29 August 2021: The Mallacoota & Cann River Children and Youth Working Group welcomes the news that the Victorian Government through Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV) supported by the Commonwealth Disaster Funding Arrangements (DRFA) will support a much-needed Youth Recovery Officer position for Mallacoota and Cann River.
The BRV grant will provide $439,326 over 2 years, to supplement $60,000 previously pledged by the Bendigo Bank Community Enterprise Foundation.
The Youth Recovery Officer funding was awarded to the Mallacoota Community Health and Infrastructure Resilience fund (CHIRF), with the position to be managed by the Mallacoota Medical Centre team.
“The Bendigo Bank has been a major supporter of recovery work and as an institution, is a very important part of our community”, CHIRF chair, Robin Bryant said “and to have the Victorian Government on board with addressing the specific local needs of our young people is an important step-forward for our region”
Bryant also acknowledged the work of the Mallacoota & Cann River Children and Youth Working Group which includes community members, as well as Uniting Church, Save the Children Fund and YAC Vic, in building the case for the funding. CHIRF was approached by the Mallacoota & Cann River Children and Youth Working Group to auspice and manage the grant.” It’s very much a part of our charter,” Bryant said.
Eva Grunden, East Gippsland Shire Council’s community recovery co-ordinator chairs the Working Group, which has been focussed on the unique needs of the
region’s children and young people. Following the 2019/20 Bushfires,
Brodie Gaudion, founder of The Sanctuary youth centre (and a founding MADRA committee member), was confronted by the lack of youth services in the area.
She has since advocated consistently to ensure that young people have a strong local voice during the bushfire relief and recovery periods.
Dr Sara Renwick-Lau of the Mallacoota Medical Centre said the Youth Worker would join the Teen Clinic nurses and psychologists – a local youth health service commenced with CHIRF in 2019.
“The creation and funding of this new position is an outstanding example of what can be achieved with collaboration and co-operation. The dedicated work of the Mallacoota & Cann River Children and Youth Working Group so far, means that the new Youth Recovery Officer will commence their role within a well-supported team and among established networks with strong local connections. This will include working with the local P-12 Colleges, local businesses, MADRA (the Mallacoota Community Recovery Committee), community members, charities, local and state-wide governments and health, education,
and employment agencies. The role will include some case management and
referrals to other local and state-wide services and with a focus on short and the long-term issues and needs, as identified by our local young people.
“Youth mental health, social support and advocacy have been a gap within the district for many years. The bushfires (as well as the effects of COVID lockdowns) has children’s mental health and visions for their future under real pressure. As adults we look to prevent problems and we have heard our young people tell us that they have the desire to be safe and well, but also that they do really wish to thrive and create meaningful lives in the place that they call home”.
The Youth Recovery Officer position will be advertised shortly, if you are interested in application details or a position description, please contact the Mallacoota Medical Centre Practice Manager on (03) 5158 0777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. Sara Renwick-Lau 0400 793 005
- Robin Bryant 0410 727 1852
- Eva Grunden 0428 432 252