Months of planning came to fruition recently as thirty Benalla students embarked on a community digital project.
The room was buzzing with anticipation and excitement as the students met with Tomorrow Today Foundation and Seer Data and Analytics, two organisations at the forefront of finding innovative ways to tackle social problems.
Two interactive workshops were held to identify issues in the Benalla community that matter to young people. The range of issues identified included bullying, youth suicide, drug abuse, the environment, lack of entertainment for young people, and limited educational and employment opportunities. The groups were guided through a series of questions to enable them to further explore each issue. They were encouraged to think through why each problem had not been solved already and what an ideal solution would look like.
Project coordinator, Sally Matheson, was thrilled with the level of engagement and interest from the students. “This project is providing Benalla’s young people with communication skills, digital literacy, and creative and problem solving skills that are needed to survive and thrive in the workplace”, she said. “It is estimated that Australians will make 17 changes in employers across 5 different careers in the not too distant future. It is critical that our young people develop a portfolio of flexible skills that will give them the greatest advantage when they enter the workforce”.
The next step in the project will occur during the September 2018 school holidays. The students will participate in a co-creation workshop with some of Australia’s top digital designers. The focus will be on finding a digital solution to help solve the key issues that have been identified. “The young people are very excited about the next step in the project. They are looking forward to the opportunity to co-design Apps and computer programs.”
There is still an opportunity for young people to get involved in this design and problem solving challenge. The next workshop will be held on 26 September and places are available for six girls and four boys aged 13-16 years.
If you or someone you know would like to participate, contact Tomorrow Today Foundation on 03 5762 1211 before 7 September 2018.