Mackay elects first ever Youth Council

Published: 09 May 2023

The results are in: Australia’s first ever Youth Council has been democratically elected by young people aged 11-17 in Mackay.

Twelve young people under 17 have been announced as the successful candidates of Mackay’s first Youth Council elections.

The announcement is the culmination of a month-long election campaign as part of Young Mayors, a program backing young people to make change through active participation in local government.

A total of 1,464 votes were cast by young people under 17, for 21 candidates in polling stations in schools and colleges last week.

“The turnout for this first-ever election shows that young people are not disengaged in politics, and when empowered to contribute to real, tangible change - they show up,” Mayor Greg Williamson said.

“Thank you to everyone who voted and stood as candidates - and congratulations to the elected representatives, we’re looking forward to working with you all.”

The Foundation for Young Australian’s (FYA) Young Mayor's Program Assistant and Mackay local, Savannah Vella said the elections were just the beginning.

“This newly elected Youth Council will champion the needs and views of all young people in Mackay. They will ensure young people they serve have a voice in the community in improving services, and positively influencing key decisions on local issues.”

“This isn’t just good news for young people, but for the whole Mackay community.”

The 12 members of the 2023 Mackay Youth Council are:

● Krystopher Gakowski
● Ojas Goti
● Reuben Pulikkottil
● Nate Ralph
● Bridget Wright
● Stephen Miranda
● Henry Burrel
● Deegan McCormack
● Lily Cheyne
● Evelyn O’Brien
● Rory McPhail
● Caitlin Rourke

The Young Mayors program was designed by FYA and is based on successful UK models. Mackay Regional Council is the first to pilot the program in Queensland, with other councils in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales launching across 2023 and 2024.

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