Green light youth congress

Article image - Green light youth congress A ‘Blue Mountains Youth, Environmental and Social Congress: For Young People by Young People’ is taking place in 2016, offering young people the opportunity to take part in planning and delivery of the Congress and gain valuable skills, experience and contacts along the way.

Blue Mountains City Council has secured a grant of $50,000 to deliver a Blue Mountains Youth, Environmental and Social Congress: For Young People by Young People.

Every year, the Blue Mountains City Council invites young people 12–17 years of age and living in the local government area to apply for a position on the Blue Mountains Youth Council. The Council seeks to understand how young people throughout the Blue Mountains feel about the decisions made that affect them, and considers consultation with young people to be an important way to stay aware of what’s working, what needs improvement, and what aspirations are out there for the City.

Mayor, Councillor Mark Greenhill, is encouraging young people from all walks of life to apply so that there is a broad representation of people their age on Youth Council.

“There are many enthusiastic young people living in the Blue Mountains who care about their community and the issues that will affect everyone’s future. This is their chance to have their voices heard and make a difference.”

The Blue Mountains Youth Council also offers a chance for young people to get involved in projects, meet new people, learn new skills and gain valuable experience.

“This year the Youth Council will be able to help organise and deliver a Blue Mountains Youth, Environmental and Social Congress: For Young People by Young People.

“I am pleased that local young people will have this opportunity. By organising the Youth Congress, with support from the Council, young residents can acquire various skills in areas such as project planning, leadership, decision making, community engagement, team building and communication. Such experience will help equip them with valuable skills for the future.”

The Youth Congress organisers will be trained in Leadership Facilitation by the award-winning organisation OzGreen. The not-for-profit organisation educates people around the world, enabling them to take action to improve their environment.

The first two days of the Youth Congress will be spent examining local social and environmental challenges, brainstorming solutions and using decision-making models to determine local projects that make a difference. Their ideas will then be presented to community and business leaders for their support and endorsement. The Blue Mountains Youth Council will be closely involved.

The project will be inclusive and aims to improve mental health outcomes for young people. Research has shown that contact with nature can help reduce the effects of many physical, social and wellbeing challenges faced today.

“The Youth Congress is a great chance for young people to build their capacity and shape their priorities.

“I encourage all young people in the Blue Mountains to be involved and have their voices heard.”

The grant was awarded by the NSW State Government Department of Family and Community Services, as part of the Youth
Opportunities program.