The 9-12 Project

Why focus on 9-12s?

The years between 9 and 12, are a time of significant physical, social, emotional and psychological change. It is also a time when peers assume greater significance in the lives of children and young people. Increased autonomy and responsibility mean that children and young people in this age group begin to spend more time without the supervision of adults, value the importance of friendships and assume greater levels of family responsibility.

While in recent years there has been an increased emphasis on providing services and conducting research about children 0-8 years, children and young people, the middle years have been largely overlooked. Evidence suggests that there is a large gap in appropriative, targeted recreational activities for young people aged 9-12 years.

Background to Metro South West Sydney 9-12's Project

The 9 - 12's Project is an initiative to enhance activities programming for 9 - 12's in the Metro South West Sydney Region. This area encompasses the Local Government Areas of Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Campbelltown, Camden, Wollondilly and Wingecarribee. Funding for this Project has been made available through the NSW Department of Community Services (DoCS) Better Futures Strategy, with the direct management of funds being undertaken by UnitingCare Burnside in Macarthur.



The desired outcomes of the Project are:

  • Children 9 - 12 years in South West Sydney access appropriate recreation and leisure opportunities that improve their health, resilience and connection to families and community
  • Children's and youth services and other agencies working with young people 9 - 12 in South West Sydney have the capacity to deliver programs
  • Programs for children 9 - 12s in South West Sydney are integrated, accessible, sustainable and utilise interagency collaboration


University of Sydney, 2010
International Best Practice for Out of School Services and Activities for 9-12 year old children

Integrated Service Delivery Model Pilot

The latest initiative of the project is to offer the opportunity for local government areas within South West Sydney to be resourced to develop a whole of community approach for enhancing participation in activities and programmes by children and young people aged 9-12.


Camden Council has submitted an 'Expression of Interest' to the 9-12 Project Reference Group to develop a project that will aim to improve the outcomes for 9-12 year olds living in the Camden local area.



Scope of the Project


The purpose of the project will be to develop an integrated approach to planning for the delivery of services to young people aged 9-12 years across the Camden Local Government Area (LGA). The initial objectives will be to define the local community, identify organisations and services that provide successfully for 9-12 year olds and identify opportunities for enhancing the participation of 9-12 year olds in the community.


This will be achieved by mapping existing services, identifying barriers to participation and gaining children's input into preferred activities, with a particular focus on Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) services. The findings of the research will then utilised to develop a 9-12 portal on Camden Council's new Camden Kids Website that outlines leisure and recreation opportunities for this age group. The recommendations from the project will also be incorporated into Council's planning framework for Children and Families and used as supporting statistics when funding, partnership and planning opportunities arise.



  1. Identify and map services and organisations that provide activities and programs for the 9-12 year age group within the Camden LGA.
  2. Develop strong partnerships with local children, child care centres, youth services, sports and activities to better provide for and improve integration of service planning and delivery for this age group.
  3. Consult with children aged 9-12 year olds to understand opportunities, constraints and barriers to after school activity participation.
  4. Identify recommendations of opportunities, funding and partnerships for enhancing the participation of 9-12 year olds in our community.
  5. Raise community awareness of and improve access to activities that promote positive development for children aged 9 - 12 in Camden LGA.