Regional Youth Community Coordinator Initiative

Regional youth and communities will receive support through the Youth Community Coordinator and  Children and Young People Wellbeing Initiatives.

A group of 17 people standing outside in front of a waterfall and smiling at the camera

Regional communities have been devastated by floods, bushfires, drought and COVID and all this has been particularly distressing for young people who are already adapting to the challenges of growing up.
The Regional Youth Community Coordinator and Children and Young People Wellbeing Initiatives were created in response to the increase of young people accessing mental health support in recent years and who need tailored support for recovery.

The NSW and Commonwealth governments have co-funded $3 million for the Regional Youth Community Coordinator Program under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement's Mental Health and Wellbeing Package. An additional $6.7 million has been provided through the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Strategy.

The Regional Youth Community Coordinator Initiative funds coordinators to work with young people and communities across regional NSW. They work with existing stakeholders and community groups to enable localised and tailored support to address the challenges faced by young people in flood and COVID affected regional communities. 

Regional Youth Community Coordinators also assist communities to prepare applications for funding through the Children and Young People Wellbeing Initiative

Activities supported through the Children and Young People Wellbeing Initiative may include community events and social activities, sport and recreational programs, youth health and wellbeing training or cultural and community connection programs.

The Regional Youth Community Coordinators aim to: 

  • build community networks to improve wellbeing and resilience
  • facilitate community and whole-of-government responses to improve social and economic outcomes 
  • work alongside schools, local councils, NSW Government agencies, services, and community organisations to develop capability to support young people
  • work with existing programs and services to improve community-based support
  • assist with the development of community-led Community and Youth Strategies/Actions and pilots of local youth projects and initiatives
  • work with flood and COVID affected communities, government, and non-government organisations to identify and propose programs, including application assistance for funding under the Children and Young People Wellbeing Initiative.  

Contact us

If you would like more information about the Regional Youth Community Coordinator initiatives, please email

Youth Community Coordinator Team Profiles


A head shot of Giane Smajstr smiling

Giane Smajstr

North Coast region based in Grafton 


Photo of a Andrew Britton smiling

Andrew Britton

Illawarra / Shoalhaven region based in Nowra 


Peta Mcalister

Peta McAlister

South East / Snowy Monaro region based in Batemans Bay 


Nate Brown

Nate Brown

Central Coast region based in Gosford 


Andrew McLean smiling

Adam McLean

Far West region based in Bourke


James Cleaver

James Cleaver

Central West region based in Dubbo


Dan Brown

Dan Brown

Hunter region based in Newcastle


A Caucasian woman with short light hair and glasses is smiling and wears a navy polo shirt

Debby Herdegen

New England/North West based in Tamworth


Renee Cooper smiling

Renee Cooper

Riverina/Murray region based in Wagga Wagga


Russell Ingram, Youth Community Coordinator for the Mid Coast, based in Taree

Russell Ingram

Mid Coast region based in Taree

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