Youth Week Launches With Bang In Cootamundra

NSW Nationals

Nationals Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has launched Youth Week in the electorate with the opening of the new Bland Shire Youth Centre in West Wyalong.

The Youth Centre was made possible thanks to contributions from previous Federal and State Nationals Governments, including $152,192 under the NSW Stronger Country Communities Fund.

It includes study spaces, television screens, video game consoles and other IT equipment, as well as an outdoor area. The centre will be open after school on select days, as well as one day on the weekend.

Ms Cooke joined Deputy Mayor Tony Lord to officially open the centre, which she said is an exciting way to start Youth Week across the region.

“Youth Week is officially here for 2024 and I couldn’t be more thrilled to kick start this year’s activities with the official opening of the brand-new Youth Centre here in West Wyalong,” Ms Cooke said.

The first of its kind in the town, Ms Cooke said the Youth Centre provides a safe place for young people to gather after school and on weekends, to study and spend time with friends.

“This is an investment in our future; by providing a place for young people to access support programs and activities, we can create an environment for them to flourish, and look towards a future filled with opportunity and promise,” Ms Cooke said.

Ms Cooke said the centre’s youth officer, Macey Cowan, was part of the initial group of young people who first petitioned the council back in 2020 for a space dedicated to local youth.

“Not only is this centre a wonderful asset for the young people of the Bland Shire, it’s also a perfect example of what can be achieved with the passion, dedication, and drive I so often see among the younger generations within our communities,” Ms Cooke said.

“At just 20 years-of-age, Macey has demonstrated that big things are possible when you advocate for change and pursue your passions. In her role as Youth Officer, she is a great example to others of the creativity, enthusiasm, and resourcefulness of our young people,” she said.

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