven Up' youth centre in Smithton

Council hired a worldclass youth facilitator, Michael ‘Mo’ O’Meara to assist their Community Services team create the new and innovative ‘Y-Plan’, in the following ways:  

  • The Y-Plan process involved young people deeply in determining youth policy and services in the Circular Head area.  A key aspect was to create the Youth Leaders Group to help develop the plan and make its direction and scope relevant to young people.

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Figure 2: Members of the Circular Head Youth Leaders group.  From left to right:  Jordan Williams, Eli Perry,
Mikaylah Tuxworthe, Erica Quinn and Morgan Henderson

  • A range of consultations occurred with key stakeholders including: more than 120 local young people; local schools; the Youth Network of Tasmania; Rural Health Tasmania; and the Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation.

  • Two Y-Plan forums were facilitated by Mo, bringing together youth and elected members.

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   Figure 3: As part of the Y Plan process, Circular Head youth were asked these three vital questions

  • The forum gave a clearer picture of important issues for young people in the area. Driven by those key findings, smaller subject specific workshops were organised.  Young people were invited to attend workshops on their nominated area of interest from the following topics: tourism and town image; technology and Wi-Fi; employment opportunities; youth enterprise; and sport, recreation and other activities.

After much consultation and research of local, national and international trends, the Y Plan was completed and put out for public comment as a council policy. The elected members of the Circular Head Council were very pleased with the level of youth engagement, leadership and participation in the planning and decision making process. The Youth Plan recommended establishing a youth led innovation and information space and the development of a Council work experience or school holiday casual employment policy.

Circular Head Councillor Ashley Popowski said that the plan “will provide the necessary leadership to allow our youth to be innovative and not afraid to be enterprising - to find their way in life and be able to do it from Circular Head”.