Council supports youth move
Greater Shepparton City Council voted to fully support the Word and Mouth board and committee by providing executive assistance, extra funding and office space to allow the committee members to focus more on their core business — working with young people.
An independent review and changing circumstances encouraged the WAM board to consider the best use of the valuable resources the young people provide with both their time, energy and intellectual skills.
Council’s support and guidance with governance and financial management will enable a better connection with the young people of the community and allow WAM staff and volunteers to do more of what they do best — events, education and information for young people.
The recommendation voted on by council at Tuesday’s meeting includes consulting with stakeholders on Terms of Reference (based on the existing WAM vision); ‘‘To provide a voice for young people in Greater Shepparton to lead, engage, create and shape their communities’’.
‘‘The good faith and constant mutual support between council and WAM, particularly in the current cost and funding environment has made the need to be separate entities counterproductive. All parties are happy that the longevity of WAM has been secured,’’ Word and Mouth Board chair James Oldfield said.
Greater Shepparton City Council children’s and youth services manager Sally Rose said the shift in governance would not result in the loss of purpose of the service and current staff would be accommodated in the transfer of operation from the former Infant Welfare Centre to the council offices.
‘‘Word and Mouth is considered the go-to organisation when the opinions of local young people are sought by council officers, local media and youth service delivery agencies,’’ she said.
‘‘They provide a platform for youth voices to be heard on issues such as government policy, social media and men- tal health and importantly offer opportunities to develop leadership skills for members.’’
To ensure an avenue for young people to contribute to our community is maintained, a Youth Advisory Committee will be set up which will operate similarly to the Disability Advisory Committee and the Positive Ageing Advisory Committee.
The exact make-up of the committee and its terms of reference will be developed with the current WAM army — the existing youth committee.
Planning for a number of WAM events is already well under way and will continue — business as usual.
Kicking up their heels: Dancers take to the floor for the Hokey Pokey at the Victory Hall Ball. Jeff Baker