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How do we keep young people in the region?

Over the past 5 years The Northern Inland region of NSW has experienced a marked decline in the population of 15-34 year olds, a trend which must be reversed to ensure the long term viability of our communities. Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) Chair Mal Peters said that retaining our youth in the region is a key part of the jigsaw puzzle.

“Regional and rural youth face different issues and concerns than their city-based counterparts and Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) wants to hear about them. We want young people in the region to have the same opportunities and access to services as their metropolitan peers,” Mr Peters said.

To find out about the needs, wants and aspirations of local youth, RDANI will be running a competition for students in years 9-12 in the region’s high schools. To enter, students must develop a vision for an interactive website that is purely for the youth of the region. The winner of the competition will receive a brand new Apple MacBook Air with the latest edition of Adobe Creative Suite to assist them. The winner will also receive a year’s worth of tuition and mentoring from a leading web designer based in the Northern Inland.

RDANI Executive Officer Nathan Axelsson is confident that this project will help re-engage local youth and make them feel valued. “One of the biggest issues facing our region’s youth is that they feel undervalued and unappreciated. This competition will hopefully address this situation and give our young people the voice they so rightly deserve, as well as informing us about projects and initiatives into the future” he said.

Social media is quickly becoming the preferred way for young people to interact and source information and RDANI is proud to embrace this social change. “We can now be found on both Facebook and Twitter and this new website will be yet another way for us to interact with young people in our communities,” Mr Axelsson said.

Entries close June 17th. For more information on the website competition, please contact Project Officer Jessica Price-Purnell on (02) 6771 2790 or go to www.rdani.org.au .

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