Al Siraat College Senior Student Representatives Tarek Taleb and Muna Bashir, both currently attending Year 11, have been featured in the "Northern Star" in an article titled:
Whittlesea Youth Cabinet learns from example
The inner workings of local government have been laid bare for 20 inquisitive Whittlesea students.
Fittingly, Whittlesea council’s youngest mayor Ricky Kirkham wanted to give young people a forum to discuss their ideas and learn about the rigours of civic life.
In his final weeks as mayor, Cr Kirkham will mentor the students from Lalor Secondary College, The Lakes P-9 School, Pavilion School, Epping Secondary College, Lalor North Secondary College, Al Siraat College, St. Monica’s College and Whittlesea Secondary College.
Year 11 and 12 students meet every three or four weeks to talk about local government, hold mock council meetings and work up a proposal for change that they will put to councillors at the end of the year.
“As the city’s youngest-ever mayor, I think it’s important to nurture young leaders and give them support and guidance,” 26-year-old Cr Kirkham said.
“They may be young, but their voice is just as legitimate as anyone else’s.”
Whittlesea’s youth development officer, Blair Colwell, said the students have provided profound insights into the wishes of the country’s youngest generation.
“It’s been really interesting listening to their views. Young people want to be involved and this program gives them that opportunity,” Mr Colwell said.
He said it was up to the mayor of the day whether they would like to continue the Youth Cabinet program next year.