What can we do to help prevent bullying and violence in our youth community?
That was the focus at today’s Youth Summit, with up to 100 students from high schools around the region taking part in important discussions.
The event, established through Council's Youth Development Action Team, provides a platform for students to get together and collaborate on finding ways to help with issues affecting the region and beyond.
Mayor Jack Dempsey attended and gave the students some sage advice before they began activities for the day.
“There are three words that you should always remember: make it matter,” he said.
“I’m excited about the future of our region because I believe your generation is very capable of forging a positive path.
“You can learn so many things and push for greater achievement and support by simply working together, which is what today is all about.”
Community and Cultural Services portfolio spokesperson Cr Judy Peters said the Youth Summit was well received, with students eager to brainstorm ways to prevent bullying.
“I am impressed by the intellect and thought-provoking ideas that have come from these students,” Cr Peters said.
“Their passion for creating positive change is encouraging and it is evident that we have some very bright future leaders amongst them.”
Students have their say
Bundaberg North State High School Year 11 student Connor McCartin-Snape said it was important for him to learn more about how bullying and violence was affecting his peers.
“I feel like bullying has evolved from the ‘I’m going to punch you, give me your lunch money’ to the more subtle yet destructive form of cyber bullying,” he said.
“It is a lot more menacing because it can affect someone mentally rather than physically which can do a lot more harm.”
Hanna-Rose Walshaw from Bundaberg State High School echoed those sentiments and said the coming together of like-minded people could help.
“We need to take a stand against bullying and we need some strong leaders behind it,” she said.
“We can help prevent bullying by getting together like this- talking about how to stop it and ways to support people who are being bullied.”
The Youth Summit, held at the Multiplex, will conclude this afternoon and reopen at 5pm to 8pm for The Youth Summit After Dark event.
The free event is open to ages 12 to 25 years old.
Find out more here http://www.bundaberg.qld.gov.au/youth/youth-month