The Bega Valley Shire Youth Council for 2014-15 has held its first meeting following the appointment of the 11 nominees by the parent Council last week.
Mayor Bill Taylor said the Youth Council offers young people from across the shire an opportunity to develop skills in a range of areas such as leadership, mentoring and community engagement.
“It also allows council to gauge the opinion of a diverse range of young people on issues affecting them,” he said.
“A mix of returning and new members provides a good balance of experience and new ideas for the Youth Council.
“They are a group of highly motivated young people who want to make a difference in their community.”
The members of the Youth Council are Garry Prothero, Sarah Halin, Caitlin O’Bryan, Tas Fitzer, Niamh Nicol, Imogen Pittolo, Jaimee Inkster, Meg Smith, Madeline Gordon, Kacey Radford and Ashlee Walker.
Meg Smith is 17, lives in Pambula Beach and studying by distance education with Karabar. She says she would like to work on Youth Council projects that mean something for young people. After the sleep out recently Meg decided she would like to learn more about event management and work on projects that support youth issues in the Shire.
Madeline Gordon is 16, lives in Merimbula and studying at Sapphire Coast Anglican College. She says she is looking forward to contributing to the community and making a difference on youth issues through the Youth Council.
Ashlee Walker is 17, lives in Merimbula and is studying at Bega High school. She says entertainment and boredom are two large issues for young people in the Shire. She hopes Bega Youth Space will provide local teenagers with somewhere to go and something to do. She also hopes the Youth Council will address transport issues in the Shire.
Garry Prothero is 17, lives in Tathra and is in year 11 at Bega High School.
Garry says he nominated for the youth council because the next generation need to take responsibility for programs and projects happening in the local area. He has a lot to offer the youth council because he is a good communicator and will use his skills in support of projects that address issues such as youth homelessness.
Sarah Halin is 17, lives in Bega and is in year 11 at Bega High School. She believes in the possibility of change and wants to be involved in creating positive changes for youth in the Bega Valley Shire. Sarah’s concerns are youth homelessness, teen sexual health and transport accessibility for people her age and would like to see the Youth Council get involved with World Vision’s Youth Ambassador Program.
Caitlin O’Bryan is 17, lives at Candelo and studying year 11. She works part time and nominated for the Youth Council because she “wants to contribute to the Council and give kids the opportunities she always wanted growing up”. Caitlin’s main concerns are underage drinking and related problems and she wants to actively promote healthy and safe choices for her peers.
Tas Fitzer is 18, lives in Tathra and is currently studying year 12 at Bega High School. He has a passion for social justice. Tas participated in poverty awareness projects this year and is keen to raise awareness of these issues not only locally but also globally. On the Youth Council he will lend his support to projects that address transport and entertainment for young people in the Shire.
Niamh Nicol is 17, lives in Brogo and is in Year 12 at Sapphire Coast Anglican College. She says she is “very interested in global inequalities and the politics behind them”. She hopes her membership of the Youth Council will bring opportunities to share her passions for evoking change regarding issues of social justice and poverty both locally and internationally. She also has concerns about mental health issues for young people.
Imogen Pittolo is 18, lives in Bega and in year 12 at Bega High School.. Imogen’s interests include drug and alcohol awareness programs and other projects that promote health and wellbeing.
Jaimee Inkster is 17, lives in Bega and studying year 11 at Bega High School. She is into music, trying new things and a self-confessed easy going person.
Kacey Radford is 16, lives in Tathra and studying at Bega High School. She is concerned about the lack of employment opportunities for young people and that access to tertiary education is a problem for young people. She hopes to work with the Youth Council on addressing these problems.