Youth have big ideas for Murray Bridge's future

The local youth council, Impact Youth, is seeking new members who want to make things happen.

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More events, better publicity for them and transport to get there are among the top priorities for the next generation of leaders in Murray Bridge.

A group of teenaged girls gathered in the city’s town hall on Tuesday, brainstorming ideas for the local youth council, Impact Youth, to pursue.

With a $20,000 annual budget and the ear of the Murray Bridge council, the group could achieve extraordinary things, youth mayor Sallee Shepherd – pictured at left – said.

In recent years, input from young people had led the council to invest $800,000 in its skate park at Sturt Reserve, $300,000 in the water playground at the swimming pool and more in a recording studio at The Station; and to offer loans to young local entrepreneurs, among other initiatives.

What should be next, the teenagers asked each other at Tuesday’s workshop?

Could more events be held locally: cinema disco parties, cultural festivals, an LGBTQI+ bridge walk to celebrate people with diverse sexual identities?

Could existing events be better advertised to young people, or more transport provided to get them there?

What about a youth jobs fair, or a rewards program for young people who spent their money at local businesses?

Whatever they had in mind, Sallee encouraged young people aged 15 to 25 to join Impact Youth and make their ideas a reality.

“If you enjoy making a difference, having big ideas and putting them into action, this is the place you want to be,” she said.

“If you make it something you do with your friends, another fun thing to do, it’s really not hard.”

In her case, not only had Impact Youth given her social media and event management skills worth putting on her CV, it had also helped her win accolades including a state Young Achiever Award.

The youth council currently has just three members and is actively seeking more.

Photos, including of Sallee Shepherd, Chesha Nacario and Michelle Chambers: Peri Strathearn.

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