Last updated: 04 Jun, 2019

Six Victorian local councils will share in over $500,000 to help young people develop the skills and connections they need to manage life’s challenges as part of a new VicHealth initiative.

VicHealth Acting CEO Dr Lyn Roberts said with challenges on the horizon it was critical to build up young people’s resilience and social connection.

“These projects are about connecting  young people with each other and with their communities so they’re better prepared for life’s ups and downs,” explained Dr Roberts.

Each of the six councils will work with a mentor council to roll out a promising project from earlier phases of the Bright Futures Challenge in their local area.

“Rather than reinventing the wheel, this funding takes projects with a proven track record and expands them in new communities,” Dr Roberts said.

“These projects have shown strong promise as a way for local councils to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable young people in their community.

“The Bright Futures Challenge is a great example of local councils working together to build mental wellbeing in young people, so they can thrive now and into the future.”

The successful councils and projects are:

Funded Councils Funded Projects
 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)

“We’re excited to see so many local councils working together to share ideas and address some of the common challenges facing young people today” Dr Roberts said.

The Bright Futures Challenge addresses the upcoming trends that will impact the mental wellbeing of young Victorians over the next 20 years identified in VicHealth and CSIRO’sBright Futures report.

 The Bright Futures Challenge will help VicHealth move towards its aim to see 200,000 more Victorians resilient and connected by 2023.

More information about the funded councils and projects can be found at


Project details

BandMates Victoria – originally developed by Maribyrnong City Council

  • BandMates Victoria matches people with disability and/or mental health conditions with trained community volunteers to see live music at venues and festivals across Victoria. Bandmates Victoria provides training to volunteers to support their involvement in the program. It also provides professional development and capacity-building for staff at music venues and festivals to ensure everyone’s experience out and about is inclusive and enjoyable.

Young Women’s Leadership Program – originally developed by Monash City Council

  • The Young Women’s Leadership Program increases young women’s skills, confidence and leadership opportunities in a peer learning environment. Specifically, the program identifies and addresses barriers to women accessing leadership opportunities, supports participants to understand their strengths and skill sets, and provides information about financial literacy, public speaking, networking, and leadership. It also addresses themes of violence against women and respectful relationships.

We Know Your Name But Not Your Story – originally developed by Corangamite City Council

  • Knowing someone's story can decrease assumptions and judgements, and increase the likelihood of making meaningful social connections. This project works with and equips young people with the skills to develop digital and media stories about connecting with people in their community.

Safe and Supported – originally developed by Cardinia Shire Council

  • The Safe and Supported program builds the resilience and social connections of young LGBTI people, and works with local organisations to reduce the abuse, discrimination, bullying and isolation experienced by many LGBTI young people. The program seeks to ensure young people will feel safe and supported at home, school and within the wider community by delivering a range of initiatives in partnership with young people

Media Contact:

Rachel Murphy, VicHealth Senior Media Advisor on 03 9667 1319, 0435 761 732 or  [email protected]