The purpose of the youth network is to bring together organisations that provide services to 8-24 year olds who reside in the Mount Alexander Shire. The networks facilitate sharing of resources and professional capacity building. The networks will also develop and implement their own action plans based on the agreed strategic priorities. In 2020 the Mount Alexander Youth Connect network (MAYCN) underwent a name change to the Bulortj Children and Youth Network.
We were very honoured to have Dja Dja Wurrung traditional owner and Jaara Jaara Elder Uncle Ricky Nelson name the network. Bulortj, or the Cherry Ballart, is a symbol of cooperation and community. It is still in use today in age old Dja Dja Wurrung ceremonies of cleansing and renewal. Its use draws on the knowledge that, like children in their communities, the Bulortj cannot flourish unless it is attached to another tree.
It is a reminder of the importance of cooperation between people if all are to thrive.
Coinciding with the name change is an expansion of the age group to include 8-24 year olds. This brings in the work of the middle years, specifically the Mount Alexander Middle Years Plan 2020-2023 just adopted by Mount Alexander Shire Council. Bulortj Children and Youth Network will act as the steering committee for this middle years plan.
The membership consists of organisations that provide services within the Mount Alexander Shire and/or those that are committed to supporting young people. See Terms of Reference for a list of members.
Examples of activities
A short 4 minute animation has been produced to provide the why, how and what of the Mount Alexander Youth Connect Network. These include:
- Strategic planning
- Presentation of local data
- Development of an action plan
- Youth Wellbeing Project – Mental health first aid supported by leadership and resilience activities in schools
- Cyber-safety project
Click on image below to view the animation.
Mount Alexander Youth Wellbeing Project – 2018 Report