City welcomes new Youth Councillors for two-year term

The City of Greater Bendigo has formally appointed 18 Youth Councillors for the 2021-2022 Youth Council term. 

The group was endorsed at last night’s Council meeting and the outgoing councillors were thanked for their contribution. 

The Youth Council represents the voice of young people aged 14 to 24 years who live, work and study in Greater Bendigo, and provides the perspective of young people to support Council decision making. 

Mayor Cr Jennifer Alden said she looked forward to working with the young cohort. 

“I am excited to work with the new Youth Councillors and hear their perspective on a range of local issues. In particular, they will have a key role in shaping Council’s new community vision, Council Plan and other important strategic documents that must be developed before the end of the year. They will also support the review and development of a new Youth Strategy for the City,” Cr Alden said. 

“The first Youth Council was appointed two years ago and in that time it assisted the development and delivery of the Department of Health and Human Services’ ‘Keep in Touch’ program, attended the School Strike for Climate Change, made a submission to the City’s Economic Development Strategy and All Ages All Abilities issues and opportunities paper, submitted to the Victorian Government’s LGBTQI Strategy, and participated on a number of City advisory and reference committees.

“This is a great initiative to grow the leadership capabilities of local young people and I am pleased to see a variety of age groups and interests represented on the Youth Council. Council looks forward to their contribution over the next two years and sincerely thanks the outgoing Youth Councillors and congratulates them on their efforts.” 

Members of the new Youth Council were appointed following an expression of interest process in November 2020 that attracted 30 applicants.


Meet the 2021-2022 Youth Council

Abby Hayes, 14 – a student at Weeroona College Bendigo with a strong passion for the LGBTIQI+ community. 

Annalisa Rich-Jones, 17 – is completing her final year of VCE at Bendigo Senior Secondary College, whilst also working part time in retail. Annalisa has a strong interest in politics and economics. 

Charlotte Brook, 18 – has just completed her VCE at Catherine McAuley College and has a strong interest in climate change and global warming. 

Emily Pennington, 14 – is a student at Bendigo South East Secondary College. Emily is a keen netballer and will play with South Bendigo in 2021.

Ildi Clemens, 17 – is about to begin year 11 at Girton Grammar School. Ildi is a keen swimmer and passionate about the environment and sustainability. 

Jack Smith, 21 – is a returning Youth Councillor who brings a great deal of knowledge from his experience working with the YMCA Youth Parliament and Orygen Youth Health Advisory Group. Jack is studying a Bachelor of Applied Science/Master of Occupational Therapy at LaTrobe University Bendigo. 

Julia Hunt, 19 – is studying at Bendigo TAFE and brings great experience and influence from being a Youth Leader for her local youth group. Julia is looking forward to influencing change through the development of youth-focused programs and projects. 

Julius Krelle, 16 – is a student at Girton Grammar School. Julius is looking forward to continuing the Youth Council’s work to make Bendigo one of the most liveable regional cities. 

Lilly Sukkel, 14 – attends Bendigo South East College. Recently Lilly won the Young Change Agents Coronavirus Challenge where she designed a plant subscription box service to connect people virtually and build a community of people growing plants in their home. 

Maggie Alice, 18 – currently splits her time between studying a Certificate III in Dance and developing her new dance school. Maggie brings the unique perspective of a home school student and is passionate about representing and advocating for all home school students. 

Max McKellar, 14 – is a year 8 student at Bendigo South East College. Max is very passionate about youth mental health and keen to see more opportunities for young people to come together and socialise post COVID-19. 

Mia Thomas, 15 – is a student at Bendigo South East College with a passion for all things STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Mia is keen to see more opportunities for young people to come together and have their voice heard. 

Paw Ku Htee, 22 – is currently studying Certificate III in Community Services through Access Skills Training. Paw is a young leader in the Karen community, working with Bendigo Community Health Services to facilitate youth groups for Karen young people who have been living in Australia for less than five years. 

Remus Brasier, 15 – is a student at Girton Grammar School. Remus is passionate about advocating on behalf of all young people across Greater Bendigo. Remus is a returning Youth Councillor and is looking forward to building on the knowledge and experience of his previous term. 

Ryan Peterson, 22 – is a returning Youth Councillor and former Youth Mayor. Ryan is passionate about growing career opportunities in Greater Bendigo in design and technology.  

Victoria Tangey, 20 – is studying a Bachelor of Real Estate and Property/Bachelor of Commerce with Deakin University. Victoria is passionate about making an impactful difference on the community and for the young people who call Greater Bendigo home.

Zahra Chowdhury, 16 – wants to advocate on the ideas and issues of young people in the community in order to create change that would benefit the community of Bendigo positively. Zahra is a student at Girton Grammar School. 

Holly Davey, 18 – is passionate about equality for everyone, especially the growing acceptance of the LGBTIQ+ community. Holly sees the Youth Council as a great platform to advocate for better access to services in the community. Holly is completing her VCE in 2021.



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