By Dominique Tassell
Southern Downs Regional Council noted the minutes of the recent Youth Council meeting at the last Ordinary Council Meeting, shedding light on the concerns of local youth.
On 21 October 2021, the Southern Downs Youth Council held its final meeting for 2021 at the Stanthorpe Civic Centre.
Students from Allora P-10 State School, Assumption College Warwick, Killarney P-10 State School, School of Total Education, SCOTS PGC College, Stanthorpe State High School, St Joseph’s School, and Warwick State High School were present at the meeting.
The Manager of Community and Cultural Services thanked the students for their time throughout the year, their dedication and sharing of ideas.
“They are the future leaders of our community and Council encourages their frank and fearless feedback,” it was stated in the agenda.
Students gave feedback on the Youth Council Program, with half the students stating that the program delivered in only some areas of their expectations while the other half stated it delivered beyond their expectations.
Some students felt that the Youth Council meetings were too short, with there also being the sentiment that there were not enough meetings throughout the year.
General feedback included that some guest speakers were interesting however they took away from the things the group wanted to achieve.
Students also enjoyed the connection between schools that Youth Council gave them, but felt this could also be improved and prioritised.
When asked what topics students were interested in reading about in the media, responses included national politics, mental health, environmental issues and sustainability, natural disasters around the world, new businesses within the community, sports, international news, local efforts to reduce carbon emissions, local people, and information on higher education.
SDRC Mayor, Vic Pennisi, stated when presenting students with their certificates that it is important that the Youth Council move into next year knowing that they matter, that their contributions are important and that they are the future leaders of the Southern Downs community.