From 2019–2021, we worked with Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN to improve mental health outcomes for young people in Oakey.

oakey youth project infographic

Snapshot of the Oakey Youth Project

The Oakey Youth Project was founded on a social determinants of health perspective. It was designed to:

  • improve mental health and social outcomes for young people between 12–24
  • create a sense of community cohesion and connectedness
  • provide engagement activities for school-aged young people
  • support post-school age young people to access employment, develop independent living skills and connect to support services.

Between July 2019 and June 2021, the Oakey Youth Project generated 8,968 engagements across 232 programs and group activities. A visual snapshot of the project can be downloaded: Oakey Youth Project Infographic (PDF 4.6 MB).

The work of the Oakey Youth Project now continues with the efforts and leadership of PCYC and the local community.


Social outcomes research – final report

oakey youth project final report

As part of the Oakey Youth Project, we engaged the University of Southern Queensland to conduct a review of the project's social impacts. Together with an evaluation of locally available youth services, this review sought to determine the effectiveness of the project and how future initiatives might be targeted. We are gratified by the support of UniSQ and extend our sincere thanks to all involved in the creation of this report.

The report found that:

Oakey is a resilient community, but one that faces significant economic social and health challenges. Changes in the social landscape of the Oakey township in recent decades, including shifts in employment opportunities, housing and educational provision, have had especially marked effects on Oakey's young people. (Halliwell & Hickey, 2021, p. 26)

A number of recommendations were made in relation to:

  • addressing gaps in current service provision
  • optimising the design and implementation of youth-directed programming
  • community stakeholder engagement.

To view the report in full, please download Oakey Youth Project - Final Report (August 2021) (PDF 5.2 MB).


disconnectzine_web01.pngDis/Connect Art Competition

The Dis/Connect Art Competition was held during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide young people in Oakey a platform for creative reflection, skill development and community connection.

As part of the competition, young people were invited to express their perspective on the theme of dis/connection through visual art, photography, creative writing or short film.

To support young people without access to art materials, three arts workshops were also facilitated – 45 young people experimented in a variety of mediums.

We are proud to present the competition entries through the Dis/Connect Zine. The ingenuity, poignance and artist skill of these entries are a showcase of the talent in Oakey's youth community.

Download Dis/Connect Zine (PDF 16.1 MB)