Stu­dents get to share views

Pilbara News - - Education - Court­ney Fowler

■ 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.

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