Secondary school students give 2030 vision to economic committee

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Over 80 students from Greater Bendigo secondary schools have this morning presented their 2030 vision to members of the Greater Bendigo Economic Development Strategy Steering Committee.

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke and chair for the committee said students provided an invaluable contribution to Greater Bendigo – Where People Thrive Discussion Paper and the development of a new economic strategy for the region. 

“It was an opportunity to hear the views of students from Year 10 to Year 11 and their vision for Greater Bendigo in 2030,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“It’s not surprising that their biggest concerns were mental health, education and training and future jobs.    

“This is a community-led strategy. The members of the committee recognise the importance of creating a place where people can thrive with a long term perspective of building more sustainable jobs, whilst improving our health, wellbeing, education and the environment.

“We each have a role to play, and today we were able to hear the concerns of our young people and how they want to thrive in Greater Bendigo.”

Bendigo Education Council Chair Darren McGregor said students gave an invaluable contribution to the development of the new economic strategy.

“The greatest untapped resource in this city is the young. This strategy looks set to begin tapping that resource. These riches are far greater than the gold we have,” Mr McGregor said.

“Education commits to ensuring young people are heavily engaged in the processes of discussing this paper at forums and also commits to young people being involved in whatever final strategy is accepted.”
 

Catherine McAuley College Year 10 student Kate Beekes told the forum that university was not for everyone.

“TAFE is a great opportunity that needs to be encouraged. There are not a lot of pathways for young people to find their groove,” Kate Beekes said.

 

Eaglehawk Secondary College Year 10 student Tom Grant said it was great that young people’s views were being heard at the forum.

“Mental health is being overlooked and it was great that we had the opportunity to have a conversation about it,” Tom Grant said.  

The strategy aims to uplift Greater Bendigo performance to levels equivalent to state and national averages in the following indicators:

  • Year 12 or equivalent educational attainment rate
  • Per capita gross regional product
  • Reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to deliver a net zero carbon city by 2036 or earlier

The discussion areas include local education, training and employment pathways for school leavers and unskilled workers. Increasing university student numbers, developing a jobs and economic growth corridor form Clarkefield to Echuca/Moama.

It is proposed that the Greater Bendigo Economic Development Strategy will be released, following feedback and adoption by the steering committee and the City in 2020. For more details, please visit www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/economic

 

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