New Youth Council sets out priorities for year ahead

JuniorMayor Elliot Nicholas

has made his first presentation to the Greater Geelong Council, outlining the Youth Council’s top priorities for this year.

Twelve young people aged between 12 and 17 were elected to the region’s third Youth Council in January and will serve as the official ‘youth voice’ to council.

Their priorities this year are: Health and Wellbeing; Diversity and Inclusion; Access to Safe and Healthy Environments; and Opportunities for Growth and Learning.

While developing these, the group considered how the Council’s strategic priorities align with what the region’s young people are experiencing, as well as data from three of Mission Australia’s annual youth surveys.

Since their election, the junior members have also developed and endorsed the 2021 Youth Council Charter, outlining values, expectations and behaviours which will help them meet their goals and responsibilities.

Over the next two months, the Youth Council members will break down their priority areas into topics they want to discuss more and provide advice on.

They’ll also start mentoring sessions with their ward councillors and connect with young people in the community to understand what matters most to them.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher welcomed the 2021 Youth Council’s first report.

It’s fantastic to have a new group of young people serving the Junior Council, who just two months in, are already strongly advocating for their communities.

Their priorities for 2021 are spot on and I thank Junior Mayor Elliot Nicholas for presenting this report to the Council.

Councillor Sarah Mansfield, Chair of the Diversity, Inclusion and LGBTIQ+ portfolio said she is looking forward to connecting with the new Youth Council.

A highlight of my year is meeting up with the junior councillors for mentoring sessions and hearing the perspectives of young people in Greater Geelong on a range of issues.

The key priorities they have identified will resonate with all members of our community, and their recommendations will be an important factor in the Council’s decision-making throughout 2021.

Junior Mayor Elliot Nicholas says the youth members have enjoyed getting to know each other.

Each and every one of the junior members is passionate to make a difference in the lives of young people across Greater Geelong.

We’ve sharpened our focus through the development of our priorities and look forward to doing more work together over the next two months, including starting our mentoring sessions with councillors.

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