Southern Downs Youth Council commences

At the meeting last week, students discussed their first agenda item of the year.

By Dominique Tassell

The 2022 Youth Council received their badges from Southern Downs Regional Councillors at a presentation on Thursday 12 May, after which motivational speaker Cameron Callope presented and students discussed their first agenda item of the year.

The 2022 Youth Council participants are:

• Leigham Portener and Amity Willett from Assumption College Warwick

• Christoper Calvisi and Trentham Daveson from Stanthorpe State High School

• Aamilyn Johnson and Faith Quach from Warwick Christian College

• Maggie Myer and Darcy Noller from Scots PGC College

• James Henry and Elena Thomson from Warwick State High School

• Joey Bronger, Guthrie Douglas, and Isabella Fletcher from the School of Total Education

• Claire Williamson and Brigid O’Dea from St Joseph’s School

• Oscar Briggs, Jackson Sparksman, and Denovan Oloman from Allora P-10 State School

• Toby Paterson and Mac Lehman from Killarney P-10 State School, who were not in attendance due to flooded roads

The first agenda item of the year, put forward by Jackson Sparksman, was about road safety.

Jackson stated he was concerned about road safety on the Cunningham Highway and the New England Highway.

He said the lack of maintenance means it’s “not safe to be driving around on”.

“That split second is enough to distract a driver or send someone onto the other side of the road.”

Jackson said potholes can cause accidents, and he would like to make our roads safer for locals.

Mayor Vic Pennisi stated he would like to have Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) staff attend the next meeting to speak on this issue, then offered to have Jackson sit on the road safety group.

He then spoke at length about the difficulties SDRC faces when dealing with roads in our region.

He said recent rain had made maintaining our roads particularly difficult and then detailed the process SDRC must go through to get funding from the Queensland Reconstruction Authority to fix roads.

Jackson said roads should be fixed properly to begin with and paperwork should be reduced.

A second agenda item from Maggie Myer about recycling was held over for the next meeting.

Mr Callope spoke about his journey from a small town on the cape to working in LA with stars like Snoop Dogg and the Kardashians.

He stated he spent time in a maximum-security prison at age 19 and was homeless for a period of time.

But his persistence, knocking on doors of clubs and asking to perform as a rapper until they gave him a shot, paved the way for success.

Mr Callope went on to win national music awards and has worked with an array of big-name celebs.

He then went on to study for his bachelor’s degree at the University of Queensland, and now attends Harvard Medical School.

He stated that his journey had taught him courage and “the meaning of resilience”.

Mayor Vic Pennisi and Crs Jo McNally, Sheryl Windle, and Marco Gliori attended the badge presentation.

Cr Andrew Gale made apologies after a health incident. Crs Cameron Gow, Stephen Tancred, and Cynthia McDonald also made apologies.

The next Youth Council meeting will be held in Stanthorpe in August.