​Our young people are more than just leaders of tomorrow

Published on:
Wednesday, 21 June, 2023
WALGA updates

I often hear the phrase “young people are the leaders of tomorrow”.

It is true, and their aspirations need to be fostered, but their ideas are also leading to positive change today.

This was driven home for me at the 7 News Western Australian Young Achiever Awards hosted in May, where a group of exceptional young West Australians were commended for their community leadership.

There are so many young people out there doing really great things. Among them was young Morawa police officer Cohen Taylor, who won the Indigenous community leadership award to add to his Mr NAIDOC title in 2022.

Cohen has already proven himself a respected role model for other young people in the community, putting his hand up to visit schools, organise sporting events, run youth emergency services programs and facilitate blue light events to ensure our young people remain active and valued in town.

There are fortunately people like Cohen who lead by example to make their community sing, living in every part of Western Australia.

They are also the kind of people we should continue do everything we can to encourage to run for Council or work in Local Government.

Our sector has long been a major employer of young people. For many, a job in Local Government is an opportunity to give back to the community they grew up in.

For others it is a chance to experience somewhere completely new, or to cut their teeth in the diverse range of jobs on offer in the sector.

We are also seeing more young people than ever put their hands up for, get elected, and be chosen to lead Councils across the State.

Look at Councils such as Mandurah, Bunbury and Capel – all major operations led admirably by Mayors and Presidents aged 35 or under.

And look at Youth Councils run by Local Governments across the State which give aspiring community leaders the opportunity to understand how community representation works from the Elected Members, executives and staff they may one day work alongside.

It is crucial this work to encourage young voices on Council and in the office continues, as they bring fresh perspective which can improve life in our communities – not just for the next generation, but for everyone today too.

Our young people aren’t just the leaders of tomorrow, they are leaders today.

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