Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, centre, with Gwydir Shire Council Deputy Mayor Catherine Egan, left, Ben Parry, Gwydir Youth Council Representative Rachel Coulton, Gwydir Learning Region Training Coordinator Clarissa Barwick and Community College Co-ordinator Janette Tan, right, to officially opening the new Warialda Youth Hub in the refurbished Soil Conservation building.
Thursday, 18 November 2021
FROM a place of agricultural conservation to a space of learning and empowerment, the former Warialda Soil Conservation building has undergone a significant refurbishment to become the home of the town’s new Youth Hub.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall joined Gwydir Shire Deputy Mayor Catherine Egan last week to open the building, which was transferred from State Government ownership to Council last year.
“Through the State Government’s Community Use Policy, Council has taken over the disused building at 47 Hope Street for just $1, repurposing it into a versatile youth hangout which will serve the community for at least the next 15 years,” Mr Marshall said.
“Centrally located in the CBD, the Youth Hub will bring together Gwydir Learning Region, Warialda High School, Bingara Central School and Gwydir Youth Services to provide a space for young people to meet up and undertake mentoring and education programs.
“With a fresh coat of paint, new carpet, kitchenette and amenities the building is now more functional and looks a million bucks.
“Community College Northern Inland has already moved in and is conducting courses with students every Tuesday and Wednesday.
“In my opinion every community needs a facility like this, where young people can safely socialise, undertake training courses and be supported with a homework study centre.
“I am really excited to see the fruits of this venture bare, as the Youth Council works with the Gwydir’s elected representatives to advocate for employment and social opportunities that will make their region more liveable.”
Council put $100,000 from the Federal Government’s drought program towards the refurbishment.
Deputy Mayor Catherine Egan said the repurposing of the former Warialda Soil Conservation Office into a Youth Hub had revitalised the building.
“This facility will play an increasingly important role in the future training and development of the Shire’s 12 to 25 year-olds,” Cr Egan said.
“This is a really important project for our community. Council has been looking for ways it can improve its engagement with local youth, to ensure we are providing facilities and services that support their needs and encourage them to remain active and involved.
“I want to recognise local builder, Meader Constructions, for the magnificent work they have done to complete the renovation work on budget.
“Our youth are our most important asset and it pleases me to know they have a safe and functional space to gather, learn and be empowered.”