GCC puts youth engagement first

Glenorchy City Council will continue running events for young people in the CBD through the second half of the year following the success of a recent street basketball game.

Mayor Sue Hickey said the activity, organised by Council’s Community Development team, saw Tasmania Police officers take on teams of teens in three versus three street basketball games.

“It was a great success. Plenty of young people came over to have a go at trying to score against the police team, and the entire event just had a good positive vibe,” she said.

Council officers set up a marquee and a provided a free barbecue for anyone who came along to play and watch, and JackJumpers chief operating officer Darren Smith was on hand to give out some merchandise to the basketballers.

Mission Australia was also on hand to engage with community members.

Mayor Sue Hickey said breaking down barriers with young people was extremely important.

“These events underline that everyone is welcome in our city, and we want to focus on positive interactions, not just instances where there is trouble.

“Council officers will continue running events on the forecourt outside the Council’s offices between 3 and 4.30pm Monday to Friday to provide activities for people who may be waiting for buses after school.

“We are currently planning an indoor space to cater for the colder weather, or for young people who don’t necessarily want to play ball sports.

“Feedback we’ve had to date is extremely positive, with many young people reporting that they just want safe spaces where they can relax, play sport or games and socialise.

“Our staff are also able to assist anyone who may need additional support, and they are on hand if anyone needs to reach out.

“We all have a responsibility to try and minimise anti-social behaviour in and around our community, and if we can engage with young people, listen to what they need, we can hopefully help provide a more welcoming environment for everybody regardless of age, gender or ethnicity,” she said.