Support for early years, education, provision of services and community involvement are some of the key topics raised in Commissioner Colin Pettit’s latest regional visit report, which was released earlier this week.
The report details the Commissioner’s discussions during his visit to the Mid West town of Mullewa, where he met with children and young people and service providers, and talked in depth about the opportunities and challenges facing their community.
“While living in small regional communities provides many benefits, it is clear that many smaller regional WA towns such as Mullewa are facing new and unique challenges when compared with towns of greater populations,” Mr Pettit said.
“Many small communities are experiencing changes to agriculture and job opportunities, decreasing population sizes, and limited access to resources and services, all of which have an impact on children and young people.
“Meeting with students at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Primary and Mullewa District High School was a wonderful experience for me as I got to hear about the positive things that come from living in a small community and the types of things they enjoy doing.
“They had some great ideas for ways to improve life for children and young people in the town too.”
The Commissioner also met with staff from local service providers and community members who outlined the existing services and facilities in the town, as well as the challenges local children and young people face.
“Although it is concerning to me to hear some children and young people in the community are experiencing disadvantage, I was encouraged to hear the visions people had to increase local opportunities for children and young people,” he said.
“I saw an opportunity to create collaborative partnerships between service providers, decision makers and community members to consider what local children and young people are saying about their experiences and their ideas for change, and to ensure plans and strategies are influenced by their views.”
The Commissioner thanked the Mullewa community for hosting his visit and taking the time to meet and talk to him, particularly local children and young people.