Youth council ready to take action

April 1, 2021 BY

Cr Sarah Mansfield, Cr Jim Mason and deputy mayor Trent Sullivan pictured with the 2021 Youth Council. Photo: SUPPLIED

GREATER Geelong’s new youth council has set its priorities for the year with health and wellbeing at the top of the list.

Junior mayor Elliot Nicholas made his first presentation under his new title on behalf of the 12-person council.

As the ‘youth-voice’ for council, the group of young leaders are looking to make an impact in the space of health and wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, access to safe and healthy environments and opportunities for growth and learning.

While developing the list of priorities, the group considered how council’s current strategic priorities align with the experiences of Geelong’s younger population.

The group also analysed data from three of Mission Australia’s annual youth surveys.

Since being elected in January, the youth council has been hard at work developing and endorsing the 2021 Youth Council Charter which outlines values, expectations and behaviours.

Junior mayor Nicholas said it has been enjoyable to work closely with other like-minded people.

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

“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.”

Over the coming months the group will need to break down their priorities in order to provide tailored advice to their senior council.

Mayor Stephanie Asher welcomed the youth council’s first report and is looking forward to working closely with the group.

“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,” she said.

“Their priorities for 2021 are spot on and I thank junior mayor Elliot Nicholas for presenting this report to the council.”

The 12 members are set commence their mentoring sessions with councillor Sarah Mansfield, chair of the Diversity, Inclusion and LGBTIQ+ portfolio, who said she is looking forward to working with the group.

“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,” Cr Mansfield said.

“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.”

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