Next gen council meeting

Article image - Next gen council meeting Central Coast students are the councillors of the future

Local high school students were invited to get a taste of what it’s like to be a Councillor when Central Coast Council, New South Wales, hosted its annual Future Council program.

Students in Years 9 and 10 participated in mock Council meetings in Wyong on Friday 3 August and Gosford on Friday 10 August.
The Future Council program is a partnership between Central Coast Council and Rumbalara Environmental Education Centre.

The meetings provide a practical learning experience about citizenship and local government decision making.

Students had the opportunity to debate topical local issues and cast a vote with the Mayor or Deputy Mayor in the Chair.

Council Director Connected Communities, Julie Vaughan, said Future Council is a great opportunity for students to develop an understanding of how local government works and a taste of the skills and knowledge required to make decisions that affect residents of their community.    

“We work closely with our local schools and make sure the topics relate to the curriculum and what they are studying in their classroom but are also of interest to the broader community.”

Students participating in the forum debated issues including banning plastic straws, offshore gas exploration, clean-powered ‘smart’ transport options, urban forests, coastal erosion, food waste disposal, bikeshare partnerships and the development of a recycling plant, youth centre and music festival site.

Mayor Jane Smith said the students sat in the Chambers with her, in the councillors’ chairs which gave them an authentic experience.

“We are proud to host this program for our local students as we want more young people to participate in civic life and their community.

“I look forward seeing some of these students as leaders in our Council in the future.”