Bass Coast,

Involving young people in politics


Bass Coast Shire Council recently supported three young women to participate in a forum aimed at exploring ways to engage young people in local politics.

Hosted by the Foundation for Young Australians and the Victorian Local Governance Association, the workshop gathered young strategic thinkers from across the state to explore better ways to get the voice of youth heard in local, state and federal politics.

The workshop was open to 18 to 25 year olds who were joined by Councillors and staff from a number of municipalities.

Council was proud to support students from Wonthaggi Secondary College and Newhaven College, along with Council’s student placement staff member, Emma Howard, to attend the workshop.

The results of this forum will help to guide local governments across Australia to work more effectively with young people and recognise the valuable contributions they make.

Workshop participants presented their own unique ideas on how to engage youth in politics, before hearing ideas pitched from Councillors, council officers and staff from community organisations.

A number of the pitches presented at the forum reflected Bass Coast Shire Council’s recent move to increase youth engagement strategies through social and digital media platforms and projects.

Saxon Taylor-Le Page from Newhaven College loved the opportunity to connect with other passionate young people from municipalities all over Victoria. Saxon had a great time leading the presentation of her group’s pitch, which highlighted ways to maintain two-way conversations between Council and young people through digital and social media.

Council’s General Manager Healthy Communities, David Elder, said the workshop was an excellent opportunity to address one of the key concerns that young people in Bass Coast expressed in the recent Youth Action Plan consultation.

“Bass Coast youth called for more opportunities for young people to have a say in what happens in their community,” Mr Elder said.

“Involving young people through digital and social media is a fantastic way to hear what they have to say. It keeps communication fun and makes sure we stay up to date with what’s happening from their point of view. We’re looking forward to communicating through these channels in new and exciting ways.”

The pitches from the day showcased a wide range of approaches to improving youth involvement in politics, from creating online voting methods to flashmobs and rap battles.

“It was great seeing so many different ideas come up across the day, everyone was so energetic and excited about what we could do to affect change,” Wonthaggi Secondary College student, Madeline Murray, said.

To get involved in upcoming social and digital media youth projects, contact Council’s Youth Planning and Policy Officer, Geraldine Archibald on (03) 5671 2745 or email