YOUTH REFERENCE GROUP Q&A
HAVING A SAY
Innovation Youth Centre is about young people having chance to say and do things that bring positivity in their lives. So we created the Youth Reference Group so we know what young people are talking about and what they want to do. To find out more info about what is a youth reference group and if you can join, read the Q&A on the right hand side of the page.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What is a Youth Reference Group?
A Youth Reference Group or YRG is a group of young people that regularly meet up to talk to the youth workers and other professionals that work with IYC about the things that they think a youth centre and organisation needs. They get to help with big decision making of the organisation because IYC respects that young people, even if they are underage have a valuable opinion on how a fun community and learning space should be like for them.
Having a bunch of young people involved in a YRG of an organisation also sends a public message that we are serious and organised about the state of wellbeing of young people in a community. This is what is called 'civic participation' which is a form of community activism that is concerned about local issues, like the issue of young people being able to be taken seriously as a group in a community that has their own set of needs and strengths.
What typically happens in a YRG meeting?
We meet up in a space set up for us like a local public library or cafe. Then we start with sharing recent news about the progress of IYC. These things can be:
If we been receiving funding.
What grants we apply for, such as if we decided to apply for a government grant of money.
What programs we have in plan.
Ideas about a location of a youth centre hub and how it should look like.
Then we ask your opinion about those things and what can be better improved on as an organisation. We later ask what ideas you have and we work on how to turn them into plans for the organisation.
We also let members know about events and activities that are happening with local council or other youth based organisations.
Sometimes we have guest speakers who are interested in the organisation and want to talk to young people about what they do. Usually these people are community leaders who want to help give back to the community. With IYC, we represent a part of the community.
We also offer free snacks and gaming activities during the event. And it is generally a very social event where people get to meet up with friends and make new ones.
This sounds like fun, how do I know I can join up?
You can join the Youth Reference Group if you fit the following criteria:
You are within the ages between 12-25
You live, study, or work in the council areas of Whittlesea, Darebin, Nillumbik, Hume, Banyule, & Moreland
And that's it! Other than those things, we don't discriminate on who can join the YRG. And being a member and attending meetings are free.
Are there any other things that come with being a YRG member?
Yes there are. You get invited to a closed Facebook group so you can keep up with when the next meeting is upcoming and find out any news that happens in between meetings. We also live stream meetings in the group so if you can't make it to a meeting, at least you know what has been said and you can comment your ideas or concerns.
If you don't or can't have Facebook, don't worry, we will let you know personally when and where the meetings take place. We make sure that no one is left out.
We are also planning to run a pilot program exclusive to the YRG called the BuildingUp program. This program links YRG members up with a member of the board of management for mentoring and skill building; while being able to provide feedback and help with collaboration with the board of management for IYC.
You also get to mention your involvement on your resume to prove to employers that you have been active in teamwork, planning, and networking.
How do I join the Youth Reference Group?
You contact us with a message via our contact page. When you write to us, please state your age and which suburb or suburbs you live, study, or work in. Make sure you leave your contact details so we can get back to you.
Once we get back to you, we invite you to the upcoming meeting. Once you attend the meeting, you get to hang out with us and see how a meeting takes place. If you find you enjoyed your time during the meeting, we then ask you to fill out a form which makes you an official member of the Youth Reference Group and send you a link to the closed Facebook group.
We also ask to take a photo of you, and for you to give us a blurb about yourself to publish on this website. This part is optional though as we respect people's safety and cultural practices. However, we do encourage this as the benefit of this is for you to show other people, like a potential employer, that you are actively involved on something that is both professional and social.