MARANG is a Wiradyuri word meaning well or good, and this is exactly what the new Marang Connections program is set to provide for young people - a sense of wellness and goodness.
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On September 16, the NSW Government provided more than $65,000 to fund a program developed by Bathurst Regional Council.
This program is aimed at supporting disadvantaged and disengaged youth from eight to 16 years of age.
Bathurst mayor Robert Taylor said he was very thankful that the state government was able to provide this funding.
"I just think it's such a great initiative and will provide disadvantaged kids out here to get out there and develop their skills," he said.
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"We're encouraging any of these children who maybe feel a bit disengaged to participate in these programs, and to steer them along in any field that they might be interested in."
The program will feature one workshop per month for the next 12 months, and will provide young people a shared experience in classes.
The majority of these classes will be held at the Kelso Community Hub.
The classes include swimming, cooking, education on Aboriginal artefacts and dances, art and health education, and as a cultural camp that is to be held at the completion of the program.
"These workshops will be facilitated by experts in their field and it's all about trying to get young people in those age groups here at the Kelso Hub to engage in the community," Mr Taylor said.
Deputy Premier and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the initiative is aimed at helping to grow a better sense of connection and social wellbeing in the community.
"The workshops funded by this program can facilitate a sense of belonging, which research shows is strongly linked to improved mental health outcomes," he said.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Minister for Regional Youth Ben Franklin said the Marang Connections program will be especially important in helping young people reconnect with others following the COVID- 19 pandemic.
"It's so important that we support our youth, especially following the devastating impacts caused by the global pandemic." Mr Franklin said.
This grant is part of the $4 million that the NSW Government has provided across 76 community and wellbeing focused events and initiatives.
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