VicHealth’s Bright Futures for Young Victorians Challenge provides support for projects which promote community and young people's (12–25 years old) resilience, social connection and mental wellbeing.
Bright Futures Challenge Phase 3: Integration
VicHealth has now established phase 3 of the Bright Futures Challenge with a focus on replicating and embedding the most promising projects for young people. VicHealth has selected the four projects from Phase 1 and 2 that showed the most promising impacts on young people's mental wellbeing and also showed strong potential to be expanded and replicated in other local government areas. The four selected Bright Futures projects are:
BandMates Victoria - Maribyrnong Council
BandMates Victoria matches ‘Bandmates’ (that is, people with disability and/or mental health conditions) and ‘Volunteers’ (trained community members) with each other to see live music at venues and festivals across Victoria. The program is a breakthrough for people with disability and/or mental health conditions, as they may not otherwise be able to attend live music performances. The program has attracted keen interest across Melbourne and further afield.
Young Women’s Leadership Program - Monash Council
The Young Women’s Leadership Program (YWLP) provides a structured approach to increase young women’s skills, confidence and leadership opportunities in a peer learning environment. The Program engages young women from migrant and refugee backgrounds. Young women reported increases in their confidence to apply for opportunities such as successful applications for scholarships to study university abroad, becoming community leaders/ambassadors and multiple educational and career opportunities.
We Know Your Name But Not Your Story - Corangamite Shire
We Know Your Name But Not Your Story (WKYNBNYS) engages and equips young people to develop digital and media stories about connecting with their community. Knowing, appreciating and understanding someone else’s story has helped build empathy and a much more inclusive community. It has supported stronger community connectivity and increased the likelihood of making meaningful social connections.
Safe and Supported - Cardinia Shire
During 2019-2020, VicHealth will work with local councils and other project partners to support replication of these projects in new local government areas, and will also support sustainability of the projects within the councils that originally developed them. The councils involved are:
Casey City Council
Young Women’s Leadership Program (supported by Monash City Council)
Glenelg Shire Council
Safe and Supported (supported by Cardinia Shire Council)
Greater Bendigo City Council
Bandmates Victoria (supported by Maribyrnong City Council)
Indigo Shire Council
We Know Your Name But Not Your Story (supported by Corangamite Shire Council)
Maroondah City Council
We Know Your Name But Not Your Story (supported by Corangamite Shire Council)
Whittlesea City Council
Young Women’s Leadership Program (supported by Monash City Council) and Safe and Supported (supported by Cardinia Shire Council)
The Youth-Friendly Employer Project (YFEP)
The YFEP provides tools for workplaces to earn a ‘Youth Friendly Certification’. This can include businesses, non profits, institutions and local governments. As part of the Bright Futures Challenge, the YFEP project originated with Moonee Valley Council and the Maribyrnong and Moonee Valley LLEN (MMVLLEN) working in partnership in 2017, and during 2019 the MMVLLEN delivered further testing and development of the tools.
If your workplace would like to become more youth-friendly, contact MMVLLEN or check out the Youth Friendly Employers webpage.
Bright Futures Challenge Phases 1 & 2
The Bright Futures Challenge aims to build resilience in young people and grow social connection within their communities. The projects supported through the Challenge have trialled preventative strategies to equip young people to better cope with challenges they may face now and into the future.
We know that this age range is a critical period for individual development, one that is characterised by important transitions through education, work, family and relationships. During this time, young people are developing physically, intellectually and emotionally, while forming autonomous identities, building independent social networks and initiating intimate relationships.
In 2016 VicHealth launched the Bright Futures Challenge, inviting Victorian local councils to develop responses to the megatrends identified above and solutions to promote young people's resilience, social connection and mental wellbeing.
The first round of the Bright Futures Challenge enabled 12 local councils to work directly with young people through co design and create new programs and initiatives in the local area.
The second round of the Bright Futures Challenge provided Horizon funding for several of those local councils to further expand their program activity. It also provided Seed funding for several new local councils to join the Challenge by creating new programs and initiatives.
In total the Bright Futures Challenge has supported 16 local councils to create new programs for young people and resilience, as listed in the table below. To date, the Bright Futures Challenge is estimated to have reached over 60,000 Victorians and has reached some of the most vulnerable groups on the Victorian community. The projects have enabled young people to develop new personal and professional skills and have forged connections between members of several communities. Many projects have also developed new community resources or have harnessed the existing knowledge and networks within their communities to provide new opportunities for young people to connect.
|Victorian local council||Project name|
|Banyule City Council||The Mali Project – Youth Voices Being Heard|
|Brimbank City Council||Upstart and Uplift|
|Cardinia Shire Council||Safe and Supported in Cardinia|
|Casey City Council||Arts Agitators|
|Corangamite Shire Council||We Know Your Name But Not Your Story|
|Darebin City Council||First Step|
|Gannawarra Shire Council||Wired into the Warra – A Virtual Youth Space|
|Golden Plains Shire Council||GPS Adventures|
|Greater Dandenong City Council||Kitchen Challenge|
|Hindmarsh Shire Council||Understanding Reality|
|Latrobe City Council||Green Valley Garden|
|Manningham City Council||Skills 4 the Future: Opening the Doors for Young People into Work|
|Maribyrnong City Council||Bandmates|
|Maroondah City Council||Youth Uploaded|
|Melbourne City Council||My Journey|
|Monash City Council||Young Women’s Leadership Program|
Further detail about the projects supported during 2017-18 (phase 2) is included below.
