Council Community Program ‘Hearing the Voices of Yarra Ranges Youth’

September 1, 2022

Year 7 and 8 students from Worawa Aboriginal College and Upper Yarra Secondary College attended Yarra Ranges Tech School over term 2 and 3 for a specially designed program, The Council Community Program. This program was collaborated between YRTS and Yarra Ranges Council, ‘Hearing the Voices of Yarra Ranges Youth’.

Students were posed with the challenge to think of ways they could repurpose the old Santarium Factory in Warburton. Throughout this program students heard from various mentors from Yarra Ranges Council and Box Hill Institute as well as Industry Partners. At the conclusion of the program students were asked to present their ideas at a showcase to distinguished guests like Mayor Cr Jim Childs, Cr Andrew Fullagar, Youth Ambassador Patience Ntim-Duodu and students from Mooroolbark College attending their first session for the next Council program.

Each group came up with some amazing ideas and concepts, while exploring the different ways that technology could be used to further develop their ideas.

Worawa Aboriginal College students presented their ‘Sharing Dreamtime Stories’ idea, where they created digital artwork to be displayed on silos, dam walls or buildings like the Warburton Sanitarium Building. These artworks would provide education on the Indigenous history of these significant sites.

Students from Upper Yarra Secondary College split into two groups, presenting ideas for repurposing both the interior and exterior of the Warburton Sanitarium building.

Finn, Sam and Eddy decided to focus their ideas on the space outside of the building as a community garden to help promote healthy eating. They suggested bringing in Indigenous flora to plant along the properties riverbank and to also have an electric vehicle charging station which would utilise the factory’s hydro-power facilities.

Kate, Anna, Talei and Ariel had ideas for an entertainment facility. With a kitchen and dining area, community library, communal working area, and fun activities like bowling, laser tag or a skating rink. They demonstrated their ideas with a stop motion video and sound effects.

All of the ideas presented will help contribute to the Yarra Ranges Council’s Economic Development Strategy (EDS), laying out the plan for the next 10 years of the region.