City thanks retiring and welcomes new Youth Councillors

Nine new Greater Bendigo Youth Councillors were last night endorsed at the City of Greater Bendigo Council meeting and eight outgoing Youth Councillors were thanked for their service to the community over the past 12 months.

The Youth Council is an initiative of the current Council to engage with local young people aged between 14 and 24 in the decision making process for the future. It’s also a key action in the City’s Youth Strategy launched in 2018.

Mayor of Greater Bendigo Cr Margaret O’Rourke said the Youth Council act as an advisory and advocacy body to Council and gives local young people a stronger voice in the community.

“At this week’s meeting we were pleased to welcome our new Youth Councillors Amy Manderson, Grace McIntosh, Jack Smith, Liloma Qurbani, Lucy McNaughton-Perry, Remus Brasier, Shay Murphy and Xavier Rodgers who will join existing youth councillors Annika Ritchie, Alex Libchard, Billie Taylor, Esmat Kheradyar, Jemille McKenzie, Kathryn Northill, Lilli-Rose Gemmill, Olivia Masters, Ryan Peterson and Victoria Tangey,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“The new appointments follow the resignation of eight inaugural Youth Councillors to focus on their studies or employment opportunities.

“On behalf of the City I would like to thank the outgoing Youth Councillors Alyssa Lai, Annalise Varker, Ella Edwards, Eva Tuyet Jan, Jack Tayba, Natasha Romus, Pan Pah Thei and Khayshie Tilak Ramesh for their fantastic service over the past 12 months.”

Outgoing Youth Mayor Khayshie Tilak Ramesh said it has been an honour to serve the community in this way.

“The Youth Council has been a great experience and I wish all the new Youth Councillors an exciting and rewarding year ahead,” Khaysie said.

Cr O’Rourke said with the number of young people living in Greater Bendigo expected to rise to 25,900 by 2036 it’s important for Council to continue to connect with and listen to young people about the issues that impact on their lives.

“The role of the Youth Council is to report to the Council on the views of young people about the City’s plans and programs that impact on them. In return we provide them with mentoring and support. Youth Council members also represent young people at civic events and activities.

“The Youth Council provides a great opportunity for young people to have a stronger voice in our community, meet others with similar interests and ideas, build their leadership skills and develop the knowledge and abilities to affect change.”

During its first Year, the Youth Council identified three priority areas – youth employability, youth wellbeing and youth engagement and has engaged in a number of working groups and projects throughout the community. The Youth Council has represented young people on the Economic Development Strategy steering committee, worked with the Department of Education and Training to consult students on their educational transitions and provided feedback on a number of City strategies including the Greening Greater Bendigo Plan and the All Ages All Abilities Issues and Opportunities Paper.

About the new Youth Councillors:-

Amy Manderson recently completed her VCE at Bendigo Senior Secondary College (BSSC) and will begin a Diploma of Education at La Trobe Bendigo in 2020. Amy is 18 and lives in Strathfieldsaye.

Grace McIntosh attends NetSchool and is an active member of Hip Hopportunities based in Eaglehawk. She is 17and lives in Junortoun.

Jack Smith is 19 and has moved to Bendigo from Mildura to complete a Bachelor of Applied Science/ Master of Occupational Therapy. He brings experience from his time in the YMCA Victorian Youth Parliament.

Liloma Qurbani was born in Afghanistan and lived in Pakistan and India before settling in Australia in 2017. Liloma is 18 and is completing her VCE at Bendigo Senior Secondary College.

Lucy McNaughton-Perry is 19 and lives in Eaglehawk. She is studying a Bachelor of Business at La Trobe University Bendigo.

Mariah Tayba moved to Bendigo from Lebanon in 2015. She has a strong passion for volunteering. 18 year old Mariah will complete her VCE at BSSC in 2020.

Remus Brasier is 15 years and lives in Quarry Hill. He is currently completing Year 10 at Girton Grammar in 2020.

Shay Murphy is completing a double degree in Business and Law at La Trobe Bendigo. Shay is 21 and lives in Maiden Gully

Xavier Rodgers is 14 and lives in Eaglehawk. He currently attends Victory Christian College.

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