Ju­nior am­bas­sadors come to­gether

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By CO­RAL COOK­SLEY

FIF­TEEN YOUNG voices – one from each pri­mary school in the Indigo Shire – were heard through a youth strat­egy lead­er­ship work­shop held at Beech­worth’s Old Pri­ory last week.

The year five stu­dents in the ju­nior group of the Indigo Shire Youth Am­bas­sadors pro­gram at­tended a sec­ond one-day ses­sion that fol­lowed the first work­shop held last month, where the en­vi­ron­ment was a keen topic among dis­cus­sion themes.

Fa­cil­i­tated by pro­fes­sional men­tors Rachel and Oliver Macin­doe from Mel­bourne-based The Meet­ing Space, and Indigo Shire youth of­fi­cer Sal Kim­ber, the ses­sion fo­cused on val­ues, lead­er­ship and team build­ing.

Other fo­cuses in­cluded pub­lic speak­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, speech writ­ing and fundrais­ing.

Mr Macin­doe said the stu­dents had re­mained en­gaged in the pro­gram since the ear­lier one.

“They are switched on and show much wis­dom about com­mu­nity is­sues,” he said.

Ms Kim­ber said the am­bas­sadors had to choose a fundrais­ing project that they were pas­sion­ate about.

Among them were breast can­cer re­search and wheel­chair ac­cess for swings at lo­cal parks.

“They have com­mu­nity in­clu­sive ideas,” Ms Kim­ber said.

Mr Macin­doe said the work­shop pro­vided skills in self- aware­ness, the abil­ity to work with oth­ers and lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment.

“Fundrais­ing needs both in­di­vid­ual and group man­aged projects,” he said.

He said ev­ery par­tic­i­pant had taken part in ac­tiv­i­ties such as ne­go­ti­at­ing and cre­at­ing strate­gies.

“It’s been a spe­cial group of kids who we have seen take on projects, stepped up and de­vel­oped con­fi­dence to be a leader,” he said.

Ms Kim­ber said 50 per­cent of funds raised through their projects would be do­nated to Ti­mor Leste’s Atauro Is­land com­mu­nity through Indigo’s Atauro Friend­ship Group.

The group is a com­mit­tee that helped de­velop re­la­tion­ships be­tween Ti­mor- Leste’s Atauro Is­land and Indigo Shire Coun­cil.

Ms Kim­ber said the am­bas­sadors de­vel­oped their own logo and motto of ‘ courage, com­pas­sion, and co- op­er­a­tion’ and ‘ lead­ers of to­day’ branded on their am­bas­sador sweaters.

“It’s about em­pow­er­ing them to make pos­i­tive change in com­mu­ni­ties and they will be cham­pi­ons for the en­vi­ron­ment too,” she said.

In Oc­to­ber the young group will join forces with the 14 to 18 year- old youth am­bas­sadors in a ses­sion for their united voices to fur­ther con­trib­ute to the shire’s youth strat­egy.

PHOTO: Co­ral Cook­sley

FU­TURE LEAD­ERS: The ju­nior group from pri­mary schools in the Indigo Shire Youth Am­bas­sadors pro­gram gath­ered for a one-day lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment ses­sion with Mel­bourne’s Rachel (sec­ond row left) and Oliver Macin­doe and Indigo Shire Youth Of­fi­cer Sal Kim­ber at the Old Pri­ory last week.

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