The Shire of Meekatharra’s Youth Services, which provides programs for young people aged 8-18 in WA’s Mid West, has been named the winner of this year’s Making a Difference Award.
The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries’ sponsored award is part of Awards Australia’s Community Achievement Awards, acknowledging local shires, councils and local governments that drive positive outcomes in regional communities.
The Shire of Meekatharra has operated the local youth centre since 1988, seeing thousands of young people through its doors, for a variety of programs including a drop-in service.
The local government was praised for its collaborative approach to develop and implement outstanding services for young people in a community which has faced tough challenges.
It works with organisations including Yulella Aboriginal Corporation to provide support to the social development of local Aboriginal young people.
Shire of Meekatharra Youth Services also provides vital mental health coordination services, with Mission Australia and no-cost mental health services in partnership with Youth Focus.
Also nominated for this year’s Making a Difference Award, at a ceremony in Perth, were:
- Mandurah Surf Lifesaving — Starfish Nippers: a lifesaving skills program for children and young adults with disability, aged 6 years and more. The program is run entirely by volunteers;
- The Shire of Murray — Food Innovation Precinct WA: a partnership with Peel Development Commission and the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure;
- Kathy Brooking— Shire of Coolgardie: Ms Brooking has developed programs including the Kambalda Youth Development, Kambalda Community Sports Program and Kambalda Gym and Junior Gym.