Children and young people will be the centre of a three-year East Gippsland Shire Council project looking to help younger residents grow up active, healthy and socially connected.
The VicHealth Local Government Partnership is a partnership between Council and health promotion foundation VicHealth.
The project will support children and young people to be included in the decision-making for planning and designing healthier communities.
Mayor Cr Mark Reeves said children and young people aged 0-25 represent approximately 25 per cent of the East Gippsland population.
“This project will set children and young people up for their best possible future by creating communities where children and young people grow up active, socially connected and healthy," Cr Reeves said.
"The partnership will elevate their voices, ideas and experiences and build their capacity, as well as ours to create a healthier future together.
“This demographic faces several barriers to leading healthy lifestyles, which have only been exacerbated by the Black Summer bushfires and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Through this project Council will support children and young people to identify priorities and barriers for healthy communities. Following on from that, we’re hoping to see our younger residents lead the planning, design and implementation of solutions,” Cr Reeves said.
VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio said the VicHealth Local Government Partnership – young people leading healthier communities aims to help children grow up active, connected and healthy.
“We want to ensure young people have the opportunity to be heard and help shape the solutions to challenges impacting them at a local level,” Dr Demaio said.
“Through this partnership, we’ll work with East Gippsland Shire Council and at least 15 other councils across Victoria to inspire more creative local solutions and secure a healthy future for all young people.”
Stage One of the partnership will involve workshops with young people to better understand the barriers they face and determine their priorities and potential solutions.