History of RYDON

The Regional Youth Development Officers Network (RYDON) was formed in 1987 with the Community Programs Officer from Family and Community Services and Youth Development Officers (YDO) from various local government areas across the Hunter and Central Coast regions.

As you can imagine many things have changed since 1987, positions, services, even local government areas. Throughout these changes RYDON’s core members have always been a dedicated team of Youth Development Officers and a few key representatives from the youth sector that work toward the inclusion and wellbeing of young people.

What’s a YDO?

A Youth Development Officer is a FACS funded community development position that encourages positive social change by developing and maintaining youth focused initiatives that highlight the strengths and abilities of young people. Working in collaboration with youth services, the YDO role aims for the social equity of young people by consulting them on decisions that directly affect the communities they are an integral part of.

Today’s RYDON

Currently RYDON consists of Youth Development Officers from Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Cessnock, Maitland/Dungog, Upper Hunter and Mid-North Coast local government areas. In addition to these core members we have representatives from NSW Health and Education that bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to the team.

Although each local government area has a range of unique needs there are many areas where the role of the YDOs overlap. The purpose of RYDON is to collaborate and network on current and emerging trends and coordinate appropriate responses where necessary.


Our Achievements to date

  • Delivering the longest running annual youth sector conference in Australia for over 30 years.
  • Developing of the RYDON Code of Ethics in consultation with the youth sector and industry professionals.
  • Establishment and recognition in Parliament of the annual Regional Youth Services Awards (RYSA Awards)
  • 2015 State Election Forums in partnership with Youth Action
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