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Education First Youth Foyer - Wangaratta

Home >About us >Major Projects >Education First Youth Foyer - Wangaratta

At GOTAFE, we aim to improve the quality of life for young people in our region by providing evidence-based solutions to keep disadvantaged young people in education.

As such, we're actively working to achieve the funding to build an Education First Youth Foyer (EFYF) in Wangaratta. Find out how you can get involved and help support our campaign.

Read our EFYF one-pager

The issue

Youth homelessness is one of the biggest issues facing Australia and it can have life-long impacts, including on mental health, social engagement and civic participation, education, and employment.

Homelessness in Victoria

Every night, 6000 people are homeless in Victoria. Of these homeless people, 26% are between the ages of 12 and 24 despite making up only 16% of the population. (YACVIC).

Family violence

Homelessness has a ripple effect through the community, it increases the demand on healthcare resources, and impacts crime and safety. Family violence is the most often mentioned as the reason young people seek homelessness support.

The situation in Wangaratta

Wangaratta has no youth refuge for 16-17-year-olds and there is little supported accommodation for young people while they study.

Hear from the students

GOTAFE has a proven track record of operating a Youth Foyer in Shepparton. More than 200 young people have been supported to complete their education since the Foyer opened five years ago.

In this video, residents of the Berry Street Youth Foyer discuss how the Foyer has set them up for success in both their study and personal lives.

The solution

We need to build an Education First Youth Foyer in Wangaratta because:

  • They are proven to effectively address the key challenges impacting young people.
  • They provide integrated learning and accommodation for young people aged 16-24 who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
  • They support young people who are motivated to engage with education and training in a supportive environment.
  • Stable housing is a means of ensuring young people can commit fully to their education.
  • The model is based on the principle that educational attainment is key to providing a route out of disadvantage for young people.
Education First Youth Foyer Wangaratta Mockup

How you can help

There are many ways you can help us to advocate for the Education First Youth Foyer in Wangaratta.

Letters to the editor are a great way of focusing attention on an issue.

You can usually find the email and postal address for letters to the editor of your local or metropolitan newspaper on their website. Contacts for the major local daily newspapers are listed below.

Some tips when you are writing your letter:

  • Tell them who you are and why you care about the EFYF and how it affects your community. A human angle will make the letter more powerful.
  • Include some specific statistics or refer to an issue that’s currently in the news
  • Tell them about the EFYF. Include the fact that we are trying to get as many people as possible to sign up to advocate for systemic change. This will help to raise the profile of homelessness in Wangaratta.
  • Keep it short. Often newspapers don’t leave much space for letters, so it’s best to keep yours to no more than 200 words
  • Include your contact details. Most newspapers require your name, email address, postal address and daytime phone number. This is so they can verify who the letter is from, this information will not be published
  • Let us know that you’ve sent it. It helps us greatly if we know how many people have written to their local newspaper. If your letter gets published, we’d love to see a copy of that as well!

Here are contact details for the letter’s pages of some relevant newspapers:

State/territory

Publication

National

The Australian
The Guardian

Melbourne

The Age
The Herald Sun

Wangaratta

Wangaratta Chronicle

Wodonga

Border Mail

Benalla

Benalla Ensign

If we want our campaigns to be successful, we need to get the Government to listen. Writing to your MP might sound daunting, but remember they are your representative so they will be keen to hear about the issues that affect you.

Write a letter or email to your local MP and tell them why you believe they need to do more for young people who are experiencing homelessness.

You should:

  • Tell them who you are and why you care about youth homelessness and why a Youth Foyer will help .
  • Outline your concerns and how specific issues affect your family or community.
  • Ask your MP to raise your concerns with the Minister responsible for housing.

To find the name of your federal or state electorate visit:

State/territory

Website

Federal

Australian Electoral Commission

Victoria

Victorian Electoral Commission

Then, visit the government website for your state or territory to locate your MP and their contact details:

State/territory

Parliamentary website

Federal

Parliament of Australia

Victoria

Parliament of Victoria

You can then choose to email or send a letter by post. We would like to keep track of how many MPs have been contacted so please let us know if you send an email or a letter. We would also love to hear from you if you get a response from them.

Use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to create awareness - use key facts, ask people to share, and add your name in support of our advocacy. Use the hashtag #wangarattayouthfoyer

In addition, please reshare and support GOTAFEs posts.

Hear from the staff

Watch why staff believe an Education First Youth Foyer in Wangaratta would positively impact young people.