Building youth resilience

Article image - Building youth resilience Bundaberg Regional Councilís Community Resilience Coordinator Andrea Bax with Isis High School students (from left) Kurt Mackay, Lawson Bounds and Maverick Ashcroft.

More than 20 years of experience working with youth proves Andrea Bax is well suited to her new role as Community Resilience Coordinator, Bundaberg Regional Council, Queensland.

Previously employed as Council’s Youth Development Officer, Andrea’s new role was developed with funding received by the National Bushfire Disaster Recovery Agency under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

“The program I’m involved with aims to provide young people the opportunity to increase their community engagement by enrolling them in a Certificate II in Active Volunteering.

“Many of our youth immediately think volunteering is for older people, so we want to change this perception and encourage them to actively volunteer.”

Since her appointment to the role on 1 July, Andrea has hit the ground running, using her current network with high schools and youth agencies to set the wheels in motion.

“My job is to support teachers and students in training delivery and connect them with organisations that will take them on as volunteers.

“In addition to classroom learning, the practical component includes doing a minimum of 30 hours of volunteering at a range of charities and businesses, including Council.

“I also aim to coordinate a short leadership camp with the Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN) and work with the students to promote volunteering to their peers.

“If we’re able to have young people engaged while they are school age, they are more likely to continue volunteering or return to it later in life. They also feel more valued and connected to their community which results in increased resilience.

“Along with feeling good for giving back to the community, the students will benefit by trying out areas where they may like to work and gain transferable skills to take with them into the future.

“Things like how to behave in a workplace, interpersonal skills, and turning up on time are valuable experiences that will look good on a resume and ultimately make them more employable.”