Active Youth Program

The fundamental aim of the Active Youth Program is to offer the Youth of Dorset the opportunity and motivation to adopt healthy lifestyles, now and into adulthood. Dorset’s Active Youth Program provides fun physical activities to promote physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing and social inclusion.

Pool Parties, Aqua Zorbs, National Youth Week, School Holiday Programs, Youth Leadership camps, Community Festivals, Mental Health Week, and Mountain Biking Trips are just a few of the things the Active Youth Program runs throughout the year.

The aim of the program is to be free to those attending (where possible), promote social inclusion, and to involve as many people aged 12-25 as possible who live in the Dorset Area. 

For further information on the Active Youth Program, contact Dorset Council's Youth & Recreation Officer, Mat Handy, by email at

Flinders Island Trip - April 2014

After 6 months in the planning, I am pleased to report that Active Youth Dorset’s Leadership Trip to Flinders Island was a success. The process of choosing which students should attend the Trip was very difficult, due to the extremely high calibre of applications and small number of spots available. 

I was impressed by the maturity of the group and the way they handled themselves when things didn’t go to plan. Which of course they didn’t! The long boat trip and early mornings would have tested the most seasoned of travellers, but all participants handled themselves maturely and looked after each other (food fights notwithstanding).

Congratulations to Zach, Callum, Talisha, Raigan, Holly, Steven and Sulemaan for representing the Dorset Community is such a positive manner – I’m proud of you all and I’m sure The Dorset Community feels the same way.

I am hopeful that more trips will be offered, and my advice to future potential applicants would be to become involved in as many Active Youth events as possible. I am also open to hearing suggestions for events, programs and activities, and always happy to hear from volunteers who wish to help at these events.

Mat Handy, Dorset Council Youth & Recreation Officer

Flinders Island Youth Leadership, Adventure & Indigenous Awareness Trip

By Zachary Lloyd – Author & Photographer – Trip Participant

On the 28th of April, at 10 pm, seven teenagers from the North East; Callum Bensemann, Talisha Wolley, Raigan Kettle, Holly James, Steven Atkins, Sulemaan Kaiyum, myself and three supervisors; Mathew Handy, Lynden Russell and Tiah Stagoll, embarked upon a youth leadership trip to Flinders Island. The aim of this trip was to learn more about the lifestyle and culture of indigenous people, and to make new friends and have a great time. However due to a very unfortunate event many of the indigenous awareness activities that we set out to do were cancelled.

To be part of this amazing experience, we were required to complete an application and ask a community member for a character reference. We were then notified whether we were accepted to attend the trip. There were a few weeks of pre-trip meetings where the group met, discussed the activities we were going to do, composed a list of things we would need to pack and ate plenty of pizza. Finally it was time to say our goodbyes to our parents - who I’m sure were very happy to get us out of the house for a week - and hop on a boat which would take us to the mysterious (for those who hadn’t been there) Flinders Island.

Eight hours later, the boat docked at Flinders Island and the adventure had begun. We started the day by driving to our camp site and setting up our tents and any other equipment we brought with us. Whilst Matt went shopping, the rest of the group went for a walk down to Yellow Beach, where we explored the shores and leapt precariously across boulders surrounded by water. The group returned to the campsite where we were informed that we would be going jetty jumping and swimming in the absolutely freezing water. Most of us jumped in voluntarily however there were a few that needed… persuading. After drying off and getting into some warm clothes, we headed off for a bike ride, and of course, it started to rain, which made the ground slippery and prompted some pretty funny crashes! When we got back to the campsite we changed into some dry clothes and ate food and played games until we were sent off to bed to get some sleep and prepare for fishing and the 5:30 am start.


When everybody had woken up, we got dressed and ready to go fishing. After getting half way to the boat, we were informed that the water was too rough, therefore we could no longer go fishing. To fill up the rest of the day we toured around Flinders Island, which turned out to be much bigger than originally thought. We explored many beaches and found a little coffee shop to have morning tea at. Returning to the campsite, we began to get ready for the activities we were hosting at the district high school in Whitemark. The night was a great success, as all who participated enjoyed the event greatly. To start the night off we had zorb ball races, then a game of soccer and finally to finish it off, a few more zorb ball races and a couple of games of dodge ball. After packing up the activities we returned to the campsite and played games until we were informed that tomorrow, we would have to wake up at an even earlier time to go fishing… 4:30 am.

After we all forced our eyes open and ate breakfast, we drove to the boat for a busy morning of fishing. It was a very successful day, with Matt catching the most in the group, but the most impressive catch of the day was a gummy shark, which was reeled in by Sulemaan, Talisha and Holly, however Sulemaan tries to take all the credit. After going shopping in Whitemark, we returned back to the campsite, where possibly the greatest food fight broke out between Callum and Tiah. All I have to say about that is, Tiah will probably never be able to eat sweet chilli sauce again… After having a nice cold swim, Callum and Tiah managed to wash away most of the Nutella and Sweet Chilli sauce. When we got back to the campsite we had dinner and played a few more games, such as hide and go seek, which turned out to be extremely entertaining. When everyone decided it was time to get some sleep, we stumbled off to our sleeping bags, to fall into a coma like state. It’s fair to say that everyone was tired.

The last day - after everyone had woken up - was spent packing up and cleaning the camp area. It was hard to imagine that this was our last day on Flinders Island, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that we all wanted stay for longer. The rest of the day was a blur, and before we knew it was time to head to the small airport and get on our even smaller plane back to Tasmania.

Going on this trip was an amazing experience, an opinion that is mirrored by all that went and I strongly encourage the youth of Dorset to participate in every event hosted by Dorset Council’s Active Youth Program. I would just like to thank Matt, on behalf of those who came to Flinders Island, for organising such a great trip, and give a massive thank you to Lynden and Tiah for coming along and helping out. 


More photos