Aiming to instil positive action and attitudes in children and young people, Bendigo, in central Victoria, is to be the first Australian host to this international training model. St Lukes’ Youth Services – Anglicare, is underwriting the project.
Nicole Ellerton, National Training Coordinator for Thriving Youth Australia, says the Search Institute in the US has come up with 40 Developmental Assets that young people need to develop, thrive and grow up resilient. She says we need to think about the support young people in the community receive and their boundaries and expectation put around them.
“Are they using their time constructively? How do they feel about learning, are they committed to learning? Are they committed to an education? What are we doing to reinforce positive values and teach positive values in our young people? The social competencies they need and helping them establish a positive identity.”
Nicole was part of a team that travelled to the US where the concept is being used and found it works well. One American community uses this approach at council meetings, at community meetings, and with every decision that’s made in the community. They ask:
(1)How will this decision impact on our young people?
(2)Will it add to the value of young people’s lives or by excluding young people in our decision-making are we actually taking assets away?
(3)Are we taking empowerment away?
(4)Are we taking decision-making away from the next generation of young people coming up through our community?
The good thing about the list of 40 Developmental Assets is that it’s a list of very simple commonsense things that we can do as individuals as communities to build assets in young people, says Nicole. It has everything a young person needs to go out and be an active, confident member of the community – the stuff’s not rocket science, it’s just beautifully worked out.
OF INTEREST & ONLY RECENTLY ANNOUNCED: Melbourne’s reputation as a popular youth and student destination has been enhanced with the announcement that it will host the World Youth and Student Travel Convention (WYSTC) at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre and Crown Promenade, 7-13 October 2006. Mr Garry Kingshott, CEO, Melbourne Convention & Visitors Bureau (MCVB), says the Convention is expected to bring more than 800 delegates from 400 companies and 80 countries to Melbourne.