Dorset Council has partnered with the Dorset Community House to deliver a four-year youth development project called Bright Dorset. Delivery of the project is funded by the Tasmanian Community Fund, and Dorset Council will contribute funding to management of the project and invest in the sustainability of the project if data shows it has a positive impact. Bright Dorset will be informed by an Advisory Committee who will meet four times each year. The Advisory Committee is made up of leadership from Dorset Council, Scottsdale High School, Winnaleah District High School, experts on youth development and local young people themselves.
Bright Dorset will invest in supporting positive life outcomes for young people. The project will focus on building connectedness, confidence, soft skills, and access to opportunities. The aim of Bright Dorset is to increase hopefulness about the future and real-life outcomes for local young people. The project will use youth participation, positive youth development and asset-based community development models to deliver engagement, skill building and leadership initiatives across Dorset.
Bright Dorset will focus on the 12-18-year-old age group, with inclusion of 8-25 years as relevant to individual programs. The project will be delivered at sites around Dorset including Dorset House, Scottsdale High School, Winnaleah District High School, local libraries, and community venues such as town halls. The project will provide targeted access to activities and opportunities for young people living in the most remote and isolated areas of Dorset as well as more central areas with the highest population of young people.
The Bright Dorset project is informed by the Dorset Youth Needs Analysis (2022), local school and demographic data. The recent Youth Needs Analysis identified the need for a youth specific approach in the area and for youth participation in local community and decision making. The analysis also identified health, mental health, lack of recreational activities and events, community safety and lack of transport, as major issues of concern for young people and their local community.
Young people in Dorset are creative and capable. They are interested in their communities and in being part of creating a positive future in Dorset. Currently young people in Dorset report a lack of opportunities, lack of choices, and lack of optimism about their futures. Discussions with secondary schools in Dorset revealed that many young people lack opportunities to build skills, social relationships, or networks outside the school environment.
The Bright Dorset project team will consist of two youth workers who will invest in building relationships with young people, schools, and the community to deliver a suite of engagement, leadership, and capacity building programs. These distinct programs will be planned and delivered separately; however, will all contribute to the broader Bright Dorset project objectives. The project will have specific programs to support youth leadership, young women, and young people from remote areas.
Updated January 2023
Project end - 2027