Young people have a new space to gather and relax following the reopening of the upgraded Y Space Cooma on Wednesday
The upgrade has been made possible through a NSW Government Stronger Country Communities Grant of $169,000. The funding sees the long-time community centre transformed into a modern, safe and inclusive meeting space offering a range of programs to local young people.
Recently elected Member for Monaro Nichole Overall said she was proud to be speaking at the launch as one of her first official engagements.
“It’s absolutely exciting to see this tangible demonstration of how we are on our road to recovery and how we are all working together to move forward into what we all want to be positive futures,” Ms Overall said.
“I’m also excited to be part of a NSW government that is seeing this type of thing, this type of endeavour come to fruition.”
Executive Leader Youth and Purpose Louisa McKay, Snowy Monaro Regional Youth Council member Josh Abrokwah and Member for Monaro Nichole Overall.
Young people in Cooma had significant input into the design of the centre, which has undergone a major facelift.
The youth space area has expanded, with new flooring and painting throughout and new furniture and computer infrastructure. The outdoor space will also be expanded as part of the upgrade.
Young people in the region have given the new and improved centre the thumbs up.
“I want to thank everyone for allowing us to be here, this official space where we can chill, we can work, it’s great that we have that,” Snowy Monaro Regional Youth Council member Josh Abrokwah said.
“We can just be ourselves here, we have fun. That’s why the Y Space is something we need in this town, especially in a regional area because people don’t get out much.”
The long history of the Y Space Cooma was on show at the launch. The Y NSW Executive Leader Purpose and Impact Louisa McKay said the Y had been serving the needs of young people in Cooma for 25 years.
“Services like this Y Space are crucial for our young people because it is a place they can access and be themselves, have a sense of belonging, have a sense of connection and opportunities to thrive and opportunities to build skills and knowledge,” Ms McKay said.
“Please, get the word out that we are open for business, and let young people know that this is their space and they can access it.”
Cooma Youth Program Coordinator Cathryn Guion and some Y Space Cooma regulars
Snowy Monaro Regional Council Mayor Narelle Davis paid tribute to former council members and residents who had worked tirelessly over decades to help create and improve the centre for young people.
“Council cares about young people. You have a designated space in our community - we value that space and want to keep working with the Y to keep that service going. This drives opportunities and support for young people,” Mayor Davis said.
“I’m really proud to see you all creating and making your own mark invigorating and generating these spaces that allow you to connect, to reconnect, to recharge and relax, and to make even more vibrant this place we call home.”
The centre plays host to a range of activities and events including school holiday programs, NAIDOC activities and local network meetings.
Y Space Cooma has computer access, gaming modules, pool tables and information and resources on a range of topics, catering to the needs of young people aged 12-24 years.
“It is all about making our regional communities even stronger and reinvigorating the places that we live,” Ms Overall said.
“But it is your creative enthusiasm in seeing it come to fruition that is the most exciting part of all, as your involvement as the youth and the future of this town, of this region of our wider electorate.”
Cooma Youth Program Coordinator Cathryn Guion, Snowy Monaro Regional Council Mayor Narelle Davis, former councillor Roger Norton, inaugural YMCA worker Adam McEvoy and Member for Monaro Nichole Overall.
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