Youth Council set to make mark

Youth Council representatives (l to r) Robert Green, Elia Hauge, Cara Maku, Zoey Hopkins and Justin Fenwick.
Youth Council representatives (l to r) Robert Green, Elia Hauge, Cara Maku, Zoey Hopkins and Justin Fenwick.
Members of Byron Shire Youth Council made their maiden speeches at their first official gathering in the Byron Council chambers last week.

The 15 young people, aged from 12 to 18, represent a broad range of youth interests and experiences from five local schools.

Mayor Cr Jan Barham congratulated the group on their nomination and Crs Basil Cameron, Diane Woods and Simon Richardson presented them with certificates and a Youth Council package, including a diary to manage the responsibilities of their new role.

Ngurung Brown, the youngest member of the group, helped his mother Delta Kay in a very heartfelt Welcome to Country.

Youth Council spokesperson Cara Maku said members of the group diverse ackgrounds and interests from political interests to environmental awareness and commitment to social justice.

“One thing we all have in common is our passion and ambition in giving young people a voice and improving the lives of young people and the community in the Byron Shire,” she said.

As part of their responsibilities, many of the young people are committed to improving the community’s perception and relationship with the youth of Byron Shire.

“Young people are not an alien race, nor are parents or other adults,” said Ms Maku.

“We are all human beings and part of the networks that make up our society.”

The council’s youth development officer Rita Youssef-Price said the group would help coordinate the Byron Shire 2010 National Youth Week event and were keen to involve other local young people.

Ms Youssef-Price said also high on their list of priorities were issues such as transport, safety and a strong focus on building community networks, especially for young people in the north of the shire.

“Young people need to feel that they belong in this community,” she said. “Supporting young people to have a voice, and to participate in the community life of the Shire, is an important role for the Youth Council.”

The Youth Council will form small working groups, inviting other young people to help respond to community and youth issues over the next 12 months.

If you are a young person aged between 12 and 21 years, and would like to be involved or want further information, please contact Rita Youssef-Price on 66267000.

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