Youth group takes lead

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Blackwood Youth Action chairwoman Dr Sarah Youngson.
Camera IconBlackwood Youth Action chairwoman Dr Sarah Youngson. Credit: Tristan Wheeler/Manjimup-Bridgetown Times, Tristan Wheeler Picture: Tristan Wheeler

Blackwood Youth Action is the sole youth representative body in the Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes, after the council voted last Thursday to put its Youth Leadership Team and Youth Services Advisory Committee into recess.

“Issues dealing with how youth respond, what youth needs and requirements are, will be left to Blackwood Youth Action,” shire president John Nicholas said.

Cr Nicholas said the council hoped it would retain a close working relationship with BYA.

As a part of the move, the council will request a representative sits ex-officio on Blackwood Youth Action’s board.

Blackwood Youth Action chairwoman Dr Sarah Youngson said the move would require the group to change its constitution and would have to be discussed by the board.

Cr Nicholas said the council’s role in youth liaison had been diminishing significantly and the action of the council passing that motion was a continuation of that withdrawal.

“I think most of us that have been involved in the shire’s youth advisory committee have realised for some time now that the Blackwood Youth Action group have taken over a significant part of dealing with youth issues,” he said.

“I think this is a measure that will allow the Blackwood Youth Action group to continue to gain momentum in this space.

“I’ve got great confidence in the leadership in that group and I’ve got great confidence in the people on that committee.”

Dr Youngson said the council’s move had taken her by surprise, but it was flattering.

“We are proud to have had that confidence put in us, given to us,” she said.

“I’d like to have a conversation with the CEO and the shire president to really understand what their expectations of Blackwood Youth Action are, moving forward with this new model.

“We’ve always worked well with the shire and we hope that we can continue to have their support in the projects and programs we are trying to run for our young people.”

The initial motion to disband the committee was amended by Cr Nicholas, who moved instead to place it into recess.

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