Young people need voices heard on way ahead for Cairns
They might only be 12 years old, but JOSHUA and TAL PELACH have clear ideas about the way ahead for Cairns. It is, after all, their future that is at stake. The bright young twins were chosen by Education Queensland to write for the Way Ahead campaign.
HAD we been asked to write this piece two years ago, the prospect of writing for a newspaper would have seemed impossible.
The idea of a student having their voice heard, and loudly in this case, would have seemed remote.
Now at the age of 12, being sport and school captains at Trinity Beach State School, we feel that our voice and the voices of many other young people could be heard with greater clarity beyond the school grounds.
We think a youth council with positions of authority held by young people could lead to a brighter future for Cairns.
This could involve the election of mature and capable children who could raise awareness of issues they feel strongly about or have been informed of by other members of the community.
Not only would this provide young people with an opportunity to be heard on issues that concern them, it would also create a training-ground for the next generation of leaders.
We believe one of the key reasons young people have no involvement in social and political decisions is because they don't have enough knowledge to influence debate and feel that their voices will be ignored.
Having the opportunity to take part in a youth council as a school elective would be a great educational experience and would provide adult society with a different perspective.
Some of the issues we would like to see discussed by a youth council include the development of events and spaces that are organised, run and for young people.
One example might be a permanent graffiti wall or a place where kids feel free to creatively express their feelings in any way they like.
A youth council could also include things such as meetings, newsletters and taking action on issues that are of importance to young people.
Even creating an opportunity for young people to express views to the adult council would help everyone see problems and improvements from more than just one perspective.
The participation of all voices in society is the key to our future.
Comments on The Cairns Post's Way Ahead campaign can be emailed to email@example.com
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Speaking up: Trinity Beach State School captains Joshua and Tal Pelach. Picture: MIKE WATT