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Young people

We support our local youth by creating opportunities to get together, with local community groups and agencies, and have a say in decisions that affect them to make Port Stephens a great place for young people.

Port Stephens Council engage with our youth in multiple ways including through targeted youth engagement, events, social media and meetings .

Follow Port Stephens Youth on Instagram

Keep up to sate and find out about all the ways youth can have their say and be involved.

Our new strategy was created in close consultation with young people. The research conducted helped us identify 4 emerging priorities that inform the action plan for the future:

  • Be heard and involved: young people want to be involved in decision making processes
  • Connected and belonging: for young people this is paramount to their wellbeing
  • Ready and have pathways to success: access to information and innovation is critical
  • Healthy and happy: strong local networks of support are necessary
  • View our Youth Strategy.

Check out the snapshot of our consultation on the Youth Strategy

Other helpful links:

What is the YAAP?

Port Stephens Youth Advisory & Action Panel (YAAP) provides an opportunity for local young people (aged 15 to 25) to be heard and involved by come together in a forum to discuss local issues and contribute to the decision-making in Port Stephens. Our YAAP also help deliver youth lead projects that improve the wellbeing and liability of young people by creating opportunities for young people to come together to connect and feel like they belong.

What do they do?

Our YAAP members meet regularly throughout the year to:

  • help Council find out about important issues for young people and advise how these can be addressed
  • help develop local projects for young people
  • comment on Council plans and strategies
  • represent Council at youth events
  • contribute to graphic design
  • present to Mayor & Councillors

Proactive members of the YAAP will be recognised and awarded at the last meeting of the year for their contribution in the community.

Join the YAAP!

History of YAAPYouth Strategy

Youth Week

Youth Week is an annual weeklong celebration organised by young people, for young people between 12 to 24 years of age. It provides opportunities for young people to showcase their talents, share ideas, attend live events, workshops, activities and forums and have their voice heard on issues of concern them.
To find out more visit the Youth Week website or register your interest to be involved in youth week by contacting youth@portstephens.nsw.gov.au.

It’s On!

It’s on! Port Stephens is our events and activation program aimed at bringing life and vibrancy to our public spaces. The program focuses on delivering small, regular, community led, low cost activities create vibrancy to the area and bring the community together, including school holidays activities, music performances, markets and more.
To find out what’s on click here or volunteer to showcase your talents at one of our events email us at events@portstephens.nsw.gov.au.

Youth opportunities

The Youth Opportunities program provides one-off, time-limited grants for youth-led and youth-driven community projects. Funded by the NSW Government. To find out more visit the Youth NSW website.

Past youth projects

Each year Council applies for funding to support youth including Youth Week, school holidays and youth opportunities funding to support young people and have them involved in the community. Below are past projects that have been delivered with young people:

2022 – It’s On! This Spring Outdoor Cinema Series

Young people told us they want to connect outside again after being disconnected from COVID-19, they wanted activities that were low cost and they could afford. We delivered 3 outdoor cinema events around Port Stephens in Raymond Terrace, Medowie and Nelson Bay.

It's On! Outdoor Cinema

2021 – Youth Week, Pizza for the Planet

Young People in Port Stephens told us they wanted more events educating them on ways we can become more environmentally friendly. Young people helped us deliver event with music, environmentally friendly stalls, educational workshops and pizza!

2020 – The Pathways and Possibilities (Research and Advocacy Project)

Developed by the Port Stephens Council Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) to define if  key priorities for the youth of Port Stephens aligned to Council’s current advocacy priorities. The project encouraged and promoted the leadership and community development skills of youth. Council & the YAP undertook consultation in the community and local schools to see what was important to young people and delivered the initiatives below.

Live at the Alley

The Live at the Alley Short Film and Song competition was created when young people told Council that the most important thing to them is having access to places in our community to connect socially, with professional support and in general, have access to technology. The competition is a chance to explore the theme of connection in a creative way.

#YouthLounge Raymond Terrace

Port West YAP crew participated in planning meetings with library staff to scope ideas for future spaces and programs at Raymond Terrace Library. They developed a survey designed to determine what other youths would like to see included. The crew used the feedback to create the #YouthLounge Raymond Terrace.

Youth lounge

Connections project

A common theme during consultation was the need for connection — online, support and social. The YAP worked with a local graphic designer Nick Stuart to develop creative advocacy messages based on key themes identified and placed these on postcards available for youth as well as creating a mural outside the Raymond Terrace Library.

Social connection youth

Port Stephens Council offers many opportunities for young people to get involved in the community through:

  • The Youth Advisory & Action Panel
  • Showcasing your talents at one of our It’s On! events
  • Arts and culture through our Strategic Arts Committee
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Work with us through work experience, apprenticeships, traineeship and cadetships

Follow Port Stephens Youth Instagram page to keep up to date with the latest opportunities Council has on offer or sign up for one of our newsletters here.

It can be hard to know who to talk to sometimes, that’s why we make it easy for young people to find out services available to them in Port Stephens on our Community Directory page.

If you are still unsure about who to talk to you can contact us on 4988 0255 and we can point you in the right direction.

Port Stephens Council offers a range of scholarships and awards including:

  • International Women's Day Scholarship: We offer 3 scholarships for women aged 16 years and older of $1000 each. The scholarships are awarded to recipients to achieve an important goal and contribute to their community across arts, culture, environment, business, community, health or sport.
  • Mayoral academic scholarship: Every year, the Mayoral Academic Scholarship Program offers scholarships to students embarking on their first year of tertiary study. These scholarships are generously sponsered by local businesses.
  • Annual Awards: The Port Stephens Annual Awards are presented annually on Australia Day and provide an opportunity for Council to formally recognise the amazing efforts of groups and individuals from the area. Please note: You can’t nominate yourself for an award.

Council has a range of grants and funding available for young people to help us make Port Stephens a better place to live, work and play.

Our funding program gives eligible individuals, artists, community organisations, not-for-profits, businesses, students and others the opportunity to apply for funds to deliver initiatives that make a real difference to local communities and our region. These funding programs play a pivotal role in building capacity by supporting initiatives, which enhance the social, cultural, environmental and economic life of our communities.

If you have a great idea, we’d love to hear about it! Please contact us on 4988 0255 or at grants@portstephens.nsw.gov.au.

Council provides local area profiles of demographic and economic data. The statistics highlight the situation of young people in the Port Stephens

To access the data and tools click here. If you are interested in the History of Port Stephens, you can click here to learn more.