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Students tackle global issues at the South Coast Youth Leadership Forum

During the weekend 21-23 October seven Year 10 students (Olivia Clifton, Jacob Thompson, Noah McMillan, Will Grootenboer, Josh Davey, Jasmine Dickinson, and Rachel Hill) were involved in the South Coast Youth Leadership Forum.

On the Friday morning, along with 65 other young leaders, we were greeted by a traditional welcome dance performed by Indigenous locals at the Council chambers. Inside the chambers, both our new mayor, Amanda Findley, and Federal member, Ann Sudmalis, spoke to us. The weekend was spent doing workshops that challenged us in our leadership skills. These included: public speaking; finding our ‘why’; stereotypes; and goal settings. These workshops were extremely helpful - giving us many insightful ideas and new skills and inspiring us in our leadership roles.

Throughout the weekend we worked in groups that revolved around global issues, such as poverty, gender equality, and climate change. We also split into smaller groups to brainstorm ideas around ‘globalisation’ which is a global issue first being solved locally. By the end of the weekend we were required to give a presentation, of our ideas, to the rest of the group. This was to help us, as young leaders, to use the skills we had learnt throughout the weekend to make a change within our community. Many groups are extremely eager to start implementing their ideas.

The winning idea! Jasmine Dickinson and Rachel Hill were part of the winning group along with two Year 12 St Johns students and a student from Kiama. Their group chose the issue of ‘poverty’, and in particular, focusing on the homeless and health.

They decided to make ‘Bags for the Better’. They will make up different bags, containing hygiene items, for women, men, children, and babies.

They plan to meet, once a month on a Sunday afternoon, to make up the bags and then distribute them the following Tuesday night. The Vinnies Van goes around every Tuesday night, to the homeless, and the group thought it would be a good and safe way to distribute the bags to the homeless if they could go along on the Vinnie Van.

They are also planning on approaching companies to sponsor the bags, as well as asking various local companies and schools to donate items. They plan to put a box or bucket at each place so that people can drop in donations as they choose.

What a great idea girls, well done!

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