Council officers took the opportunity to speak with – and listen to – young people from two local high schools this week, engaging with them on our Economic Development Strategy and hear their ideas for what a sustainable future could look like for Yarra Ranges.
The 24 students were attending Yarra Ranges Tech School as a part of the pilot ‘Hearing the Voice of Yarra Ranges Youth program’.
Over the term-long course, the students from Worawa Aboriginal College and Upper Yarra Secondary College will develop, design and build a project inspired by key aspects of Council’s Economic Development Strategy (EDS). The incredible facilities and technology available at Yarra Ranges Tech School are at their disposal – from virtual reality to drones, green screens and recording studios to robots and 3D printers. The students were also able watch the film ‘Regenerating Australia’ to get some further inspiration for their projects.
Council officers from across the organisation collaborated at the initial immersion day, and will act as subject matter experts to assist the young people in their projects.
The students heard from representatives from Economic Development and Investment, Environment & Infrastructure, Communications & Engagement, Planning Design & Development and the Youth Development Team.
Also joining the day were two of Yarra Ranges Council’s Youth Ambassadors, Patience Ntim-Duodu and Sarah Miles. The two ambassadors will join the following sessions to work with the students on their projects, and to hear their thoughts and ideas on how Council can better connect with and listen to Yarra Ranges Youth.
The YRC Community Engagement policy states “Community engagement will seek to connect with a diverse range of community members and stakeholders to create a balanced and inclusive engagement process, ensuring those impacted by council decisions are given the opportunity to be heard”.
Given that the EDS and its outcomes will considerably impact young people in Yarra Ranges, both now and in the future, it’s imperative we hear their voice in the development of this key Tier 1 strategy.
The students will return to Yarra Ranges Tech School for four more sessions to build and design their prototypes before presenting their final projects to Council at a showcase in June.