The City of Greater Geelong’s Youth Council has welcomed a new junior member.
Sam Leonard, 15, joins the group as a representative of the Bellarine ward.
The Ocean Grove teenager has a particular interest in climate change and hopes to encourage more young people to access opportunities and support networks.
Sam will be formally introduced to his Youth Council peers this month, before taking his seat as an official member at the June meeting.
He replaces Elkin Wittenberg, who tendered her resignation from the group due to relocating outside of the municipality.
Sam was offered the position as the next highest recipient of votes for the Bellarine ward in the Youth Council election earlier this year.
He looks forward to bringing a fresh voice to the local government platform.
Meanwhile, Youth Council met via video link for its monthly meeting on Monday 4 May.
Junior members provided important input on two major City projects: the Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Revitalising Central Geelong program.
The group continues to focus on its mental health and wellbeing priority area, which aligns with Council.
Youth Council acknowledged the ongoing work of the City’s Youth Development Unit in delivering Mental Health First Aid classes across the region. So far, about 1850 young people have participated in the workshops.
Youth Council’s second report is being prepared for presentation to Council on 23 June.
The junior group’s next official meeting is on June 1.
Junior Councillor, Bellarine Ward – Sam Leonard
I’m really excited to join the Youth Council because it is such a great opportunity for young people to make a difference in the Geelong community.
It is also a great experience for everyone who is a part of it.
Junior Mayor – Farzana Hussaini
On behalf of the Youth Council, I am excited to welcome Sam to our group. We were all sad to say goodbye to Elkin but we are looking forward to the new ideas Sam will bring.
Sam will be another strong voice for young people in the Bellarine ward. We can’t wait to work together with Sam, to help make that voice heard.
Greater Geelong Mayor – Stephanie Asher
I congratulate Sam for putting his hand up to represent the Bellarine ward, and welcome him to local government.
While only in its second year, the Youth Council is already making a real difference in the community and providing a platform for young people to share their view on important issues.
At Council we value the contribution of our junior councillors and look forward to building that connection in the future.