Youth Voices out West
Our Youth Service West (YSW) team has set up a Youth Focus Group to provide advice and ideas from a youth perspective.
Based in our West Auckland (New Lynn) office, the group of rangatahi are meeting monthly to work with our staff to ensure our services and programmes include the voices of young people. Afterall, youth participation is they only way to make sure we are really serving our young people well and can meet their needs and aspirations.
Eight young people currently engaged in our services, aged 15-18 years old, make up the new group. One of their first tasks was to choose their name – Rangatahi Chiefs – which we love.
Liletina Vaka and David Hemopo, personal advisors at YSW, are co-leading the facilitation of Rangatahi Chiefs. Liletina explained the group will build up their skills in governance and strategic thinking through the advisory process. She said, “Being involved in the Rangatahi Chiefs is a great way for young people to develop skills through opportunities to grow and extend themselves in ways they have not done previously.”
Proven well-being models including Fonofale and Te Whare Tapa Whā were introduced to the group, to encourage the rangatahi to express with each other what is really important to them. Facilitator David explained to the young people that “It’s important that we understand who you are and what’s important to you to be able to support you effectively”.
The process also gave the Rangatahi Chiefs the opportunity to attend a brainstorming session at the Deloitte Green Room. We want to give a big shout out to Deloitte who led the session for our staff and the young people, The Rangatahi Chiefs enjoyed this session and reported back that they liked going off-site and felt really respected to go to such a venue.
One of our Youth Horizons’ business goals for F20 is to develop a process for capturing the voices of young people in new initiatives. Setting up Rangatahi Chiefs gets us off to a flying start. Liletina said “I’m just really excited about the idea of capturing youth voices and using them to shape our services. We all know that youth need more say in the things that affect them, and I think this is a really exciting first step for our organisation".
The next project on the Rangatahi Chiefs’ agenda is to look at our suite of brochures and marketing collateral and help us decide from a youth perspective, an effective way to communicate about our services to young people and their whānau.
We look forward to hearing what the Rangatahi Chiefs come up with and how we can improve the effectiveness of our communications, services and programmes to better suit their needs.