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Hawkesbury to Hold Youth Summit After 7 Year Gap

Dec 15, 2023

The Hawkesbury will be home to a council sponsored Youth Summit in 2024, the first for the region in seven years, after the council voted in favour of the event at its last meeting of the year on December 13.

Formerly held every two years, it was not held in 2019 and then appears to have fallen by the wayside during the disruption of COVID ( 2020-2022). The Summit will be held in second half of 2024, and funding for the holding of the Summit will factored into the 2024-2025 Budget. It was proposed to Council by its resident school teacher, independent Councillor Nathan Zamprogno.

He noted in his successful motion to Council that: “The 2017 summit report is still regularly referenced for current purposes, such as the Assessment Criteria Matrix used in processing applications for various Community Sponsorship programs (three references this year alone).

“While I’ve been working as a local high school teacher, I’ve been amazed at how eager young people are to give their opinions about the world they are growing up in, and charge the generations above them very directly with responsibility for things they think need changing. It’s wonderful to engage them,” Cr Zamprogno told the Hawkesbury Post

“People aged 5-24 are over a quarter of our population, and have opinions worth listening to. When I realised that Council had neglected their commitment to hold a Youth Summit every two years, I was motivated to ensure they were resurrected,” he said.

The official readout from the 2017 Summit found that it was designed to be an opportunity ‘for young people to raise with Councillors and Council staff issues of importance to them and to begin to offer ideas and solutions to these issues.”

It found that the main issues for youth in the region were:

  • A lack of public transport.  
  • Mental Health and a lack of Mental Health services.  
  • A lack of youth activities & facilities.  
  • Alcohol & Drugs.  
  • A desire to maintain the Hawkesbury’s natural heritage.  
  • Competitiveness in friendships.  
  • Youth employment options.  
  • Bullying.  
  • A desire for more inter-school events

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