Applications for the Youth Advisory Committee will open on 11 November 2019.
> What is the Youth Advisory Committee?
The City of Whittlesea is establishing the inaugural Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) for 2020. The YAC will be made up of between 8 – 15 young people aged between 12 – 25 years who have strong connections to the Whittlesea Local Government area (live, work, study or regularly spend time within the municipality). The YAC will be a key way for Council to hear about the issues that are important to local young people and provide an opportunity for young people to have genuine input into the development of their local community.
The key roles of the Youth Advisory Committee will be to:
- Provide opportunities for young people to connect with and provide information to Council on issues that are important to them, through consulting with local young people and bringing this to Youth Advisory Committee meetings for discussion.
- Share information with committee members, elected members and Council on young people’s experiences of local services and programs in the municipality.
- Offer advice and advocate to Council on current issues and emerging trends for young people and implications these might have for how young people connect with services across the City of Whittlesea.
- Provide feedback and input to Council on relevant policies, strategies and key developments as determined by the committee members – some of these discussion areas may not be within the direct control of Council, however the City of Whittlesea will seek to support the committee’s broader advocacy goals.
> Which suburbs make up the Whittlesea Local Government Area?
The Whittlesea Local Government extends from Bundoora all the way to Beveridge. The municipality is sectioned into three areas known as Wards. These are:
- North Ward: Includes the suburbs of Whittlesea, Beveridge, Humevale, Eden Park, Donnybrook, Woodstock, Yan Yean, Mernda, Doreen, part of South Morang and Kinglake West
- South West: Wollert, Epping, Lalor, Thomastown
- South East: Mill Park, part of Bundoora and part of South Morang.
> Who can apply?
Young people aged between 12 – 25 years of age who have a strong connection to the City of Whittlesea are encouraged to apply for a position on the YAC. This can include young people who live within, work, go to school/TAFE/Uni within or spend considerable time within the CoW area.
We are particularly keen to ensure that the YAC is a diverse group of young people able to represent to varying experiences and groups of young people who connect with the municipality. This includes young people from diverse cultural backgrounds, young people who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, young people who identify as LGBTIQ+ and young people who identify as having a disability.
We are also interested in engaging with young people who have experienced homelessness and/or out of home care, young people who are carers as well as young people with diverse and creative interests and are seeking to engage with diverse communities of young people across the municipality.
> How will YAC applications be assessed?
All applications will be assessed by a panel of 1 Council Officer from the Youth Services team, four young people and an elected member. All applications will have identifying information removed before assessment to ensure young people are all assessed equitability.
> How often will the YAC meet?
The YAC will meet for formal meetings once a school term – so in total, formal YAC meetings will occur 4 times per year. In between meeting times, YAC members will be provided with training around how committees run and make decisions, how local government works and how to connect and consult with young people across the local area. Support to undertake this will be provided by the City of Whittlesea Youth Services Team.
> Do my parents/guardians have to give consent for me to participate?
If you are aged under 18 years of age we do require parent/guardian consent for you to participate in the YAC. However, if you have concerns about this, please contact Liz Wyndham at the Youth Services to discuss your particular circumstances. Liz can be contacted on phone 9404 8800, mobile 0407 670 185 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
> What issues with the YAC be working on?
This will be up to the YAC and the young people they consult with.
The Youth Services staff will provide support to ensure YAC members have access to up to date and relevant information to help in properly informing discussions to ensure YAC members are able to make recommendations to Council that are purposeful and achievable. However, the purpose of the YAC is to hear directly from young people about their experiences of the CoW and their needs/feedback/concerns.
> When will the YAC meetings be held?
The YAC will meet formally once a term on the dates outlined below:
Term 1: Monday 2nd March
Term 2: Monday 18th May
Term 3: Monday 17th August
Term 4: Monday 9th November
Meetings will be held in Council Chambers from 6pm – 8pm.
There may be some lead-in work required in preparation for meetings, this will be discussed with YAC members in plenty of time prior to the meetings and will be kept to a minimum.
> Where will the YAC meetings be held?
Meetings will be held at the City of Whittlesea Civic Centre 25 Ferres Boulevard South Morang. Transport support will be available for young people who are unable to independently travel to and from YAC meetings.
> Will I be paid for the time spent attending YAC meetings?
YAC members will be reimbursed for their time through the provision of a gift card.
> How will Council act on the recommendations of the YAC?
This will depend on what the recommendation is and whether Council is able to action a plan to respond to the identified issue. Council is keen to hear from and engage with young people and to genuinely address their concerns. If Council is not able to directly address issues raised by young people, Council will seek to advocate to other areas of government on behalf of young people to ensure their voice is represented.
> Who will support the YAC?
The YAC will be provided with administrative support by two staff from the Youth Services Team. The primary support staff member will be Liz Wyndham. Liz is able to be contacted on:
Ph: 9404 8800, mb: 0407 670 185, email: email@example.com
Council staff will be able to support YAC members with training and providing background information but will not influence young people’s discussions/issues to be actioned.
Two City of Whittlesea elected Councillors will sit on the YAC. The elected members for the term of 2020 are: Cr Sterjova and Cr Desiato.
> Do I need to have prior experience on committees/group work?
No. YAC members will be provided with support around how meetings work and how decisions are made on committees. Part of the purpose of the YAC is to provide young people with the opportunity to learn valuable life skills such as how committees operate and the role of local government.
> I don't live in the City of Whittlesea, can I still submit an application?
If you have a strong connection to the City of Whittlesea and feel that you know the areas well and can connect with young people who live/study/work within the municipality, please consider submitting an application.
> How long will young people be part of the committee? Is it a fixed term position?
The initial term for the inaugural CoW YAC is 12 months. As this is the very first YAC, we will be seeing how things go and will let you know if 2020 YAC members are able to complete a second term.
For any other queries, please contact Liz Wyndham on phone 9404 8800, mobile 0407 607 185 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.