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Caley and Trey
2013 Youth Council
2013 marks the Blue Mountains Youth Council's 10th year, and from Council's perspective, the involvement of young people is very important - we need to understand how young people throughout the Blue Mountains feel about decisions we make that affect them. It is also a chance young people to educate Council, let us know what's working, what your needs are and your dreams for this city, your home.
Some of the outstanding achievements of Blue Mountains Youth Council so far have been:
- Hosting a visit from the NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People, Gillian Calvert, and doing a formal consultation with the Commission on matters of youth health to inform NSW Health policy.
- Creation of a short film 'I Can Do What You Can Do' - concerning the achievements of Youth Councillor Anthony Fowler, premiered during Youth Week 2007.
- Presentating to Councillors on issues relating to the Glenbrook Skatepark Facility.
- Initiating the SmartStart University Scholarship, a partnership with Blue Mountains City Council and the University of Western Sydney which aims to improve access to University of Western Sydney for young residents of the Blue Mountains.
- Representation on a number of internal and external committees including: the NSW Commission for Children and Young People's Advisory Committee, the NSW Youth Week Committee, the Blue Mountains World Heritage Advisory Committee and most recently the NSW Youth Parliament.
Council is committed to supporting young people's involvement in decision-making, and strives towards creating a positive, healthy, inclusive environment in the Blue Mountains for our young people to grow and thrive.
For more information contact Council's Youth Services Development Officer on (02) 4780 5680.
Here's what some of the current Youth Councillors have to say about their experience:
- Steph: Since starting Youth Council I have had opportunities to do so many things for the Blue Mountains area. I have had the chance to talk to the Blue Mountains City Council about issues that I feel strongly about. I have learned how to run meetings, to be more open about what I find are issues for kids my age and I've learned how to interact with people I have never met before. I really enjoy the monthly meetings where we chat and discuss things we want to talk about. I have also enjoyed meeting different people that are part of Council and the general public. I really appreciate all the work Jo does for us and all thing she offers to us. Youth Council is a great thing to join and it a good way to make a difference and to meet new people.
- James: Youth Council opened up so many opportunities for leadership development and for education in sustainability. I got to go to Powershift run by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) and Youth Lead run by Oz Green. The Blue Mountains Youth Environment Summit was a great experience. I've really enjoyed meeting lots of enthusiastic young people and listening to their perspective on issues.
- Trey: Throughout my run as a Youth Council representative I have had many opportunities I would not otherwise have been given. I've had the opportunity to run activities, facilitate conferences and to present Ideas to the wider community from the perspective of the youth of the Mountains. Being a Youth Council Representative has also allowed me to make many friendships with a bunch of cool people. Also… free food!
- Caitlin: Youth Council has given me the chance to:
- meet new people
- to be heard by council and wider community
- feel like I'm contributing to something worthwhile
- learn to express and develop ideas
- be a part of community events
- feel valued
- gain skills that I can use in later life
- Jayden: Youth Council has been an awesome experience! Being on Youth Council has opened up many opportunities for young people in the Blue Mountains and has given younger people a better voice in the community. Youth Council has been fun, very exciting and yet challenging at the same time. I have learned many things about Council and the way it runs and how it affects youth. The people on Youth Council have created great friendships, and being on it has created a better way to discuss things about the young people living in the Mountains.