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Online Youth Participation Project, NSW

14 March, 2010
By Allison Orr

This report describes a pilot project commissioned by the NSW Minister for Youth (The Hon Graham West MP) and the NSW Department of Community services to explore and test the use of online social networking technologies for the purpose of engaging young people in civic affairs.  It was conducted in the Central Coast and North Coast of NSW.

The pilot involved a field study in the two regions which took place from mid January to the end of April 2009. It was conducted in both electronic and physical spaces in six phases, beginning with face-to-face interviews with young people to gain insight into potential areas in which the proposal money could be used and to learn about their online behaviour patterns. From this information a short list of proposals was developed.

The short list comprised of five areas young people viewed as important:
1) environmental issues such as awareness-raising and activities such as planting more trees,
2) provision of spaces for young people to hang out,
3) provision of skate, surf and BMX competitions and workshops,
4) access to sporting equipment and
5) under 18 music events with local bands and artists.

Learning from the project included:

Read the full report at the following link:http://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/vital/access/manager/Repository/unsworks:4562

The pilot team would like to receive feedback, comments and suggestions for further action from our readers.  Please send any feedback to Daryll Hull, DHull@talc.com.au.

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