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Media Release by The Hon John Cobb MP

One-on-one support for Gunnedah youth

Young people aged 8 to 19 years in Gunnedah, NSW, will receive one-on-one mentoring as a result of more than $143 000 in Australian Government funding.

The Minister for Community Services, John Cobb, today joined the Governor-General, His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery, and local Member, John Anderson to launch the Gunnedah Mentoring Program, funded under the Local Answers initiative as part of the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy.

‘The program, to be delivered by the Gunnedah Shire Council, aims to encourage older community members to volunteer as mentors for young people and offers training to build leadership and initiative to improve involvement in community life,’ Mr Cobb said.

‘The Gunnedah Mentoring Program aims to assist young people to achieve their full potential by helping them access support and training, and acquire the skills and confidence required to make the transition to employment.

‘The mentors help young people to feel that they are valued and play an important role in their community, while the aged community receive recognition for their skills and the opportunity to remain involved with their peers.

‘Young people face many social and emotional challenges and as Minister for Community Services, with a major responsibility of youth issues, I will continue to ensure these challenges are addressed.

‘The Australian Government is committed to supporting young people and their local communities, and the funding delivered to the Gunnedah Mentoring Program is further demonstration of this commitment.

‘I am sure this great program will benefit a wide range of community members including the mentors, the young people and their families,’ Mr Cobb said.

The $490 million Stronger Families and Communities Strategy gives families, their children and communities the opportunity to build a better future.

Local Answers helps strengthen communities by funding local, small-scale programs which help communities build skills and identify opportunities and take action for the benefit of their members.