Youths connected

LAUNCH: Stacey Barbagallo, left, Harry Lodge and Hamish Laity helped launch the MyWarra website.

LAUNCH: Stacey Barbagallo, left, Harry Lodge and Hamish Laity helped launch the MyWarra website.

LOCAL teenagers now have an online space to keep connected with coming events, job opportunities and services.

Close to 50 people helped launch the MyWarra website on Wednesday – the culmination of two years of efforts to provide a youth space for teenagers within the Shire of Gannawarra, highlighted by the Wired into the Warra internship program earlier this year.

Gannawarra Youth Council had considered creating a youth centre for a number of years - with the top level of the Kerang and District Community Centre identified as a preferable location - but found the initiative would not be viable due to financial constraints.

A second proposal involving a "roving youth centre" attracted nine people to a gathering at Cohuna last year, with attention turning to the creation of an online space.

"What we came up with was a virtual noticeboard of what young people can get up to in the shire," Wired into the Warra participant, Stacey Barbagallo said.

Following the awarding of a VicHealth Bright Futures for Young Victorians Challenge grant for the project, professionals from Chops for Tea and Green Graphics developed a one-week internship program in early January to help create the website.

Eleven youths from across the district spent time planning how the site would look, what features it would have and how it would engage with the district's youth.

"The youth who took part should be applauded for the work they have put into the project from start to finish," Gavin Krasner, who helped guide discussions in January, said.

"The participants gained an understanding into what it takes to create a brand, a sense of identity and something they can call their own."

The finished product includes attractions, event details, employment assistance, health information, homework tips and quirky facts on each town in the municipality.

"The MyWarra website is a pin on the map saying that we are here, we are youth and we have a voice," Wired into the Warra participant, Hamish Laity said.

"We hope you all enjoy the website as much as we had making it," Miss Barbagallo said.

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