Engage Program


1. Overview

Our Engage Program aims to work in partnership with young people and the community to increase young people’s confidence and ability to make decisions for and with their community. It also aims to increase young people’s wellbeing, access to employment and training and mental health services.

The program responds dynamically to young people’s needs, as expressed through recent youth specific consultations.

Click through our table of contents (above) to view our programs. 

2. Empowering Girls Program

A 12-week psychosocial wellbeing and physical development program offered to 20 girls from Indigo Shire aged 12-14. Facilitated by Dannielle Bell and Katja Schoenfelder from the Dragonfly Project, the program aims to empower young girls as they journey into womanhood.

The program focuses on three key areas:

1. Developing a strong and unwavering connection to self.
2. Generating positive, healthy relationships with their bodies.
3. Creating empowering relationships with others by exploring key factors of empathy, trust and communication.

The program will nurture their unique gifts and talents, breaking through limiting beliefs and patterns, developing authentic confidence, and connecting with their body through joyful movement and yoga in positive healthy ways. The girls will develop tools to self-regulate emotions, build their capacity to respond to challenges and create healthy, supportive relationships that generate a sense of belonging. 

This program commenced on Monday 30 May 2022.
It will run once a week with two-hourly sessions for 12 weeks, with breaks during school holidays. 


3. Community Specific Youth Action Groups

Young people from the key towns in Indigo Shire are invited to participate in Youth Action Groups where they can develop ideas to create new initiatives and events for their communities. This can include photographic competitions, music events or small projects addressing a particular concern locally.

Applications for this program are open all year. Contact our Youth Officer via email at luciana.sansone@indigoshire.vic.gov.au


LGBQTQIA+ support group

In 2016, Indigo Shire Council established a LGBQTQIA+ support group called Rainbow Connection, providing support for isolated rural Same Sex Attracted and Gender Diverse young people. Its aim was to provide participants with connection to local support services, provide a safe place where young people can get together and enjoy organised activities and events. In 2022, local high schools are running their own groups, the Umbrella Academy and the Rutherglen Rainbow Renegades in Beechworth and Rutherglen respectively. Indigo Shire is currently supporting local high schools in their awesome LGBTQIA+ activities.

Please call or text 0427 037 594 for more information on active support groups.  

North East Pride Collective and The Rainbow Ball

The NEPC's vision is about celebrating and respecting individuality and inclusion for diverse identities within the LGBTIQA+ community.
Our primary goal is to create a safe and welcoming environment, including the Rainbow Ball, for our youth to thrive. The Rainbow Ball, created in 2019 in Indigo Shire, broke down many a flood gate of previously silent support, turned into real and public action.

In 2022, the Rainbow Ball will be held in Benalla Town Hall on Saturday 25 June. 

Get your tickets here: https://www.trybooking.com/BZXEG

DRAGGED Out Festival

Local Beechworth pubs, The Empire and The Nicholas are creating a colourful pride event on November 2022, with the aim to create a youth alcohol/drug/smoke free specific event.
To express your interest to join the organising committee, please contact our Youth Officer via email at luciana.sansone@indigoshire.vic.gov.au

5. Indigo Shire Youth Ambassadors Program

This annual Youth Leadership program, is open to fifteen Year 5 students from across Indigo Shire, who are passionate about creating positive change in their local community. From Wahgunyah to Rutherglen, Chiltern, Beechworth, Stanley, Wooragee, Indigo Valley, Barnawartha, Yackandandah, Osbornes Flat, Tangambalanga, Kiewa, Kergunyah and all the places in between. 

Youth ambassadors are given the opportunity to become the youth voice and youth representative for their community, gain skills and mentoring in leadership and effective communication, discuss and explore youth and community issues, have a say about the future of their community and create actions for positive change. 
Youth Ambassadors attend an initial two day leadership and change makers residency, followed by key engagement dates throughout the year.

In 2022 this program will run during term 3, please check back here for updates.

November 2021 Update

Twenty three Year Five students from school across the Shire have been participating in our Youth Ambassador program over the last three weeks.

The students were chosen by their respective schools as future leaders at the school as well as in their community.

The leadership program has featured a number of engaging activities and guest speakers including Luke Owens, who raised $6 million as a 19 year old for youth homelessness in Bendigo; two time Paralympian Eliza Ault-Connell who lost her legs and fingers to meningococcal disease; members of Indigo Shires' Youth for Climate Action Group; Bushfire recovery Victoria's Tracey Farrant who talked about Project management; members of the Atauro Island friendship Committee; Toastmasters Angela Larkin who gave them some hints and tips with public speaking; as well as a session in leadership/personality archetypes.

The young ambassadors have also been developing leadership and interpersonal skills, as well as taking part in a fundraising journey - the ambassadors will be organising fundraising activities in their schools over the term – with half the money raised going to the Atauro islands group and half going towards a charity of their choice.