Mondo project encourages youth engagement

The Mondo Community Safety and Youth Engagement Project aims to enhance safety, minimise anti-social behaviour and engage with young people in the ‘Mondo Green Space’ – a key civic site in the Penrith City Centre.

The project is based on key partnerships with local organisations, forming the Mondo Stakeholders Committee, and includes Council, Penrith Westfield, Penrith Police Local Area Command, the Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Centre (The Joan) and Penrith Youth Interagency.

The project combines social and situational crime prevention strategies, including youth engagement and place-making activities, in order to activate the space as a safe and youth-friendly public space. The project also includes upgrades to CCTV cameras to enhance safety for members of the community who regularly use and enjoy the space, particularly local young people.

Council officers deliver the program every Thursday night with approximately 200-300 young people participating. The innovative program includes a broad range of activities that are responsive to the changing needs of young people and the community. A broad range of youth sub-cultures is represented at the Mondo program, and this encourages innovative engagement activities. Staff from all the stakeholder groups are also involved in delivering the weekly program.

The program provides a range of activities to engage with young people, including an art table, shuffle dance offs, basketball, DJ music, BBQs and monthly special events. There is a proactive approach by Council officers to integrate early intervention strategies and develop appropriate service referrals for young people.

Council staff who are involved in delivering the program include the Youth Development and Youth Engagement officers. Council has also recruited young people from the Mondo program to assist with program delivery and youth engagement, and to facilitate shuffle dance workshops and perform at community events. 

This project is being delivered across two departments of Council – Community and Cultural Development and Public Domain Amenity and Safety. Funding is received from the Federal Attorney Generals Department Safer Suburbs program and supported by Penrith City Council.