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Byron Shire
March 30, 2023

Tweed youth council shines light on homelessness and mental health

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The 2018 Tweed Shire Youth Council. Photo supplied.Youth council

Tackling youth homelessness and mental health issues in the community are key concerns for this year’s Tweed Shire Youth Council members who have just had their first meeting.

Now in its third year, the Youth Council, is made up of representatives from public and private high schools in Tweed Shire who meet on a monthly basis to express views on youth oriented matters, while also providing opportunities for the development of communication, confidence and leadership skills. 

Jazmine Cook of Tweed River High School was elected as chair at the meeting and said she is looking forward to the experience. 

‘I decided to join the youth council to gain more knowledge and experience of how a council works and also to hopefully make a difference in our community,’ Jazmine said.  

‘I feel the group we have this year is very strong and I think we may be able to make a difference in youth homelessness and mental illness in the youth community.’

Jaime Coetzee of Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School was elected deputy chair and also spoke about her desire to have a positive impact.

‘I am hoping to assist with the prevalent issue of homelessness in the tweed,’ Jaime said. 

‘I am also excited to understand how the Tweed Council operates and makes their decisions.’

Council General Manager Troy Green was on hand to welcome the group and asked each member directly what youth-oriented services they would like to see established or improved in the local area. 

Council Youth Development Officer Sylvia Roylance said the group’s answers, which ranged from transport to mental health and homeless services, showed them to be engaged members of the community. 

‘On first impression they are all very insightful as to what is going on around them and definitely full of energy and confidence,’ Ms Roylance said. 

‘The Youth Council is a great way to expose young people to a formal meeting environment and gives a lot of insight into how local government works, potentially opening up career pathways they may not have been aware of.

‘As we enter the third year of the program it is great to see the support these kids are getting from their schools which are starting to see the impact of the program as an extension of the leadership roles they encourage students to take on.’

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