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Largest youth council sworn in at Mitchell Shire Council

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Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic is a senior journalist for the North Central Review primarily covering politics at all levels and sport with a particular interest in basketball. Since 2019 she has worked for several publications across Victoria including most recently at the Alexandra Standard and Yea Chronicle. She is always keen to hear from local community members about issues they face and has an interest in crime and court reporting.

Mitchell Shire Council’s largest youth council of 13 members was sworn in during its July 17 meeting, with additional positions created to reflect community needs in ongoing flood recovery.

Youth council is a representative committee of the Mitchell Shire Council, providing an opportunity for contributions from youth towards council decision-making.

Councillors can serve an ongoing term of up to four years while between the ages of 12 and 24.

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North ward

Evie Bricks is debuting on youth council with experience in leadership through representative roles on the student representative council and as a scout patrol leader. She is passionate about creating opportunities for young people to connect in their communities.

Hannah Handford is undertaking her second year. She creative, enjoys art and is passionate about physical and mental health.

Ayla Davis, in her first year on youth council, is also secretary. She is a strong leader for her year 11 peers and volunteers at a Greyhound adoption centre.

Second-year councillor Nic Houghton has great communication and social skills demonstrated through his role as secretary this past year.

Cena Marshall is debuting on youth council and is passionate about helping people in her community.

Taylah Macdonald is a new councillor who is enthusiastic about making the community a better place. She has assisted Seymour Aquatic Centre during Seymour’s most recent floods and was a leader during a school camp.

Year six student Heidi Banks is undertaking her first year on youth council. She strongly advocates for environmental issues and has participated in Clean Up Australia Day events.

Central ward

Youth Mayor Bailey White is in his second year on youth council. He has been on the junior school council, as well as the school captain and a member of his school’s representative council. Bailey is extremely passionate about helping others and representing the community.

Deputy mayor Danielle Spratling is debuting on youth council. In her role as college captain, Danielle demonstrates outstanding leadership skills. Outside of school, Danielle participates in community events, including the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, fundraising for the women in leadership development program, is a mentor for her workplace and is an operational CFA volunteer.

First-year councillor Jeremy Stute is passionate about making sure council is inclusive, especially for the LGBTQIA+ community. Jeremy is a member of Broadford Secondary College’s Of All Colours group and helped host a pride day for students.

Elena Skala is a first-year youth councillor who has demonstrated her leadership skills through junior school council.

South ward

Jack Jones is debuting on youth council. He attends Wallan Youth Room and is a natural leader who takes into consideration the perspective of others. He volunteers for Aussie Hoops, assisting in teaching basketball skills to students aged four to 10.

Returning for his third year on youth council, Cooper Price is passionate about equality, safety and community connection. He is a strong advocate for the No Quarry campaign and has been a mentor for younger youth council members.

Mayor Bailey joined youth council as he had a passion for helping community members and wanted to share new ideas.

“Youth council provides a lot of opportunities. Last year we did emotional intelligence training with the Australia School of Entrepreneurship and learnt about the many different aspects of a person’s feelings and emotions,” he said.

“I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to participate in this type of training if not for youth council.

“There are many future projects I’d like to put forward on behalf of the community, including multiple skill workshops, competitions, fundraisers and awareness-raising campaigns.”

Deputy mayor Danielle said youth council sounded like a perfect opportunity to get involved in local government and make a difference for young people in the shire.

“I joined because I want to make sure young people are being represented, factored into important conversations, and their struggles are being appropriately addressed,” she said.

“I want to focus on youth health, especially physical health and health literacy, following the pandemic and the prevalence of family violence in Mitchell Shire and its impact on our youth.

“I really like this group of youth councillors and can’t wait to work together with them to support positive change.”

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