Giving young people a voice in Nillumbik
by JAMES POYNER
6th February 2023
APPLICATIONS are now being accepted for the Nillumbik Youth Council 2023–25.
Anyone aged 15–25 who lives, works, studies, volunteers, or plays in Nillumbik is encouraged to apply.
The Nillumbik Youth Council acts as a peak advisory group to Council, a formal platform for young people to have their say on issues, needs, and aspirations important to them and impacting on young people in Nillumbik.
Members work together to develop local initiatives and projects for young people and provide advice to Council about how these issues can be addressed.
Nillumbik Mayor Ben Ramcharan said that joining the Youth Council is a great way for young people in Nillumbik to get involved and have a say.
“It’s really exciting to be able to voice your ideas and collaborate with councillors to make a difference in our local area.
“We want to hear from young people in Nillumbik, as their ideas are fresh and innovative.
“They’ve got their finger on the pulse, and it’s important to hear their perspective,” he said.
Following the success of the inaugural Nillumbik Youth Council, former Youth Council Mayor Brianne Keogh told the Diary about her experience as a representative on the Youth Council.
“It’s been a huge honour to be part of Council’s inaugural Youth Council and, in particular, serve as the Nillumbik Youth Council Mayor over the past year after being voted in by my peers in early 2022.
Being involved in the Youth Council has been an opportunity of a lifetime.
Not only have I made new friends with like-minded people, but I have also made a tangible impact on my community.
One of the highlights for the Youth Council in the past year was being part of the inaugural Youth Summit, which saw students from across the Shire come together to discuss the topics that matter most to them and come up with really great short and long-term actions we can implement.
We had 64 young people join us, including students from Catholic Ladies College, Diamond Valley College, Eltham High School, Montmorency Secondary College and St Helena Secondary College, to make recommendations to Nillumbik Shire Council on actions that can be taken to support local young people.
I was amazed by the incredible insight and enthusiasm young people had for creating change in the community and their eagerness to work with Council to make their ideas achievable.
It was an incredible opportunity to be involved in this energising project and a memory which I will look back on fondly.
During my time on Youth Council, I’ve also had the chance to co-design Nillumbik’s new Youth Strategy, emcee and host many local events, help write and produce a 16 Days of Activism campaign video, and lead my own community project, which saw more than 30 young people discover alternative career pathways within the sports industry.
These opportunities don’t come around often, and I’ve enjoyed advocating for the young people of Nillumbik in various areas of interest.
I’m so proud of what the Youth Council have achieved in two years, and I’m excited to see the legacy we leave behind for the next group of young people.
I encourage any young person aged 15–25 years old to consider applying for our next Youth Council in 2023.
You will develop your leadership skills and confidence and get the opportunity to work directly with Council to have a real impact for your community.”
For more information and to apply, visit nillumbikyouth.vic.gov.au/youth-council.
Applications close Sunday, February 12, 2023.