The City of Greater Bendigo wants to hear from local young people who want to have a stronger voice in their community and are interested in being part of a new City of Greater Bendigo Youth Council.

Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke said the formation of a Youth Council is a key action in the City’s Youth Strategy which was launched earlier this year.

“Young people are the future of our community and the formation of a Youth Council will provide them with the opportunity to learn about local government and have the opportunity to voice their opinions to create change,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“There are approximately 18,700 young people currently living in Greater Bendigo and this number is expected to rise to 25,900 by 2036. It’s therefore very important for the City to connect with, and listen to, our young people about their priority issues and empower them to be involved in the decision making that impacts on their lives.”

The Youth Council will be representative of young people and encourage diversity in membership. It will report to the adult Council on the views of young people about the City plans and programs that impact on them. The Mayor and Councillors will provide the Youth Council with mentoring and support. Youth Council members will also represent young people at civic events and activities. .

“This is a completely new initiative and we are looking for up to 18 young people aged from 14 to 24 to participate,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“It’s a great opportunity for young people who want a stronger voice in our community to meet others with similar interests and ideas, build their leadership skills and develop the knowledge and abilities to affect change. The young people who get involved will also have the chance to develop knowledge in teamwork, meeting processes, organising projects, public speaking, advocating for change and consulting with their peers .”

Expressions of interest are open until Friday 30 November 2018, with Youth Councillors set to be appointed in December. Youth Councillors will undertake induction and training in January, meet the Mayor and Councillors and hold their first meeting in February 2019.

Youth Council Application Form