Shaping Futures is facilitating the makeover of a legacy STA bus in 2015. The project, currently dubbed the Regional Youth Bus, is designed to transform an ageing vehicle into a vibrant mobile facility that aims to connect youth and communities in rural South Australia through education and fun. It represents a partnership between five councils including Light, Barossa, Wakefield, Goyder and Mallala. South Australian Police (SAPOL), Regional Development Australia (RDA) and representatives from SA Health are also excited to be part of the initiative. Students are currently involved in refurbishing the bus, giving them an insight into automotive, construction and design skills.
Through the generous support from the Department for Education and Child Development ICAN program and a substantial donation from Energy Australia,the old MTA bus has been transformed. Young people from across the regions provided input into how it should look and many young people gained training and skills through courses and programs associated with the rebuild.
The Regional Youth Bus (RYB) is packed with the latest technologies including gaming, music and WIFI, all in a supervised safe environment to hang out with friends. At the same time visitors can chat with staff and access a host of information and support on such things as career planning, health and well being.
Although the RYB can only be in one place at a time, young people can stay continually connected with the bus through social media. They can make contact with staff, find a range of information and view funny and inspiring stories and memes.
This Social Media platform is another innovative part of the project. Through the Social Media Internship Program young people from across the region will be developing the content for the page while learning valuable skills in this emerging career path from industry professionals, Social Media Monitors, based in Brisbane.
Volunteering will be another focus. Organisations and community members can promote volunteering to young people or be volunteers themselves, providing more opportunities to connect young people with their local communities.