LeadOn have worked tirelessly for 8 years to engage the young people of Ballarat in community-based projects, and skills development. Amongst others, they have run the L2P program, enabling young people to gain hours of supervised driving for free and several public arts projects, which not only have breathed new life into neglected spaces, but have given budding street artists a legal outlet for their creativity. They have also run film projects, built websites for community groups and developed a youth-led magazine, and much more.
The closure of LeadOn could leave a bit of a hole in youth provision in the Ballarat area. So what other organisations provide opportunities for young people to engage with their community and develop leadership skills?
BYOU: Ballarat Youth, run by the City of Ballarat, has a vision “…for young people in Ballarat to be actively engaged, valued and respected citizens, realising their potential”. They run a variety of programs, including the Youth Council, Zaque (a social support group for Ballarat’s GLBTIQ youth, planning and coordinating community awareness activities) and the Urban Diversity Choir. Head to http://www.youthservicesballarat.com.au/ to see how you can get involved.
HLLEN: Highlands Local Learning and Employment Network, works with young people, employer, training providers and community groups to provide a range of learning opportunities for young people, aiding transition between school and the workplace. For more info, go to: http://www.highlandsllen.org
YMCA: The YMCA is a great opportunity to develop leadership skills, whether through their dedicated Leadership Workshops, or through volunteering to run their after school or holiday activities. www.ballarat.ymca.org.au
CMY: Centre for Multicultural Youth provides services and advocacy for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. They connect with vulnerable young people, offering mentoring, sports and recreation activities and access to other local services, in order to foster better community integration. http://www.cmy.net.au/
These are just some of the awesome youth-focused community groups that we are privileged to have in Ballarat. They are always looking for motivated individuals to help them out, so get in touch! If you would like to suggest other similar groups that are not on this list, please post some details in the comments section, including a weblink!