Youth committee sought

By Simon Ruppert

North East Support and Action for Youth is on the lookout for members of a new Youth Advisory Committee — and would like Benalla represented.

NESAY is a youth and family community agency based in north-east Victoria.

It currently operates the Fair Feed program in Benalla which allows vulnerable youths to purchase a meal at a subsidised price.

It is continually looking at identifying barriers facing local young people and finding new and innovative ways of engaging in order to ensure it is providing the best possible service.

As part of ongoing improvement, NESAY is establishing a Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) to provide advice and strategic direction on issue impacting local youth.

Donation supports rural outreach worker

The YAC will form part of NESAY’s Board of Governance subcommittee structure, and will be a valuable opportunity to be a representative voice for young people in north-east Victoria. It will help members develop leadership skills and be part of NESAY’s decision-making processes.

NESAY Fair Feed co-ordinator Melissa van Bergen is heading up the recruitment process and said the organisation would like members from across north-east Victoria.

“We want to get more input from local youth and informally ask them what they think and what they want,” Ms van Bergen said.

“Becoming part of the committee will also be beneficial for developing leadership skills and will look good on a resume.

“We want to make it informal, and as it is for the youth we want it to reflect what they are thinking and we want that youth voice ingrained in our practices.

Hay donation to bush-fire affected farmer

“The meetings will be held once every two months. But we would like to be in contact with the young people in between via phone or text, for example, for feedback purposes.

“The focus will be on things to do with NESAY programs.

“So for example it could be how the programs are working, or whether our forms and paperwork are readable and easy for young people to understand.

“And any innovations or new ideas they can come up with.”

Nesay is based in Wangaratta and covers most of north-east Victoria.

“Our footprint spreads further than just Wangaratta so we do have a lot of young people in places like Benalla and Bright — and we would like them represented by a local young person.”

YAC members need to be 16 to 25 years old, and NESAY aims for the committee to have representation that includes members who have a lived experience of either homelessness, school disengagement, out-of-home care or family conflict.

The YAC positions require different degrees of commitment and anyone interested in becoming a member is encouraged to phone NESAY on 5720 2201 for further information.

Alternatively pick up a YAC nomination form from NESAY at 86-90 Rowan St, Wangaratta, or visit