As a teenager in this ever-growing community it is important for myself to be able to help shape the present and the future of Port Stephens.
Being a part of the Port Stephens Youth Advisory Panel has helped me do this.
I have been able to communicate to the youth from the east and west end of Port Stephens and figure out what issues we face and what we would like to see done about these problems in our local areas.
Overall, the issues we face in our lives are common between the two areas but our solutions to these issues are all different, especially compared to adults.
The Port Stephens Youth Advisory Panel has given me the opportunity to fly down to Sydney to NSW Parliament on Thursday, April 12 to participate in the annual Youth Week Forum.
This forum is held at the start of NSW Youth Week, which runs April 13 to April 22.
This forum is important to me because it will give myself a chance to interact to youth in other communities.
This will give me leadership skills that I will be able to use in my future.
Any member of the youth would benefit from this opportunity, and being part of the Youth Advisory Panel.
It has taught me how it is good to have different views on important issues to be able to come up with the best solution to the matter.
Youth week is an important week that is dedicated to the youth.
Each year numerous events are held to invite the youth to express their feelings and ideas.
This is an incredible opportunity for our voices to be heard on important topics that concern us. We can also showcase our talents across Australia.
There are also many youth organised events that are celebrated throughout the week.
This week also offers a chance to spread awareness about an issue that effects the health of our youth. For me this is a good time to be able to focus on mental health in our youth.
Being able to offer events that could lift the spirits of many children during the week will also bring awareness for the issue.
- Rhiana Mackenzie, 16, is a Tomaree High School student, is on the Student Representative Council (SRC), and is a member of the Port Stephens Youth Advisory Panel.