Federation Youth Council present yearly report to Council

Published on 08 January 2020

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The Federation Youth Council presented to Council about their progress over the last twelve months and future planning for the next year at the Ordinary Council meeting on Tuesday 17 December 2019.

The Federation Youth Council meets monthly under the leadership of Youth Mayor, Dylan Forge assisted by Deputy Mayor, Max Blockley. In addition to Youth Councillors Forge and Blockley, the other Youth Councillors are Tyler Martin, Olivia Hughes, Noah Little, Ellen Lavis, Molly Pierce and Jacob Reid. Each member continues to take turns on developing the agenda and taking the minutes for the meeting. 

Over the last twelve, the Federation Youth Council have worked on multiple projects across the Federation Council area. Corowa Boomerang Bags and the Federation Youth Council partnered in February to coordinate a school competition with Corowa’s four local schools. The theme was Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose and Refuse. Primary students created posters and a Year 8 class at Corowa High School developed short video presentations.

As part of the 2019 NSW Youth Week in April, the Youth Council worked with Councils’ Community Project and Events Officer to deliver Corowa’s First Colour Run. Over 130 participants came together to participate in 5km fun run and raise awareness of youth mental health. 

In July, the Youth Council collaborated with the Howlong Public School to design a concept to be included on the sides of the ping-pong table located at Lowe Square. The Youth Council chose six winners where elements from all of the entries received were incorporated into the final design produced by Youth Councillor, Olivia Hughes.  Local sign writer, Sheldon’s Sign Shop, painted the design directly onto the table and it has created a unique functional public art piece that promotes physical activity, fun and space activation. 

In early 2019, the Youth Councillors continued to advocate and support the establishment of soccer group in the Federation Council area. By mid-year, the Youth Council were able to cut ties with Corowa’s social soccer group, and it has become a fully functioning separate entity under the name Corowa Soccer. This was a massive achievement for the group and they learnt a lot about perseverance and the importance of establishing relationships with multiple stakeholders. 

The Youth Council attended the Blacktown Youth Conference in September in Sydney. This provided them with the opportunity to make connections to other like-minded youth who wished to share the issues that were affecting their community from both rural and city areas. They wish to thank the Councillors for the opportunity they provided. 

The Youth Council recently engaged artist Kade Fielder and collaborated with students from the Corowa High School to create a mural in the Memorial Plaza. The mural is stage one to revamp the Memorial Plaza into a more vibrant community space. The Youth Council hope to further develop the area and suggestions been considered include a public BBQ, water bubbler, Wi-Fi facilities, power access, inclusive furniture, festive bunting and new lighting.

Working on community projects allows the Youth Council to develop their communication skills, teamwork, leadership and decision-making skills. They engage with a range of stakeholder and it strengthens their community engagement and the role they play in Council. 

Moving forward the 2019 /2020 Federation Youth Council have a number of projects planned or in the pipeline. 

The Youth Council will launch its own social media pages called “I am Federation” in January 2020 including Facebook and Instagram. The Youth Council sees social media as an important communication tool to be able to engage residents aged between 15 and 25 years. The “I am Federation” social media pages aim to provide a platform to inform and engage the youth of Federation Council about what is happening and what is available for young people in the area. 

After the success of the 2019 Corowa’s First Colour Run, the Youth Council are looking forward to planning a similar event or activity for Youth Week 2020. Youth Week in NSW runs from 1 - 9 April 2020. 

The Youth Council recently proposed a mud run event in Mulwala to Council to be considered for funding under the Stronger Country Communities Round 3. 

The Youth Council also wish to start a mentoring project with their Councillor counterparts. The mentorship program would expose them to the bigger picture in Council leadership and improve their understanding of local government.  The initiative aims to support the youth councillors to develop skills in civic leadership, community participation and engagement, and to have a direct voice with their Councillor counterparts. It was resolved at the Council meeting to allow the Youth Councillors to conduct further investigation into this venture, with a casual get together planned for early 2020. 

The 2018/2019 Federation Youth Council projects have been supported through the NSW Government Youth Opportunities Program, NSW Youth Week Grant and the Rural and Regional Youth Participation Grant.