2019 WA Regional Achievement and Community Awards | Advocating for the region's youth

City of Busselton youth development officer Angela Griffin has been nominated for a WA Regional Achievement and Community Award.
City of Busselton youth development officer Angela Griffin has been nominated for a WA Regional Achievement and Community Award.

The City of Busselton's youth development officer Angela Griffin is one of the region's biggest advocates for improving outcomes for youth in the community.

Her tireless efforts have been acknowledged in the WA Regional Achievement and Community Awards, where she has been nominated for a TAB Community Service Award.

The award celebrates paid individuals who make a significant contribution through community service or social justice initiatives and who are dedicated to the care of others.

"I was really excited and really honoured to be nominated," she said.

When she first started working with the city in 2015 they were just running a school holiday program 10 weeks a year with no facilities for youth.

Ms Griffin became part of the team which oversaw the Youth Precinct and skate park development on the Busselton foreshore and has been at the forefront of engaging youth in the community.

"We try to make sure we have something for every single kid whether it be a disengaged kid or really engaged youth, that is where our Youth Shift Crew do really amazing things," she said.

"They run the Battle of the Bands and the South West Youth Festival and recently they formed a local drug action group.

"It is really great to work with a leadership group of kids because they also help make you understand what they need for the general population of youth.

"You see the same issues affecting young people whether they are disengaged or not."

Since the Youth Centre opened in Busselton 8,000 young people have walked through their doors exposing a a range of issues in the community.

"Some of them come from some pretty hard places and have dealt with some pretty hard issues," Ms Griffin said.

"We are happy to support them and link them to services, it is really important that what this centre brings is consistency, we are kind of like that prevention stop.

"Having a great team really helps and we try to find out their interests by engaging them with activities whether it be art or sport or the cops versus kids program, which has been really great.

"The police come down once a month and do activities whether it be pool or basketball competitions."

Ms Griffin said they looked at crime statistics for the City of Busselton and identified what crimes were being committed by youth.

"We noticed since we have opened the Youth Precinct, 17 per cent of youth crime in Busselton has dropped, this is due to a range of factors and building those relationships with police," she said.

"The youth now have somewhere to go, mentors and consistency, they are really starting to think about their futures and letting us help them access those services.

"It is really good to see we are having a great impact on the community and re-engagement into school has been really good."