Aiming to make a difference
COMMUNICATION, team building, and leadership were among skills developed by a group of Indigo Shire students under a new program that sprang into action at Beechworth’s Old Priory last week.
Created by Indigo Shire Council’s community development team, the youth ambassador program followed extensive consultation with young people, parents and service providers two years ago.
Youth worker Sal Kimber said leadership training opportunities and stronger voices had been identified among needs for local young people.
The sessions, one each for primary and high school students, were facilitated by professional leadership mentors Rachel and Ollie Macindoe from Melbourne-based The Meeting Space.
Ms Kimber said junior ambassadors from grade 5 represented all fifteen primary schools in the Indigo Shire from Wahgunyah all the way to Sandy Creek.
“It was a fun and engaging first session that focused on leadership, teamwork and fundraising including for Timor Leste’s Atauro Island,” she said.
Twelve senior ambassadors aged between 14 and 18 were from high schools and represented each shire community.
“They focused on positive and effective leader- ship, and built strong connections between themselves too,” Ms Kimber said.
Needs and issues surrounding youth mental health were also part of discussions.
“Mental health was an overall passion for the group and they will be contributing to the youth mental health strategy too,” Ms Kimber said.
Leadership mentor Rachel Murray said the ambassadors had amazing ideas with a passion to become leaders and make change.
With teaching the ambassadors skills in communication, team work and leadership, Ms Kimber said young people would be engaged in creating positive change in their communities.
Tangambalanga’s Zoe Isaac, a year 10 student from Tallangatta Secondary College, said the focus on team building allowed the group to step back and look at what made a great team and a good leader.
Chiltern’s Jedd Dryden, who is a Rutherglen youth action group member, said his aim was to help improve mental health for young people in the shire as well as his leadership skills.
Ms Kimber said the Indigo Shire Youth Ambassadors wanted to make a difference to people’s lives and their communities.
The junior and senior ambassador programs will come together at the next session in late August.
FUTURE LEADERS: Indigo Shire’s Youth Ambassador program participants learnt new from Indigo youth worker Sal Kimber and leadership mentors Rachel Murray and Ollie Macindoe last week.