18 Oct 2016

Blue Mountains City Council hosted a successful gathering of 50 young people from across the City for the three-day Project NOW Youth Congress with a focus on environmental and social justice concerns.

Council, in partnership with OzGreen, Blue Mountains Youth Council and young people enjoyed a stimulating program of activities culminating with Congress participants pitching their own community development project ideas.

Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said, “The Youth Congress was an outstanding success and the contribution of our young people inspirational.

Young people developed six projects and presented them to 26 community stakeholders, representing organisations ranging from educational and financial, to social services and environmental, and Council. The stakeholders assisted in determining how the available $6,000 funding would be distributed among the following worthy projects:

· Refugee Youth Connect – a project to connect young people with young refugees and asylum seekers coming to Australia, which aims to lend support via communications. The project earned 1st place and $2,000 funding.

· Youth Summit – a radio programme for and by young people, broadcasting via Radio Blue Mountains, earning 2nd place and $2,000 funding.

· Food Forest – a community garden for the lower mountains and a place for young people to develop their skills, earning equal 3rd place and $1,000 funding.

· One Planet Week – an initiative to educate and encourage the community to live equitably within the resources of one planet Earth. The project earned equal 3rd place and $1,000 funding.

· Creative Arts Cooperative – to be supported by the Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise’s Creative Industries Cluster and Gallery ONE88 in Katoomba.

· Pathways to a Better Future – a youth mental health initiative to be supported by the Mountains Youth Services Team and Headspace Penrith.

“I congratulate the participants on their initiatives and leadership skills”, said the Mayor. “The Congress achieved its aim of encouraging young people to lead ecological and social innovation. I look forward to seeing the progress of these projects first hand in 2017.”

Blue Mountains Youth Councillor Aleksandrs (Sasha) Titovs added, “The Project NOW Youth Congress was very inspiring and social. As a result, I am working on the Refugee Youth Connect project which is very exciting.”

Project NOW is supported by a grant from the NSW Government Youth Opportunities program.

To follow the progress of Project NOW, visit or like the Blue Mountains Youth Council’s Facebook page

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