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Young leaders of tomorrow encouraged and supported

Published Thursday, 18th April 2019

Dozens of young minds from across the City of Wanneroo have taken part in workshops designed to shape our next generation of community leaders.

Mayor Roberts speaks with students at the Youth Leadership Forum.
City of Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts with Hannah (16, Joseph Banks College), Aiden (15, Butler College), Carly (14, Irene McCormack Catholic College), Shavelle (17, Yanchep Secondary College) and Isabelle (10, Quinns Beach Primary School) at the City of Wanneroo's first Youth Leadership Forum on Monday 8 April 2019.

Aged 10 to 18, over 60 primary and secondary students from nine schools took part in Youth Leadership Forums at the Quinns Mindarie Community Centre and the Wanneroo Civic Centre on 8 and 10 April respectively. The workshops covered topics including the importance of teamwork, different leadership styles and goal setting.

Designed to empower young people to recognise issues, ideas and concerns in their local community, as well as gain valuable leadership experience by identifying innovative and creative solutions, City of Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said the Forums formed a key part of the organisation’s overarching Youth Plan 2018/19-2020/21.

“With 36.9 per cent of the City of Wanneroo’s population aged under 25, it is essential we recognise their strengths and provide opportunities for engagement,” Mayor Roberts said.

“It is important for local government to promote and cultivate leadership skills in young people at a grassroots level, as well as encourage engagement with their local community.

“It was inspiring to see so many young minds attend these Forums and further their understanding of what it means to be a strong community leader.”

Each school was invited to develop a project in one of five categories – environment, safety, advocacy, health and inclusion – and was paired with a Community Advisor who offered coaching and mentorship.

Seed funding, elevator pitches, developing a vision board, outlining a project’s limitations and researching their specific area of interest were popular topics with the young leaders.

Students from Irene McCormack Catholic College were concerned about the health and wellbeing of their peers, and wanted to develop a way for people to anonymously ask for advice and support.

“Everyone goes through a phase where they need help, and it [mental health] doesn’t get spoken about often enough,” Irene McCormack Catholic College student Kaleb (16) said.

Yanchep Secondary College students Jessica (16) and Shavelle (17) want to arrange a cook-up at their school in order to help students who struggled with access to food or didn’t regularly bring lunch.

“We already had the idea last year, but the Forum will help us find out how we can do more with it,” Shavelle said.

Jessica said learning about leadership at a young age helped inspire confidence.

“It will allow us to make a change in our own school and then make change in the wider community,” she said.

Forum participants will spend the coming months working on their proposed community action projects, before presenting the outcomes to the Mayor, Elected Members and key community stakeholders at the Youth Leadership Showcase on Wednesday 4 September 2019.

More articles in the news archive.