Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - SHANE FOWLES

THE search for Greater Gee­long’s first Ju­nior Mayor and Youth Coun­cil has be­gun.

Nom­i­na­tions for the city’s new voice for the re­gion’s young peo­ple open on Mon­day.

The Youth Coun­cil, which will meet for the first time in Jan­uary, will fea­ture 12 res­i­dents aged 12 to 17.

Gee­long Youth Awards win­ners Joshua De Hoog and Bran­don Del­low, along with nom­i­nee Ali Ban­dari, yes­ter­day joined Mayor Bruce Har­wood to en­cour­age the re­gion’s next wave of young lead­ers to nom­i­nate for Youth Coun­cil.

Mr De Hoog, an arts and mu­sic win­ner, said the ini­tia­tive was a great step for young peo­ple who wanted to make an im­pact on Gee­long.

“The say­ing of­ten goes that, ‘young peo­ple are the fu­ture’, but young peo­ple are also the present — they’re mak­ing big change now,” he said.

“I think it’s im­por­tant we start to recog­nise young peo­ple and lis­ten to their voices.”

Cr Har­wood said the new body would help bring fresh is­sues to the fore­front.

The coun­cil’s early pri­or­i­ties are ex­pected to in­clude so­cial and com­mu­nity con­nec­tions, men­tal health and well­be­ing, skills train­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and em­ploy­ment.

Pic­ture: ALI­SON WYND

COUN­CIL IN WAIT­ING: Mayor Bruce Har­wood with po­ten­tial youth coun­cil­lors Ali Ban­dari, Joshua De Hoog and Bran­don Del­low vy­ing for the top job.

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