Landmark meeting for new youth centre consortium

TAMWORTH’S new youth hub hit a major milestone yesterday when all 17 youth agencies involved in the project met for the first time. 

YOUTH HUB MILESTONE: Front, left to right: Tim Coates, Bawa Kuyini, Kylie Whitford, Lyn Rickard, Col Murray, Bruce Mercer, Debbie Taekata and Phil O'Reilly. Middle: Jeff Mills, Neil Hatton, Fiona Snape, Belinda Kotris and David Holzigal. Back: Marc Sutherland, James Madigan, Jim Booth, Larry Apthorpe. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 250814GOB01

YOUTH HUB MILESTONE: Front, left to right: Tim Coates, Bawa Kuyini, Kylie Whitford, Lyn Rickard, Col Murray, Bruce Mercer, Debbie Taekata and Phil O'Reilly. Middle: Jeff Mills, Neil Hatton, Fiona Snape, Belinda Kotris and David Holzigal. Back: Marc Sutherland, James Madigan, Jim Booth, Larry Apthorpe. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 250814GOB01

The agencies – canvassing education, police, mental health, recreation and Aboriginal community groups – discussed the challenges and possibilities of working under the one roof at the first Tamworth Regional Youth Centre consortium meeting yesterday.

It was “an illustration of the level of commitment” to serving the youth community, Tamworth Regional Council interim chairman and consultant Bruce Mercer said. 

He said the agencies would need to work “collaboratively and holistically” in the new “one-stop shop” model, which he said was important for youth with complex support needs. 

Youth Services co-ordinator Stephen Blanch said Tamworth’s youth were enthusiastic about the new facility.  

“This type of investment rarely happens for youth, especially on this scale,” Mr Blanch said.

“Individually we have our own strengths, but we need to work together to leverage each other’s strengths.

“We can have a bigger impact than if we were working alone.” 

Tamworth mayor Col Murray said the consortium was “a very exciting stage” for the project, with construction well under way and several office spaces already leased. 

He confirmed the new centre in Coledale would be complete by late November or December this year. 

“It’s a service that is so needed in Tamworth and Coledale,” he said.

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