Engaged and active: engaging young people across the Toowoomba Region. Toowoomba Regional Council Youth Study

Hickey, Andrew ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9862-6444 and Pauli-Myler, Tanya and Schroder, Rebecca (2019) Engaged and active: engaging young people across the Toowoomba Region. Toowoomba Regional Council Youth Study. Government Report. University of Southern Queensland , Toowoomba, Australia. [Report]


This report outlines findings from this study of the region’s young people. In particular, focus was given to identifying the ways that young people engage with services designed to support their own personal development and connection to their communities, and the perceptions young people have of life within the Toowoomba region. Within this, the data captured for this study highlighted that young peoples’ awareness of the opportunities available varied, and that perceptions of initiatives and services aimed at further supporting young peoples’ participation in community- formation remain, in some instances, ill-informed. In particular, the findings outlined in this report highlight that:

• the ways that services are provisioned vary across the region;
• the provision of opportunities for young people to participate as active members of the community require a more cohesive and planned agenda of inter-agency collaboration;
• the ways that young people participate in initiatives and engage as active members of the community requires cognisance of the diverse backgrounds, lifestyles and interests that young people hold, and that;
• the ways that young people are envisioned and conceptualised as a group requires attention in order to shape more positive representations of young people as integral members of the community.

Using themes derived from the analysis of a dataset comprising interview, focus-group and documentary material, along with a comprehensive review of policy documentation from Local and State government levels, the findings outlined in this report identify that:

• The meaningful engagement of young people in decision- making requires more than tokenistic consultation and engagement of young people in limited areas of focus.
• The provision of services aimed at the support of
young people would benefit from greater inter-agency collaboration and coordination. It emerged as a major theme in this study that those service providers currently working with young people in the Toowoomba region are ‘stretched’ (in some cases beyond capacity). Although a sector-wide challenge, the ‘separation’ experienced by the region’s service providers between policy directives and funding compacts and the day-to-day realities of service provision represent a major hurdle to effective service delivery and sustainable practice.
• Young people do hold the capacity to contribute to decision-making and the formation of their communities, but are rarely afforded the opportunity to meaningfully do so. Further, providing young people with the skills and capacity to develop their own awareness of issues affecting their community, and opportunities to engage in directing their futures is crucial.
• More can be done to shift, particularly negative, preconceptions of who young people are. Prevailing stereotypes of young people do exert an influence on how young people engage-with and are received-by their communities.

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Item Type: Report (Government Report)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: c. Toowoomba regional Council.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Humanities and Communication (1 Mar 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Heritage and Culture (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2020 03:13
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2020 07:18
Uncontrolled Keywords: youth services; youth Policy; Toowoomba Regional Council
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160510 Public Policy
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160509 Public Administration
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9402 Government and Politics > 940204 Public Services Policy Advice and Analysis
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/37754

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