Young lobbyists (foreground from left) Ilijah Smith, Connor Henwood, Blake Protheroe and Cameron Hanson enjoy a special moment with teacher Chris Tollner, watched by Youth Council members Angela Bahr, Quentin Chen and Youth Mayor Ricky Dann, along with Cr Tony Perrett and council officer Matt Allard.
Young lobbyists (foreground from left) Ilijah Smith, Connor Henwood, Blake Protheroe and Cameron Hanson enjoy a special moment with teacher Chris Tollner, watched by Youth Council members Angela Bahr, Quentin Chen and Youth Mayor Ricky Dann, along with Cr Tony Perrett and council officer Matt Allard. Renee Pilcher

Primary school students teach us

YEAR Four students at Gympie South State School have proven being young does not prevent them from making a contribution to the community.

In the process they learned something about having a say in the future.

The students thought people walking to the CBD needed a place to sit and relax on the way, so they took the idea to Gympie Regional Council’s Junior Council.

The Junior Council took it on board and recommended it to the ‘grown-up’ council.

Council’s Youth Development staff successfully backed the idea in a report to councillors, who enthusiastically embraced the idea.

Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee chairman Tony Perrett yesterday council will spend $5500 on installing four seats, with shade and landscaping, just on the south side of the Kidd Bridge.

“They just wanted to make a difference,” proud teacher Chris Tollner said yesterday, as the students and their parents gathered on-site, along with junior councillors, Cr Perrett and council’s Youth and Community Development officer Matt Allard.

“Even though they are in Year Four, they thought they could achieve something for their community and they were right,” a beaming Mr Tollner said.

“If you want to have a responsible community, you’ve got to give kids some responsibility.

“It’s no good waiting until they’re 20 and then suddenly saying, ‘Now you’re expected to be responsible’,” he said.

Cr Perrett said the students had stood up and made sure they were counted. “The presentation they made to the Youth Council worked,” he said.

The new seating is not the only idea council adopted after suggestions by the region’s young people.

Council has also endorsed a plan by youth councillors to set up a community internet scheme at Gympie Library to help older members of the community learn about computers.

Gympie Times


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