Kiama Council is hosting a new-look Youth Engagement Meeting this year, inviting primary and secondary students to discuss two key issues facing young people: local housing and recreational spaces.
Deputy Mayor Imogen Draisma said extending the opportunity to primary school students was just one of the changes for the Youth Engagement Meeting, being held at The Pavilion on Thursday 1 September.
“Involving our younger primary school aged kids makes perfect sense given local housing and better managing our recreational spaces are long term, inter-generational challenges,” Cr Draisma said.
“We’re also throwing the door open to other local students who might be home-schooling, signed out of school or studying elsewhere.”
Cr. Draisma said Council was stepping away from the traditional council meeting format, instead hosting a youth-friendly youth-led workshop.
“Instead of having older people up front doing most of the talking, the councillors will be taking a back seat and listening to what our young people have to say.”
“This is the logical evolution for how we involve our young people, something Kiama Council has done successfully on important matters in the past, such as our Community Strategic Plan and Local Strategic Planning Statement.”
Kiama Council is currently developing both a Local Housing Strategy and Open Spaces and Recreation Strategy, which involves general and targeted community consultation.
Cr Draisma said the Youth Engagement Meeting provides an ideal forum to also gather feedback from those most likely to be affected by these strategies.
“I want to thank our Mayor Neil Reilly, CEO Jane Stroud, Director Environmental Services Jessica Rippon, and especially our SENTRAL Youth Services team, for their desire to shake things up when it comes to how we involve our community in decision-making, especially our young people.”
“We recently celebrated International Youth Day 2022, which had the theme Intergenerational Solidarity.”
“Through simple but important events such as this forum, Kiama Council and through it our community, is playing its part in showing that solidarity with our young people.”