It might be Queensland Youth Week (Friday 1 – Monday 11 April) but Tablelands Regional Council has never stopped celebrating young people in the region.
‘Queensland Youth Week is an annual celebration of young people and the contributions they make to Queensland,’ said Councillor Peter Hodge.
‘But in our region we celebrate this important cohort of our community all year round.
‘Our libraries offer a range of programs for youth and these school holidays you can join Build a Buzzbot and Makey Makey STEM session!
‘We are also facilitating a nine-week course with the students at Kairi State School to help them obtain their Amateur Radio (Foundation Level) licence.
‘The program helps develop the students’ knowledge of radio and provides them with the skills to get ‘on air’ and start building their own antennas and radio equipment.
‘We are also donating a High-Frequency (HF) Radio Kit to the school so they can set up an Amateur Radio Club.
‘Every year we apply for funding to provide traineeships and apprenticeships in TRC and many of these opportunities are filled by young people from our community.
‘At the end of their time with us, many of these trainees and apprentices remain in our workforce, find alternative employment or take up study.
‘This year we have six new trainees and two apprentices joining our workforce.
‘Our multi-agency Safety Squad program with our Disaster Management staff, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (Fire and Rescue, Rural Fire and SES), Queensland Police Service, Australian Red Cross, Tablelands Radio and Electronics Club and Queensland Electrical Safety Office is a huge success.
‘The program teaches young people about the impact of a disaster on their family, school and community, and how to reduce the impacts by being well prepared.
‘We are proud of the new and upgraded play spaces in our community and in recent years we have created a new pump track and upgraded several playgrounds.
‘This year we are creating a new playground in Tolga and a nature play experience in Malanda.
‘We’re also asking the community for input into the planning for an upgrade to the skate park in Atherton.
‘We enjoy supporting the youth in our community through our youth grants program — the Youth Innovation Grant helps youth with the development of innovative projects that benefit our community and the Youth Achievement Grant supports youth representing our region in academic, sporting or cultural activities.
‘We have many young people representing our region across a range of endeavours including Connor LeGear, our Youth Member for Hill in the Queensland Youth Parliament.
‘Connor has been a long-term member of TRC’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) and recently completed a Diploma of Youth Justice.
‘YAC is made up of young people aged 15–25 years who engage with Council and advocate on behalf of youth in the region.
‘Right now they’re doing a halfway review of their Tablelands Youth Strategic Plan,’ said Councillor Hodge.
Catherine English is an enthusiastic and passionate member of YAC who has helped create a tangible link between youth and TRC.
‘My favourite part about YAC is being an active voice for the youth of the Tablelands Region and working together with other youth and community members to create opportunities for the youth of our region.
‘I have been on the committee for three years now, and I hope to continue as a member into the future, said Catherine English,’ Ms English said.