Students from Rouse Hill advise on state youth issues
31 Jul 2012
On Tuesday 24 July, it was my pleasure to visit students at Rouse Hill Anglican College, participate in their Senior School Assembly, and hear their views on issues that affect young people’s lives.
Children and young people aged 0–17 years make up 23.7% of Central Western Sydney’s population. As one of six schools chosen to participate in the Commission’s newly formed Young People Advisory Group, Rouse Hill Anglican College students have the opportunity to have a say about what’s really important to local young people and to contribute to the work of the Commission.
From left: Principal Peter Fowler, Commissioner Megan Mitchell, YPAG members and students, Sarah Speechly and Oliver Bogdanovski
Rouse Hill Anglican College student and member of the Young People Advisory Group, Oliver Bogdanovski, said that one of the biggest issues affecting children and young people in his area is an inability to get to, afford or have the time to do co-curricular activities, such as learning an instrument or how to build computer programs.
Oliver believes it is important to give everybody a trial of a variety of co-curricular activities and offer portable hard-drive resources for an easily affordable price.
Fellow student and Advisory Group member Sarah Speechly is an opponent of bullying who is interested in looking for ways to help bullies see things from the victim’s perspective.
Rouse Hill Anglican College Principal, Mr Peter Fowler, was delighted to be able to provide the opportunity for students to participate on the Young People Advisory Group, as it facilitates leadership development and also gives them an insight into the broad perspectives that young people have on a range of issues.
Being involved in the Senior School Assembly helped me to learn more about the school and its students, and I was impressed with how involved the students were in the running of the Assembly. Participating in the Assembly also allowed other students to understand the role of the Commission in supporting young people and the work that Sarah and Oliver have been undertaking for the Commission.
The 12 Advisory Group members, including Sarah and Oliver from Rouse Hill Anglican College, participate in five weekend meetings in 2012 and spend time throughout the year obtaining the views of other children and young people.
I use the advice of the Young People Advisory Group to inform the recommendations I make when advocating for children and young people in NSW.