Posted on Apr 05, 2023
Rural Youth Tasmania and Rural Alive & Well (RAW) are excited to announce a new initiative to support the health and wellbeing of young Tasmanians in rural areas.
The partnership will see Rural Alive & Well (RAW) employ a Youth Community Engagement coordinator which will be responsible for engaging and connecting with young people working or living in rural Tasmania, whilst also establishing themselves as a mentor and personal well-being support for Rural Youth members statewide. With 1 in 4 rural 15–19-year-olds in Australia having a probable serious mental illness we understand how important it is to provide the necessary support.1
Rural Youth will donate $1 for every ticket sold at Agfest this year to the initiative. In addition, other Agfest exhibitors who are also Rural Alive & Well partners will include donations received through their businesses at the event toward funding the role. Our ultimate aim is to employ wellbeing officers throughout Tasmania. We hope other organisations see the value of this initiative and come onboard financially so we can make this dream a reality sooner rather than later.
Rural Youth President Brady Robins said “It’s fantastic that both organisations, Rural Youth Tasmania and Rural Alive and Well, are able to partner together to positively impact the wellbeing of Tasmanian youth in rural and regional areas. We see this as an important and practical way for us to give back to the community.”
The wellbeing officer component of the role will provide support to Rural Youth Tasmania members for their own wellbeing and personal development and to assist with engagement within their local communities.
“It is hoped that the role of the ‘wellbeing officer’ will play a major part with engaging rural youth with their communities & employers, as well as having a mate to turn to when they need a hand, in turn this will boost the confidence of young people right across Tasmania” Mr Robins commented.
Rural Alive and Well CEO Barb Walters noted, “It’s really important that Rural Alive & Well has a strong presence within the youth cohort across Tasmania and this partnership with Rural Youth, is crucial to us being able to grow the vision of support being provided to this large demographic”.
“Early intervention and prevention is crucial to building thriving and healthy rural Tasmanian youth. They are the next generation for a lot of our small and primary producers, as well as other businesses and community organisations, so it’s a high priority that we are able to build capacity and resilience around their mental health and well-being from an early age.”
“RAW has always worked with youth down to the ages of 14 years old, but this role allows us to increase and capacity and add another layer of support, in both the good times, and the hard for rural Tasmanian youth”.
Barb Walters commented, “The overwhelming support RAW is achieving through Rural Youth’s charity partner initiative at Agfest will be crucial to continuing to fund this role. After the event, we are confident that several additional donors and sponsors will come on board to continue to ensure the longevity of the position.”
“If an individual or group is interested in supporting this new dedicated youth initiative, we encourage you to get in contact with Lauren Harper our Communications & Engagement Manager at Rural Alive & Well.”
The role will be officially launched at the Agfest Networking Night on Thursday 4 May.
1 K. Cairns, S. Garlick Bock, K. Guinta, L. Welland, B. Kahl, H. Miller, E. Gibbs, H. Ellis, N. Guan, & M. Nicholas (2021). ‘Supported, educated and understood’: Impact on the Wellbeing of Young People Living in Regional, Rural and Remote Australia. Sydney: ReachOut