Wyong Youth 2000

In a bid to reduce the social and psychological problems that accompany having one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Australia, Wyong Shire Council has joined forces with the Salvation Army to create an innovative youth centre serving the central coast region.

The Centre has attracted favourable response from Local Government administrators both in NSW and internationally. Local youth, businesses and professional volunteers have joined forces to help construct the Centre to which Council contributed $100,000 and in kind assistance.

The Salvation Army has been given a 10 year lease with a 10 year option at 'peppercorn' rental to run the Centre. Community response to the project has been wholeheartedly generous and unprecedented as a non parochial regional effort.

Residents in neighbouring Gosford City Council have also contributed to the project. The Centre has evolved from the community plan developed by the Council in 1997. A key objective was to provide young people with opportunities to fully participate in the community.

Facilities to be provided in the Youth 2000 Centre include a sports complex, a court chaplaincy, youth conferencing, employment training, programs to raise self esteem, recording rooms, a skate park, basketball court and a performing arts area.

Due to open this month, the Centre has already won awards including the NSW Institute of Municipal Management Gold Innovation Award and the International City/County Management Association's (ICMA) Award for Programs for the Disadvantaged.

The ICMA, based in Washington DC, is the professional and educational organisation representing Local Government professionals worldwide. Its award recognises Wyong is enhancing the quality of life for the disadvantaged, in this case, the youth of Wyong and the Central Coast.