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Image (supplied) - Beyond The Bell's Executive Officer Kate Roach.

Youth Guide BTB

Youth Guide BTB

Image (supplied) - Beyond The Bell's Executive Officer Kate Roach.

Covid Gives Young People New Appreciation of Families and Schools

A major research initiative has found that young people across the Great South Coast feel connected to their local communities but want more inclusion and tolerance.

They also want more local employment and education opportunities to negate the need to move out of the region.

That's part of the findings, led by more than 700 young people across the Great South Coast, who were interviewed as part of Beyond the Bell's Youth Conversations project.

"We aimed to gather the local lived-experience voice of young people and be responsive to that," Beyond the Bell Executive Officer Kate Roache said.

"We had little data driven by young people in our region but this gives us the groundwork to act on the learnings and recommendations," Ms Roache said.

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Youth Conversations is an initiative designed to ensure Beyond the Bell and the region are listening to and understanding young people's views about what connects them to their communities and the barriers they face.

Young people aged 12-19 from Colac Otway, Corangamite, Glenelg, Moyne, Southern Grampians and Warrnambool were interviewed.

The final Youth Conversations report compiled by Deakin University and released this week shows that people aged 12 to 19 feel a strong connection to their communities through common livelihoods, sport, arts and local activities and groups.

They also fear they will have to leave to seek education, training and employment options.

Other findings indicated young people gained a new appreciation during the pandemic, for the role played by schools in keeping them connected.

Many said they particularly missed the social connections provided by school and other social activities in their community.

Remote learning was a mixed bag, with young people frequently reporting that they did not respond well to remote learning arrangements during lockdowns.

However, some students relished online learning, saying they became more focused on their schooling and achieved unexpected success.

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