Students get to share views
■ Students and young people in the Pilbara got a unique opportunity to have their voices heard last week during a visit by the acting Commissioner for Children and Young People.
Jenni Perkins spent several days in Karratha, Roebourne, Wickham and Port Hedland meeting with children and young people, their families and staff of local service providers.
In Karratha, she met with the Crossroads West Karratha Youth Accommodation Service, Karratha Community House, the Regional Youth Co-ordinators Network and students at Karratha Senior High School.
KSHS Year 11 student councillor Hollie Passmore said it was heartwarming to know young people’s opinions were taken into consideration during policy planning.
“It’s nice to know there’s people who want to listen to us instead of just going off and building something without knowing if it’s something we will like or use,” she said.
“In Karratha there should be more on offer.
“We need more stuff to do within our age group because what’s on offer at the moment is aimed at younger kids.” Ms Perkins said her discussions with the students helped give her a more detailed understanding of the needs of young people in regional areas.
“It was wonderful to meet such enthusiastic and engaged students at Karratha Senior High, with the Year 11 leadership group taking time to talk to me about their studies and showing me around the campus,” she said.
“They’ve highlighted what they need as young people in terms of that 16-plus age group, in particular some more spaces for them to engage and do their study.”
“At the Wickham Wirra Club homework centre I had a fantastic conversation with around 30 children on what factors made living in Wickham great and I also joined the early years network group in Karratha for discussions.”
More than 40 people attended a seminar in Karratha by staff from the commissioner’s office on how organisations could increase their focus on the wellbeing of children and young people. Ms Perkins said local services also outlined innovative approaches to improving the wellbeing of children and young people.
“As I find in many regional centres, the issue of access to services was raised by many,” she said.