In early March, the Commissioner for Children and Young People Jacqueline McGowan-Jones visited the Peel region to meet with, and hear from, young people about their concerns and what matters to them. She visited schools, Billy Dower Youth Centre, the City of Mandurah and Mandurah Youth Advisory Group, Nidjalla Waangan Mia and the Peel Health Hub.
Young people consistently raised concerns about safety in the community and on public transport; the environment; mental health; bullying - both at school and online; and the need for more opportunities in training and employment.
The concerns raised by young people throughout the visit supported the information gathered through the Commissioner’s Speaking Out Survey in 2021 and demonstrates that there is a need for a cohesive, holistic approach to service delivery to support children and young people in accessing appropriate supports at the right time. Homelessness, poverty, wellbeing and mental health are key concerns across all cohorts with whom the Commissioner met during the visit.
Young people regularly commented on how much they loved the natural environment of Mandurah and the Peel region. The Peel area is a beautiful place to live, and the Council has done very well to ensure natural spaces and trees have been preserved in all parts of the region. The built environment is also very respectful of the natural spaces. The arts and cultural aspects of Mandurah are great and the community activities such as the CrabFest and Mandjar Markets.
The comments around improvement were improving young people’s mental health and reducing the stigma. More events are needed to promote positive mental health to young people and educate them to get help. More funding is required for mental health services which are very limited with long waiting times. More employment opportunities for young people as they often leave the area to pursue higher education and then don’t return as there are fewer jobs available to them locally.
Commissioner for Children and Young People with staff at Nidjalla Waangan Mia
Commissioner for Children and Young People with (L-R) Eleanor Britton, Nicole Lambert (Allambee) and Amanda Poller.
GP down south is an exemplary not-for-profit community organisation. We have been providing health and wellbeing services in the Peel regions and the South West of WA since 1994.