Young agents for change

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS -

Stu­dents from high schools around the re­gion brought so­lu­tions to hard hit­ting prob­lems fac­ing their com­mu­ni­ties to the re­cent Young Change Agents pro­gram in De­niliquin.

Young Change Agents is a pro­gram that helps young peo­ple see prob­lems as op­por­tu­ni­ties through the lens of so­cial en­ter­prise.

Par­tic­i­pants from across the re­gion pitched their so­cial en­ter­prise so­lu­tions to prob­lems they had iden­ti­fied in their com­mu­nity to a panel of three judges, in­clud­ing Deni Ute Muster gen­eral man­ager Vicky Lowry, Ed­ward River Coun­cil gen­eral man­ager Adam McSwain and De­niliquin busi­ness woman Sivonne Binks.

The stu­dents ranged from Years 7 to 10, with the judges’ choice ‘GetFed’ be­ing the day’s youngest team from Fin­ley High School and the au­di­ence choice ‘Fab­u­lis’, also from Fin­ley.

The win­ners re­ceived $500 to pro­mote their idea.

The ‘Get Fed’ group — com­pris­ing Fin­ley High Year 7 stu­dents Liam Raf­ferty, Lenny Dat­toli, Har­ri­son King, Matthew Whe­lan and Travis Law­ton — pitched a drought re­lief pro­gram.

Their prize­money will be used to fur­ther re­search an idea to col­lect food waste from metropoli­tan ar­eas and de­liver it to live­stock farms in the lo­cal area.

The ‘ Fab­u­lis’ pitch recog­nised that re­li­able ac­cess to in­ter­net for farm­ers was an is­sue, and pro­posed to es­tab­lish a sys­tem by which they pro­vide farm­ers with in­ter­net ac­cess sub­sidised by ur­ban in­ter­net users.

De­niliquin High School’s Year 9 pro­posed ‘ B Safe’ to the judges — an app fo­cused on drug and al­co­hol abuse and pro­vid­ing an ef­fi­cient and dis­crete way to re­port it to po­lice.

‘‘We thought that in ru­ral ar­eas there are a lot of drugs and al­co­hol be­ing used es­pe­cially by youth,’’ ‘B Safe’ team mem­ber El­iza Barker said.

‘‘The app would al­low you to use SMS or call, and there is also in­for­ma­tion on what to do in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions. When you open the app there is an emer­gency but­ton to call and a map where you can pin­point where you are.

‘‘It’s mostly for peo­ple who don’t feel safe in their neigh­bour­hood and want some­thing they can im­me­di­ately ac­cess on their phone, for peace of mind and com­fort.’’

Deni High’s ‘B Safe’ team (back, from left) Ella Har­vey, Dun­can Hughes, Jack Richards, Max Reeves and Eloise Ritchie; (front) Rosie North, Kirn Rand­hawa, El­iza Barker, Zara Mac­don­ald and Olivia Cath­cart.

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