The 2022 Youth Council Conference, hosted by Goulburn Mulwaree Council and Youth Council in February this year, has received the prestigious RH Dougherty Award at the LGNSW Awards overnight.
With a theme of ‘Come Together through Community’, the free three-day event for youth aged 12-24 attracted attendees from across NSW, inviting them to take a deep dive into three main topics: Social Media for Good; Mental Health; and How to Have a Sustainable Life. Workshops at the Conference provided a safe space to explore issues including online bullying, lack of mental health services in rural and regional areas, and what’s needed to live a full life as a valued member of the community.
Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Peter Walker said the event was organised by the Youth Council Conference Working Party, comprising staff from Council’s Youth Services, and Marketing and Events teams, along with the Goulburn Mulwaree Youth Council.
“This was a totally free event that brought together like-minded youth from 18 local government areas to workshop and brainstorm ideas, and to form practical solutions to major issues facing our state’s young people,” Cr Walker said.
“This was an innovative and inspiring conference that encouraged and empowered its attendees with a renewed sense of advocacy and commitment to forcing change at local and state levels.
“Importantly, it showcased Goulburn’s many talented young people and set the benchmark for future fully accessible, interactive and innovative youth-focused events.”
The conference was jointly funded by Goulburn Mulwaree Council and Goulburn Mulwaree Youth Council, with the NSW Government also providing $50,000 in funding for the event.
Goulburn Mulwaree’s Youth Mayor Holly Caffery said the Youth Council had worked for three years to provide their portion of the funding for the Conference.
“I am so proud of the Goulburn Mulwaree Youth Council and am really glad both Council and the Youth Council are getting the recognition they deserve for putting together the 2022 NSW Youth Conference,” Ms Caffery said.
“Everyone put in so much hard work to pull the event together, including all the amazing behind the scenes helpers.”
Council’s Youth Services was also a finalist in the Best Local Youth Week category.
The RH Dougherty Award (Division B – Population 30,000 – 70,000), capped off a successful night for Goulburn Mulwaree Council, which also picked up a Highly Commended in the Leo Kelly OAM Arts & Culture Award for the Goulburn Performing Arts Centre. This award recognises councils that show leadership in arts and culture and excel in strategic policy, planning, delivery and evaluation.