Inviting young people to the cause

Participants at the youth engagement workshop, co-designing projects to support youth participation in invasive species management.

“Imagine what would be possible if we gave young people the skills and the agency to deliver environmental projects…”

This question was posed to participants at a recent workshop on boosting youth participation in invasive species management.

The response? More innovation, better sharing of knowledge and power, employment pathways for school leavers, effective succession plans, more diverse volunteer groups, more young people connected with their environment.

The youth demographic has one of the lowest rates of participation in invasive species causes in Australia, despite there being no shortage of skilled, passionate young people with an interest in the environment.

The Weeds and Rabbits Project has recognised the importance of inviting young people into the conversation about how we address the invasive species problem. Over the past 12 months, the team have been working with Intrepid Landcare to understand barriers to youth engagement and how we can overcome them.

The project culminated in early May with a training workshop for community members keen to boost youth engagement in local projects. Participants came from all over Victoria, representing groups such as Landcare, the environmental ‘Friends’ network, local councils, schools, Parks Victoria and community pest management groups.

Participants overwhelmingly left the workshop inspired, empowered and ready to engage young people. For tips, insights and ideas on engaging young people, take a look at the workshop highlights package.

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