The Mali project - Banyule City Council
Through this project young Somalian Australians will create social media campaigns focusing on positive health based behaviours i.e. eating right, coping with exam stress, culturally sensitive drug, alcohol and sexual health information. Working with industry specialists and high quality technical facilities participants will develop engaging content, act as role models within their community, while also gaining access to other programs or holistic individual support.
Arts Agitators - Casey City Council
Although it has one of the largest populations of young people in Australia may face significant barriers to participation in arts and cultural activities, and their health and wellbeing benefits. The recent opening of new arts facilities in Casey creates an opportunity to co-design new programs and activities with local young people which will benefit their peers and the broader community.
Kitchen Challenge - City of Greater Dandenong
By building the capability and capacity of vulnerable young people Kitchen Challenge aims to change their behaviours and attitudes, while broadening the choices available to them. Engaging participants in an immersive program based in a commercial cooking environment will provide opportunities to learn about nutrition, gain new life skills, while also being linked to access points for meaningful ongoing employment.
First Step - Darebin City Council
Darebin Youth Services (DYS), in partnership with Northland Shopping Centre Management, will co-design an education to employment to program that can transition young people into entry level retail positions, and build the capacity of local businesses to support young people. The training sessions will be held at Darebin City Council’s brand new Northland Youth Access Hub, located within the shopping centre.
GPS Adventures - Golden Plains Shire Council
Delivered in one of the fastest growing rural municipalities this exciting pilot project connects young people with community, adventure, and lifelong learning opportunities. Council will work in partnership with YMCA Geelong and the Shire’s young people to deliver a series of one day theme-based adventure trips and two resilience camps capitalising on the value in experiential learning and mentorship.
Skills 4 the Future (S4F) - Manningham City Council
This new collaborative initiative will enhance young people's resilience, employability, and career options building their skills and experience. The project will be informed by the Youth Summit to be held in March and co-designed with youth leaders, building their capacity in project planning, implementation and evaluation. An integrated suite of options will build the capacity of participants to be more competitive in today’s labour market.
Youth Uploaded - Maroondah City Council
Youth Uploaded will develop empowering, engaging and relatable local digital and online content, piloting new approaches youth work. A diverse cohort of young people will be integral to the co-creation process with further training and mentorship offered thereby providing employability skills including digital production, project management, team work, and personal effectiveness.
Young Women's Leadership Program - City of Monash
The YWLP will be delivered as a community based training program to strengthening the leadership skills of participants while raising awareness of gender inequality and respectful relationships. Different models of learning will be included with participants also being provided access to volunteering and other community activities. Fifty percent of enrolments will be targeted toward migrant and refugee young women.
Safe and Supported in Cardinia - Cardinia Shire Council
In its first iteration Safe and Supported in Cardinia delivered a range of initiatives to LGBTIQ+ young people, their families, professionals, education providers and the wider community. During the next phase of the project Cardinia Youth Services will to expand its support to LGBTIQ+ young people while also using learnings from the earlier project to increase the acceptance and inclusion of young people with a disability.
We Know Your Name, But Not Your Story - Corangamite Shire Council
Knowing someone's story can decrease assumptions and judgements, and increase the likelihood of making meaningful social connections. Continuing VicHealth’s support for this program into a second phase will enable further development of the story collecting and media making elements as they are further embedded within the Building Resilience in Corangamite Kids (BRICKs) schools program and made available to all local year 9 students.
Bandmates Victoria - Maribyrnong City Council
The pilot phase of Bandmates Victoria saw the development of a contemporary mentorship program that could assist people with a disability to achieve community and cultural participation while also working with the live music industry to deliver accessible and inclusive experiences. Driven by popular demand Bandmates will now be expanded to outer Melbourne and regional areas with an online platform introduced that can further champion good practice and increase social networks.
Dad Space - Wyndham City Council
The Dad Space program welcomes dads, dads to be, carers and guardians up to the age of 25 to come together, share experiences, and gain access to tailored support for their journey of parenthood. The year one pilot demonstrated the need for an ongoing program with expansion in the second operational year to incorporate a more significant online component and an increased range of community-based activities and excursions.