BYS MULLUMBIMBY COTTAGE
|Mullum Cottage recently painted thanks to Byron Shire Counci!|
Students from our four local high schools came together during National Youth Week for a Youth Forum
focusing on what the issues are for them in Byron Shire and looking at what some solutions might be.
45 young people attended, which was impressive in itself, being the second last day of school term.
All the students participated, were respectful and came up with some great ideas and solutions which BYS will be feeding back into the larger "Building A Better Byron" process.
A big well done also to the Year 9 Mullumbimby BYS Mens' group who came up with the title for the forum 'Things are Getting Dire, Have Your Say About the Shire'.
Participants almost unanimously agreed that although they cared about Byron Shire they didn't feel connected to it.
They felt that the main issues for local young people were lack of transport, lack of employment opportunities, issues with legalities concerning youth employment, lack of activities and resources for young people, consequences of drug and alcohol misuse, garbage and littering and lack of alternative education options. They also commented that Council put money into 'tourists' not young people
and thought that cheap food stands and more youth workers around town would help engage young people in town at night in a more positive way.
A questionaire revealed that 92% of participants knew a young person/persons in our local community who had accessed alcohol via secondary supply.
They had some positive and unique ideas to tackle problems such as a membership system for buses with suspensions for problem behaviour, 'pay for puke' and information sessions about their employment rights, drug and alcohol education etc. Some have nominated to join a group, facilitated by BYS,
which would choose different activities each session. For example picking up rubbish, information sharing and making approaches to Council relating to their needs.
There were lots of other great schemes and ideas which BYS will endeavour to follow up on and progress where possible.
Many thanks go to the Schools (Byron, Mullumbimby, Steiner & Shearwater), Byron Council, Batbus, Ministry of Transport and NCRF.