|On Wednesday evening the 2017 Hindmarsh Youth Council was launched at a function at the Memorial Community Centre in Nhill with presentations to members of the Council and addresses by two guest speakers.
The thirteen Hindmarsh Youth Councillors for 2017 are Caroline Lee, Ku Say, Elena James and Nan Da San Bleh Dah from the West Ward, (Nhill College), Georgia Gelligen, Bridie O’Halloran, Aiden Gelligen and Jordan Leach from the North Ward, (Rainbow College), Kynan Clarke, Venetia Kardogeros, Brittany Brooking and Danni Haebich from the East Ward, (Dimboola Memorial Secondary College) and the Young Citizen of the Year, Charlotte Kube from Jeparit.
Each Youth Councillor was presented with a framed certificate and official Shire name tag, and Youth and Early Years Officer Meg Hall outlined the opportunities and obligations that these young citizens will encounter during their time in this role.
Pictured above are the Youth Councillors representing the East Ward - Danni Haebich, Venetia Kardogeros, Kynan Clarke and Brittany Brooking who are all students at Dimboola Memorial Secondary College.
Meg Hall also gave an outlined the achievements of the outgoing 2016 Youth Council which included;
The Nic Newling Mental Health Awareness guest speaker visit.
Attendance at the Landcare Planting Weekend where they assisted with the planting of thousands of trees.
Several successful Freesa Events which focused on the social connection between the Shire’s towns.
The School Holiday program
Ran the first Youth Council led and run program in the Walk, Talk and Clean event in Rainbow.
Applied for and were successful in gaining a Heywire grant of $10,000 for the ‘Back to Bush’ youth and family tourism brochure.
Were successful in receiving a VicHealth grant for $15,000 for our Mental Health program, which will run across the next several months with each of our Secondary Colleges.
and have attended several Youth forums to have our rural voice heard.
Six Youth Councillors attend the National Youth Leaders Day, now known as IMAGINATION in Melbourne.
Over the term for the incoming Youth Council, the intention is to expand on most of these activities along with a number of new initiatives.
the creation of a youth and family tourism brochure by the end of the year.
The development of a Mental Health program that proposes that all year 10, 11 and 12 students across the Shire will obtain a Teen Mental Health First Aid Certificate, which will provide young people with the knowledge to help the selves or someone else struggling with day to day life to seek help or just open up to someone, rather than suffering alone.
Freeza events for this year could include a fashion parade and a Battle of the Bands heat.
The Youth Councillors will attend a retreat at the Little Desert Nature Lodge in the middle of May and following this they will hold monthly meetings for the rest of the year.
Following a light meal, the two invited guest speakers were given the opportunity to address the audience.
Ben Holmes is the Rewilding Program manager with Conservation Volunteers Australia and recounted his travels from living on a farm at Toolondo through studying a Science degree at the University of Melbourne and eventually back to the Wimmera where he is now based at the Little Desert Nature Lodge.
Holmes highlighted the role that volunteering had played in the pursuit of his chosen career even in fields not directly related to his desired occupation. The acquisition of skills that can be later used to gain employment is an important part of volunteering.
His work in the Wimmera now involves reintroducing locally extinct species back into the wild.
The second speaker, Sam Robinson grew up in Rainbow and after studying Dentistry at La Trobe University in Bendigo has recently commenced employment with the West Wimmera Health Service Dental team.
His choice of La Trobe for his further education was based on the benefits of its country location and he enjoyed work placements at various locations around Victoria, along with a two week placement in Vietnam
Robinson appreciates the benefits of working in the country, including a wider variety of patients and the lower cost of living but still have the flexibility to travel and enjoy the benefits of the city.