Young people

Council provides a range of opportunities and initiatives to young people who live, work or study in Hepburn Shire and are aged between 12-25 years.

Our commitment to supporting young people is based upon a youth participation approach, which is considered the best way to build self-efficacy, protective factors, and individual leadership skills for young people. Council adopted the ACE Youth Strategy(PDF, 36MB) in June 2022, which will guide programs, support and advocacy for young people.

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Keep an eye on Instagram and Facebook.

For questions about any of our programs email us.


We regularly update our LinkTree page with the latest activities for young people.

Octave youth events (FReeZA program)

Octave is a fortnightly program for young people aged 12-25 who organise music and arts events. Young people will also develop skills and pathways in the music sector.

Queer Book Club

The Queer book club is a safe space for young people who identify as LGBTIQA+ (and Rainbow allies) to connect, create, and discuss art.

School holiday activities

When school holidays roll round we have a range of art and recreation activities to break up boredom of sitting around at home. In the past we have ran skateboarding sessions, collage workshops, gaming nights, hip hop classes, and online aerobics. We aim to make these activities free of charge.

TAC L2P Learner Driver Mentor Program

Council partners with the Ballarat Foundation to deliver the L2P program. The Program assists disadvantaged learner drivers aged 16 to 21 with no access to a supervising driver or vehicle to gain the 120 hours driving experience.

If you’re interested in joining the program or becoming a volunteer mentor for the program, contact the Ballarat Foundation.

Support for young people

If someone’s life is in danger call 000.

Lifeline is a national organisation providing anyone experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention. Call 13 11 14 or visit

Kids Helpline

Kids Helpline is a free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25. Call 1800 55 1800 or visit  

Mental Health/Counselling

Central Highlands Rural Health

A vast range of welfare, mental health and counselling support is provided throughout the Hepburn Health Campuses. Visit


Headspace provides free services in Mental health, general health, drug & alcohol support for young people aged 12-25. Call (03) 5304 4777 or visit

Online Counselling


This is a confidential, free and secure space where young people 12 – 25 or their family can chat with a qualified youth mental health professional.  Visit

Kids Helpline 

If you can’t get to a phone or prefer to chat online, you can connect one-on-one with a Kids Helpline counsellor through WebChat! Available 8am-12am, 7 days per week. Visit


Crisis support online chat is available 7pm-12am, 7 days per week. Visit

Mental Health Support Resources


Reachout is practical support, tools and tips to help young people get through anything from everyday issues to tough times. Visit

Beyond Blue

 provides information and support to help everyone achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live. Visit


Headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds, along with assistance in promoting young peoples’ wellbeing. This covers four core areas: mental health, physical health, work and study support and alcohol and other drug services.  Visit

Housing & Homelessness

Child and Family Services (CAFS)

CAFS are the access point for homelessness services in the Hepburn Shire. They can support you in a range for services from immediate housing support to more long-term help. Visit

Drug and Alcohol

Central Highlands Rural Health
 Alcohol and drug counselling is available to anybody experiencing or at risk of experiencing drug or alcohol related problems. Visit

Uniting Care Ballarat

United Care Ballarat provides a free service and will work with clients to develop a sense of control and manageability around substance misuse. Visit

Parenting support

Reachout Parents

Helping Parents support their teenagers through everyday issues and tough times. Visit

Raising Children Network

Raising Children Network provides scientifically validated information about raising children and caring for yourself as a parent or carer. Visit

Andrew Fuller

Melbourne based Psychologist Andrew Fuller has a range of online resources for parents managing teenagers. Visit