Ria Garside, 17, a Rockhampton Grammar School student, wants to take part in a pilot youth workshop in Rockhampton next month.
Ria Garside, 17, a Rockhampton Grammar School student, wants to take part in a pilot youth workshop in Rockhampton next month. Sharyn Oneill

Ria has ideas for youth

WHEN the only thing for youth to do is go to the local swimming pool, which is closed half the year, it’s no wonder there are so many social issues in small towns.

Rockhampton Grammar’s Ria Garside, 17, who hails from a farm between Dysart and Clermont, believes the small towns need more work done for youth than Rockhampton.

She said Rockhampton youths have access to cinemas, bowling ally and youth centres, while Dysart only has a pool open in the warmer months.

And this is part of the reason why she has put her hand up for an Australian pilot program for youth who want to make a difference in the community, The Foundation for Young Australians Change It Up.

Miss Garside said she learnt about the pilot program after she went to Canberra after winning ABC’s Haywire competition (rural youth expression competition) and learnt more about youth issues.

“I want to make a difference in the community, especially with youth.”

Some ideas

  • Two Degrees of Separation, a program designed to provide young women aged between 16 and 30 with mentoring and development opportunities
  • Australian Youth Against Cancer, an online support network for young people with cancer and an outlet to share experiences and provide assistance
  • Hello Sunday Morning, an online community highlighting the growing culture of binge drinking in Australia in order to assist people to live fun and happy lives without alcohol


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