Local youth continue to impress

City of Greater Geelong mayor Peter Murrihy. (Ivan Kemp) 291135_06

By Mayor Peter Murrihy

The challenges the global pandemic has presented in the past two-and-half-years have been profound.

Regardless of a person’s age or social standing, all of us have felt the effects of COVID.

I feel particularly for our youth, who have been robbed of so much during this time.

But what I have been struck by throughout all of this is just how resilient the younger members of our community are.

This was reinforced at last month’s council meeting, when deputy junior mayor, Angelle Mackay, presented the Youth Council’s quarterly report.

Angelle spoke with such passion and authority, and she is a wonderful person to have representing us.

I saw Angelle interview Annabel Crabb as part of International Women’s Day recently and thought she did an extraordinary job.

It made me realise how fortunate we are as a region to have such outstanding young leaders, who are all emerging in front of our very eyes.

The report that was presented detailed some of the achievements of Youth Council and addressed additional opportunities via recommendations such as the introduction of a bin beautification project and a soft-plastic recycling system for the home.

In its regular meetings, Youth Council has identified that providing equitable and safe spaces for young people, supporting a dedicated youth space in central Geelong, and improving the mental health and wellbeing of youth, are clear areas of importance.

So, in line with the recommendations put forward by the Youth Council, the city is in the process of undertaking a feasibility study to inform decision making regarding the future development of designated youth spaces.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the 2022 Youth Council on all of its achievements so far – and I am sure there will be many more to come.

Angelle and the other members are all extremely intelligent and capable young people who represent the diverse perspectives of the youth across the region tremendously.

The group has identified genuine priority areas and it is great to see younger members of our community advocating for their peers and pushing ideas that have the potential to bring about real change in our region.

As councillors we are grateful for the input Youth Council has in the broader decision-making process and for the insights they provide about a section of our community that we should really be hearing more from.

They are our future, and it is incumbent upon us to listen to them and ensure that their views are taken on board and considered as we strive to create an even better Geelong.