Empowering Youth to Spark Great Ideas

A team of young people who joined the Backswing project in Glenorchy earlier this year have launched the campaign they have worked so hard on over the last 18 weeks.

The young participants from the Glenorchy community collaborated with a specially selected panel of experts to develop an awareness campaign around the topic of Family Protection.

After an intensive research period and idea development phase, the group decided to focus their campaign specifically around the issue of isolation and immobility.

The ‘Spark Plug’ Campaign was launched at the Northgate Shopping Centre in Glenorchy and will provide simple step-by-step guidance to assist eligible members from the Glenorchy community to access existing services like the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) and Driver Mentor programs, as well as personalised support on their licensing pathway.

Research shows that there is a direct relationship between social isolation, depression, low levels of self-worth and poor physical health.

Obtaining a licence for a car or motorbike is a costly exercise for low-income earners and this innovative group of young people is using their creativity to break the cycle of isolation by helping people overcome the barriers to getting a driver’s licence.

Backswing Coach, Matt Richter, said the depth of research and development the young people committed has resulted in a practical approach which will make a big difference for people in their community.

“With little more than a small spark from Spark Plug, eligible participants will be able to reach out to new opportunities and be empowered to improve their life,” said Mr Richter.

The Spark Plug pilot will enable two selected community members to progress their L1 car licence to L2, and another two community members to obtain their learners motorbike licence. Spark Plug will directly fund the associated lessons and assessments for the pilot participants, and assist with mentors for the required driving hours.

The Spark Plug team is creating a blueprint for an ongoing community program to help people obtain independence. The team is seeking expressions of interest from organisations to take on their idea and seek ongoing funding to make Spark Plug available as a permanent service, beyond the pilot project.

Backswing is an Empowering Youth Initiative provided by Colony 47 to Southern Tasmania, and is funded by the Australian Government.

Backswing projects provide out of work youth with real workplace skills and experience in project management.

Colony 47’s Backswing team would like to thank our panel members for their support and guidance throughout the project: Alina Thomas (CEO, SHE); Susan Fahey (CEO, Women’s Legal Service Tasmania); Elisa Ryan and Allyson Byrne (Youth Development Officers, Glenorchy City Council); Mandy Johnson (Senior Consultant, Department of Justice); and Jonathan Bedloe (President, Mens Resources Tasmania).



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