New home of Latrobe Youth Space opens

Tom Gannon

Latrobe Youth Space officially opened the doors to its new home ‘The Zone’ in Morwell’s east last week, after several years in the making.

The hub is available to anyone between the ages of 12 and 25 and delivers services that connect young people to employment, training and community life in the Valley.

The Zone is a multipurpose space featuring kitchen facilities, a green screen room, a parents area, quiet study spaces and activities such as table tennis and sensory gardening.

It will include services such as a young parents group, a rainbow club for LGBTIQ+ young people, learner driver training for recently arrived young people and additional sport and recreation activities.

Latrobe Youth Space co-chair Barry Rogers said the opening was a highlight of his career in youth services.

“I’m absolutely over the moon that we are open,” he said.

“I’ve spent all my working life working with young people so for me this is like a Christmas cake.”

The purpose-built space on the corner of Bridle Road and Princes Drive is managed by the Latrobe Youth Space and has seven staff with four trainees coming on in the next fortnight.

The Zone was developed and designed by youth ambassadors from Latrobe Youth Space, which Minister for Youth Ros Spence said is necessary to deliver ideal outcomes.

“Having had this space co-designed and operated with young people is incredibly important and having youth involved through that process gets the best outcomes for young people,” she said.

Latrobe Youth Space deputy chair Tessa Jenkins has been involved in the project since it started more than three years ago and said she hopes the space is used by those who need it.

“There needed to be a service for young people,” she said.

“I hope the space will provide relief for young people and will be a safe space for people of all backgrounds and all ethnicities.”

More than 20,000 young people have participated in Latrobe Youth Space activities since it opened in 2018.