Holistic education on the radar for Bundaberg youth

Representatives from CQUniversity, YMCA and Bundaberg Regional Council, including Mayor Jack Dempsey and councillors Helen Blackburn and Judy Peters, met to discuss future opportunities for the region's youth.

Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey and councillors met yesterday with the YMCA and CQUniversity to discuss future opportunities for the region's youth.

Staff from the Bundaberg and Brisbane YMCA groups, as well as CQUniversity, were present for the meeting on Thursday, discussing how to create a “holistic” approach to education.

“We want to facilitate community partnership building for collective impact, to effectively address the mental well-being, educational, training and employment needs of young people,” Bundaberg YMCA Greg McMahon said .

A new approach was needed to engage the youth of the region who were getting “lost” in the current schooling system.

“Our main priority is creating a strengths-based approach to working with young people and their families,” he said.

“It's about education but also about creating a very well designed well-being program for students.

“We do this via human-centred design processes that engage stakeholders in the development and delivery of programs and services to ensure they meet the needs and aspirations of the community.”

Brisbane YMCA have implemented a Special Assistance Schools program currently running in Ipswich, Acacia Ridge and North Lakes.

The schools offer courses and a positive environment to assist disengaged students in achieving their full potential through positive educational studies, activities and outcomes.

Mr McMahon said the same type of education model would be perfectly suited to the Bundaberg area.

CQUniversity’s Luke Sinclair said the Special Assistance School program could help to provide better employment outcomes for youth.

“Let's get kids learning in a way that is beneficial to them and our community,” he said.

Mayor Dempsey said giving young people a sense of belonging within the community was an important step towards creating better employment outcomes.

“If our youth feel like they have something they belong to, it can only benefit everyone involved,” he said.

“Connection to the community is important.”