Home » City’s best and brightest youth say farewell for now

City’s best and brightest youth say farewell for now

Daniel Bouwmeester    January 5, 2024    3 min read   

The tenure of the 2023 Ipswich Youth Advisory Council (IYAC) officially came to an end at a special certificate presentation ceremony held early last month.

The 38 young volunteers received acknowledgement for their 10 months of service in providing input to council policies, procedures, and projects.

Woodcrest State College, The Springfield Anglican College, and Springfield Central State High School were among the schools that student members represented this year.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding and Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson Cr Andrew Fechner attended the new 1 Nicholas Street venue to officiate proceedings and offer their congratulations.

Mayor Harding said she was proud of the contributions and achievements of this year’s group of young leaders.

“I commend this year’s IYAC members,” Mrs Harding said.

“They were outstanding young leaders who will help lead Ipswich into the future.”

The 2023 Ipswich Youth Advisory Council (IYAC) members said farewell at their official certificate presentation ceremony last month. Representing Division 2 were Amelia, Asha, Atanasia, Gael, Harsheen, Malae, Olivia, and Pal. They were joined by Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding and Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner (standing seventh and 10th from left, respectively). Image: Ipswich City Council.

Impactful decision-making

IYAC comprises young people aged between 13 to 18 years who come together to raise issues and share ideas that affect young people in Ipswich.

Members first met in February and have participated in several monthly meetings since, including a youth conference and a range of other civic community events.

During their term, they contributed to the development of the Ipswich 2032 Legacy Roadmap and Inclusion and Connectedness Implementation Plan, according to the Mayor.

They were also enthusiastic supporters of the inaugural Brightdaze music festival, held in July, and shared insights into the new draft planning scheme, Ipswich Plan 2024.

Cr Fechner – a former member of IYAC and currently the Council’s youngest councillor – said IYAC is a “significant part of our community” that allows younger citizens to have a say.

“Over the past 10 months they’ve been provided an opportunity to work collaboratively with others to create real change while learning from community leaders, elected officials, and Council staff,” he said.

“I know they’ve also made strong connections and friendships that will last a lifetime, and I look forward to seeing them in the future.”

After serving their first year, members can seek reappointment for a subsequent term.

Applications to join IYAC in 2024 recently closed.

IYAC aims to:

  • Increase civic participation by our youth community;
  • Develop young people’s knowledge of the issues that affect them at a Federal, State, and Local Government level;
  • Provide an opportunity to work collaboratively in a team with other young people to affect real change;
  • Provide a voice for young people in relation to council issues, strategies and plans;
  • Establish strong connections with the Ipswich City Council and elected officials;
  • Extend the leadership potential of young people in Ipswich through collaboratively learning;
  • Provide an increased understanding of community issues, planning, policy and decision-making processes to young people.

For more information, click here or visit the Ipswich City Council website – search “youth advisory” at ipswich.qld.gov.au. Alternatively, you can email youth@ipswich.qld.gov.au or call the Council on 3810 7437.

2023 Ipswich Youth Advisory Council young leaders pictured with Ipswich mayor and councillors.

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Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.