We are The Sanctuary Mallacota Youth Group Inc
The Sanctuary is a safe haven for Mallacoota’s young people to be together, support each other and develop our skills as leaders as we recover from the fire events of the summer of 2020.
The Sanctuary provides teenagers and young adults with a platform to share their voice in this community. It is a place where participants can feel safe to express themselves and explore ideas. Mallacoota’s youth use the space to study, play music, make art, play games, organise programs and events and run workshops.
While The Sanctuary emerged as an immediate and necessary response to the 2019/20 bushfires that impacted Mallacoota, our vision is to create a sustainable safe space – led by and for all of Mallacoota’s young people for years to come.
The Sanctuary intends to secure an initial two years of investment funding to ensure consistent and effective operation; supporting the youth of Mallacoota in recovering, rebuilding, overcoming and thriving after the trauma and interruption of this disaster. The aim is to establish The Sanctuary as a long term and sustainable entity after the ‘recovery and rebuild’ establishment period of two years.
The mission of The Sanctuary is the pursuit of the following principles:
- Empowerment: The Sanctuary provides a space which belongs to the youth of Mallacoota, from which they can organise, form strong interpersonal skills, and instill a sense of hope in the future.
- Representation: With guidance and the opportunity to access mentoring, members of the Sanctuary have increased participation and influence in community decision making processes. The Sanctuary enables community members to access, consult and seek participation of youth members in town events and decisions. More importantly, it provides youth with the opportunity to invite the community in to support them in ways they define as integral to their development as future citizens and leaders. We will continue to work closely with the emerging Mallacoota and District Recovery Association to ensure youth voices are heard at every stage of our recovery.
- Consistency: The Sanctuary provides events, a drop-in service, opportunities, mechanisms of representation and access to services and information. Its ongoing benefit to the community relies on consistent opening times and routine opportunities for engagement to nurture participation and acknowledgement of the efforts, significance and futures of youth in Mallacoota.
- Access: An individual is dramatically influenced by their support system. The Sanctuary provides pathways for young people to access mentoring, communication and resources in the community from trusted responsible adults who are able to invest in their future and wellbeing.
Legal Structure of The Sanctuary
The Sanctuary is a not-for-profit incorporated youth association which is directed and managed by young people aged between 12-25 years old representing the youth of Mallacoota and District (including Mallacoota, Genoa, Wangarabell, Maramingo Creek, Wallagaraugh, Gipsy Point and Wroxham). It will provide a drop-in centre, mechanisms for representation and support, information and empowerment.
With support from a volunteer crew made up of respected and responsible adult members of the Mallacoota and District community, The Sanctuary provides a space for after school socialising, study, workshops, games, art and music, events, meetings and workshops.
These volunteers are offered Associate Membership and support in attaining their Working With Children Checks to enable them to be supportive and valued resources to The Sanctuary ordinary members.
Membership is free for those aged between 12 and 25 years and will be overseen by a Committee appointed by members. A paid Coordinator team will facilitate and develop programs and be supported by sub-committees of members, covering the interest areas of events, decor, media and logistics.
The adults directly involved are either volunteers with working with children (WWC) checks or paid coordinators responsible for supporting the members in bringing their innovations and aims to fruition. By facilitating access and confidence in community processes, providing information and support and liaising with relevant members of the community and world at large, responsible adults chosen to be part of The Sanctuary are tasked with empowering members and respecting their vision.
In addition, The Sanctuary is supported by strong relationships with existing community organisations, some involving reciprocal membership rights (see below). All members will be supported to treat each other and themselves with respect through role modeling, mentoring programs, support in accessing traineeships and access to mediation and counselling if sought.
Financially, we have our own bank account and can receive funds through the Mallacoota and District Community Recovery Association which has DGR status and the means to auspice us.
The Sanctuary is currently open 4 days, from 3.30pm-7pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 1pm – 7pm on Saturday. We collaborate on community events on Sunday. During this time of Covid-19 we continue drop in via zoom with activities organised.
A copy of our Constitution is available upon request.