Youth Summit Unites Nillumbik’s Young Leaders

Attendees of the Youth Summit gather at the event

Students from schools throughout the Shire united on Wednesday for the second Nillumbik Youth Summit.

The biennial event brings together young people to brainstorm ideas and make recommendations to Council on topics affecting youth, including mental health; climate action; gender equity; alcohol, vaping and drugs; employment; inclusion, and bullying. The event is supported by the Victorian State Government Engage! Grant.

Recommendations out of the summit included mental health first aid training for teachers and young people, an environmental youth group, as well as a range of opportunities identified for the Shire’s new Youth Hub, including job readiness sessions and mentorship programs.

More than 50 students from Diamond Valley College, St Helena Secondary College, Eltham High School, Eltham College, Loyola College, Catholic Ladies College, and Montmorency Secondary College attended the summit at Eltham Community and Reception Centre.

Youth Council Mayor Orianna Edmonds and Youth Council Deputy Mayor Niamh Coffey were the event MCs.

Keynote speakers were mental health and LGBTQIA+ advocate Trent Anderson from headspace, Nillumbik resident and charity founder Libby Fisher from Libby’s Koala and Wildlife Crusade, and Ridmi Dolamulla, who is an activist, gender equity advocate and student support officer at Monash University.

Mayor Ben Ramcharan said the summit was a testament to the insight and drive of our Shire’s young people.

“The key recommendation of the inaugural Youth Summit in 2022 was the establishment of a dedicated youth hub,” Cr Ramcharan said.

“Council and young community leaders advocated in this space and secured State Government funding for our first youth hub, which is set to open in Diamond Creek in the coming months.

“Its services will include mental health support, meeting rooms and outdoor spaces. The success of this and other ideas from the first Youth Summit reflects the innovative and inspirational ideas our young people have to offer. Council is proud to support our youth,” he said.

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