From developing work ready skills, improving health services to improving access to digital technology, regional youth will be empowered to build their own future through a $40 million investment by the NSW Government.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole today announced the new $40 million ‘Our Region, Our Voice’ program, aimed at supporting regional youth to create their own future.

“This is an investment that has been shaped by youth for youth. We’ve engaged with 2000 young people in regional communities across our state to understand what matters to them and to ensure this investment will meet the needs of the next generation, now and into the future,” Mr Toole said.

“We know young people experience challenges differently depending on where they live, and the ‘Our Region, Our Voice’ Regional Youth Investment Program is about empowering regional youth to drive local solutions to local issues.

“Grants of up to $3 million will be delivered for targeted local initiatives that ensure regional youth can reach their full potential in their local communities.”

Minister for Regional Youth Ben Franklin said the funding will be allocated across nine areas identified as high priorities by the Regional Youth Taskforce and Regional Youth Insights – the largest regional youth research project ever commissioned by the NSW Government.

“From more mental health support and improved career pathways to greater recreational activities and reliable public transport, this research told us exactly what our regional youth want and need,” Mr Franklin said.

“This record investment allows the NSW Government to deliver targeted and collaborative support measures that build on the work we are already doing to ensure regional youth reach their full potential, without having to move to a major city.”

The ‘Our Region, Our Voice’ has funding available for projects to:

  • Enhance high school engagement and retention
  • Develop work ready skills, knowledge and networks
  • Increase access and quality of health services including provision of youth services
  • Improve access to public and private transport
  • Better access to digital technology and digital skills
  • Deliver more community youth projects
  • Support at risk-youth
  • Assist young people to secure affordable housing

The $40 million package is part of the NSW Government’s record investment in regional youth through the 2022-23 NSW Budget.

Applications for the Regional Youth Investment Program are now open and will close at 10am, October 4, 2022.

Find out more.