Highlife Magazine - www.highlifemagazine.net - 2016 Young Achievers

Jacob Meiklejohn, one of the new Young Leaders.

Eight new young leaders have been appointed to the Southern Downs Young Leaders Program for 2016 and they hope to bring exciting initiatives to the region as well as tackle youth issues.

This year’s young leaders are: Lianna Allen, Samantha Gianini, Darcie Heaven, Chrishelle Bowman, Brett Lister-Petersen, Bianca Fitch, Jasmine Watts and Jacob Meiklejohn.

Southern Downs Regional Council Youth Development Officer Hailey Cosh said the standard of applications for the positions was very high this year and she looks forward to working with the group.

“The 2016 Team are ready to take on the opportunity and use the program as an initiative to identify exciting projects for young people across the Southern Downs.” Cosh said.

The program continues to work collaboratively with the young leaders in order to address the needs of youth within the community and, according to Cosh, ‘encourages participation to ensure that our diverse range of young people have a voice’.

“The Young Leaders will start the year with a Leadership and Project Planning camp in February, and in May, they will work with Councillors and Senior Council staff to develop the Youth Action Plan for the 2016/2017 financial year,” said Cosh. “The program also addresses the more serious issues within our region with the Young Leaders tackling social issues including homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse.”

Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Councillor Peter Blundell said the youth program was a vital component of the council and he and all the Councillors look forward to working with the young leaders.

“I am always impressed with the ideas and innovation of young people and council is energised by their presence, and we look forward to our 2016 Young Leaders putting fresh ideas into practice.” Councillor Blundell said.

Words by Maddie Vlismas

Images from Warwick Daily News