The Engage! program aims to help young people get involved in their communities.

Through Engage! young people aged 12 to 25 years are encouraged to get involved in all aspects of community life, from volunteering and mentoring programs to projects that will increase practical skills and connect young people to further education, training and careers.

Engage! provides local governments and community organisations with grants of up to $150,000 over three years to develop projects with young people, for young people. Through these projects, young people will become more connected to their community, become engaged in education, training and career pathways and have an opportunity to build their networks.

The current Engage! 2015-17 program commenced in January 2015 and will finish in December 2017. It is anticipated that the Engage! grant round for the 2018-20 program will open in the second half of 2017.

Engage! Objectives

Engage! aims to:

  • increase young people’s participation in their community by getting involved in local decision-making and community initiatives
  • increase the knowledge, skills and leadership abilities of young people, and provide pathways into education, training and careers
  • improve young people’s networks and strengthen connections with their families, friends and community.

For further information contact Economic and Community Participation on (03) 9096 3004 or email engage@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

Current programs

Here are snapshots of three Engage! 2015-17 programs funded by the Victorian Government.

City of Ballarat Council Youth Services - Unique Message Makers

Unique Message Makers (UMM) has a focus on giving young people artistic skills to communicate and engage with their community.

Young people are actively developing their skills, ideas, thoughts and messages through a range of mediums that include screenprinting, mini magazines, photography, art, music, dance and theatre.

Supported by industry professionals, UMM has developed projects such as Rebel Elders. Young musicians have the opportunity to learn songwriting whilst having hands on experience recording a compilation CD. A series of live performances were held in September and October 2015 including the launch of the 2015 Rebel Elders CD.

Find out more about the program at Youth Services Ballarat.

Good Cycles - Pedal Empowerment Youth Project

Good Cycles is a social enterprise and charity in the Melbourne CBD using bicycles to engage, educate, empower and find employment for young people experiencing disadvantage.

The Pedal Empowerment Youth Project is a training and work experience program engaging young people in bicycle riding and maintenance, with the aim of transitioning them into further education and jobs.

The project uses bicycles as engagement tools to create healthier, happier and more connected young people tackling issues such as unemployment, anxiety, depression, obesity and social isolation.

Find out more about the program at Good Cycles.

City of Wodonga - Youth Leadership Program

The Youth Leadership program fosters leadership abilities in young people living in the Hume region, empowering them to achieve positive social change in the community.

Young people receive mentoring and leadership training, participate in local community projects, visit Melbourne community organisations and plan their graduation ceremony.

The program also includes a series of leadership breakfasts with a diverse range of speakers from local, state and national organisations.

Find out more about the program at Youth Leadership Program - Wodonga.