Thursday 20 May 2021

Banyule Youth Summit 2021

Banyule Council invited a group of Year 9 students to participate in the Banyule Youth Summit this year to inform the strategic direction that council takes in developing Youth Services. A group of four Year 9 students represented the School. It was an exciting day full of input and discussion around issues of critical importance to today’s youth. Our students were placed in various discussion forums with other young people from the area, where they developed some recommendations to be made to Council, the groups then presented their findings and shared them with the Council representatives. This summit represents democracy in action and shows the importance of using our voice to bring about positive change. The group of students represented the School very well and are keen to be involved in future summits. Mayor Rick Garotti thanked all the participants for the recommendations they made and vowed to take action in conjunction with the youth.

Reflections on the Banyule Youth Summit

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to attend the Banyule Youth Summit along with three other girls from our year level and we were able to communicate and interact with other like-minded young people. There were around 100 kids representing a multitude of schools from the Banyule district and we were separated into table groups in correspondence to our individual passions. I was a member of the gender equality table and we were able to instigate some really interesting conversation about the social attitudes and stereotypical gender roles and how we as a society can work to change integral values. Did you know that there are more CEOs called John (or Peter, or David) than there are women? We were provided with an amazing morning tea and lunch and many fun entertainments options and I was lucky enough to get beautiful henna on my hand. There were government and local council officials such as the federal, state and local MPs and the Mayor of Banyule sat on the gender equality table and we had the chance to have a friendly conversation with him and explain our ideas for innovation. Towards the end of the day, students from each table were invited to the podium to explain and present their table’s ideas and recommendations which were promised to be seriously considered and taken on by the Banyule Council. One of the recommendations our table put forward was centred around the creation of a series of workshops, put together by young people for other young people. Another solution was around the further education of older Australians and adults in the workplace in a similar style of workshop. All in all, this experience has ultimately given me hope for the future and that there are young minds already working around the clock on global issues such as climate change and discrimination. It was a definite highlight of this year and I am looking forward to other opportunities like this that may arise!

Year 9 student Rosa

On Tuesday, Tharinie, Philomena, Rosa and I all attended the Banyule Youth Summit, along with many students from approximately 15 other schools. Although I was originally unsure about what the Youth Summit would entail, I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to partake in this Summit. When we first arrived at the golf course, where it was held, we each went to the table which we were assigned, based on the issues which we were passionate about. As I believe it is important to discuss issues relating to the environment, especially those relating to food security, I was part of the environment table. To begin the summit, Kareem Al Ansary, the Australian Youth Ambassador for the United Nations conference in 2019, explained his journey in becoming a Youth Ambassador. He also explained how we can take small actions in our everyday lives to help speak up for youth in Banyule and beyond. After a small morning tea break, we set to work at our tables, discussing our particular issue. Our environmental table communicated the many issues regarding e-waste and food security and discussed various solutions which could be implemented in the Banyule area. After a delicious lunch provided by Banyule council, we gathered in the building to present our final recommendations. Government and council officials, as well as Federal, State, Local MP’s and the Mayor of Banyule all attended this summit to listen to our recommendations. A representative from our table communicated our solutions and recommendations, which consisted of a seed planting workshop at the next youth festival, a clothes swap and many more. All of the ideas which were put forward by each table were promised to be carefully considered and looked over. Overall, this experience has extremely insightful and enjoyable, as I feel that it has enabled me to understand the possibilities in the near future and provided me with hope that our future will be in good hands, as there are already many young people leading and developing ideas for a more sustainable future. The summit also helped me express my passion for environmental issues and discuss it with like-minded individuals. I look forward to attending the next summit!

Year 9 student Anita