The Leeton Shire Youth Council held its first meeting in 2023 on February 27th. Eight (8) students were in attendance, representing their respective schools St Francis College and Leeton High School. Yanco Agricultural High School was an apology.
The Youth Council has been established in an effort to provide advice to Leeton Shire Council, assist with the development and delivery of local initiatives and programs aimed at young people, and be an inclusive space where all views are respected.
The purpose of the first meeting in 2023 was to workshop upcoming Council events and obtain feedback from the students to ascertain what appeals to them and what can be done to enhance the experiences of those attending.
Some of the recommendations that were put forward included practical improvements, such as adding designated seating areas at Light Up Leeton and the SunRice Festival Street Parade. Others involved enhancements to events, such as the use of local bands at the Australia Day pool party, utilising Instagram and school newsletters for the promotion of events and introducing competitions, such as “Best Dressed at Light Up Leeton Christmas Carnival” for further engagement.
Speaking as the Portfolio Lead for Youth, Cr Sandra Nardi was delighted with the turnout and input provided by the students.
“Not often does our younger generation get the chance to sit in the Council Chambers and make their voices and suggestions heard on local matters. The students from Leeton High and St Francis did us proud and brought some fantastic ideas to the table,” she said.
Mayor Cr Tony Reneker shared those sentiments. “It pleased me to see how engaged the students were and how many suggestions were brought forward during the meeting. Their unique viewpoints play such an important role in the development and delivery of community events so we will take onboard their feedback with great appreciation,” he added.
Community Development Coordinator, Emily Goodall, thanked the students that attended and schools for supporting this initiative.