Each year, Brisbane high schools are invited to nominate one Year 10 student to represent their school on the Lord Mayor's Youth Advisory Council (LMYAC). LMYAC delegates act as representatives of their school and community and are a voice for raising issues or sharing ideas that affect young people. For a student to be selected as a LMYAC representative, they need to demonstrate a range of leadership skills and have a natural passion for supporting others and the wider community.
LMYAC aims to develop young people as leaders and is specifically designed to provide an opportunity for young people in Brisbane to identify issues and engage with each other in a public forum, where they are encouraged to provide feedback and give their opinion about Brisbane City Council policies, local laws, services and programs that affect young people.
The delegates are encouraged to work with their peers to generate and share ideas regarding initiatives that fulfil environmental, social, creative, economic, diversity and inclusive aspirations of young people in Brisbane.
2022: Anastasia Ho
LMYAC gives young people a forum to discuss with the Lord Mayor and Council officers the environmental, social, creative and economic issues that are important to them. What issues are you most eager to discuss at the LMYAC?
I am very excited to have a forum that will actually have an impact on young people in Brisbane and make a real difference. Some of the issues I am most eager to discuss are:
- the fact that there is minimal opportunity for young people to voice their opinions respectively or to bring up their own ideas (unless they are approached, or in a leadership position at a school);
- there is a lack of education about mental health or social issues (e.g. we do not explicitly learn about peer pressure and specific mental health issues - how and why they occur, and helpful ways to deal with them);
- there isn't an environment where students feel comfortable in voicing controversial opinions or beliefs, but also know that they won't be judged or thought of less;
- there isn’t much discussion/education about national and global issues.
How will your experiences as a Kenmore SHS leader help you whilst on the LMYAC?
I think it’s great that I’ve already been able to work with a team of people who share the goal of seeing how we can improve our school to make each week the best learning experience for our peers. Now I will have the opportunity to do the same thing, but on a scale in which I can collaborate with students from schools all over Brisbane, to brainstorm and voice ideas that will help young people become more connected and feel like they have a place to belong in society. As a leader, I have also developed skills – such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and organisation – in which I can apply to working with other leaders in a team, as well as personally learning and growing in these areas.
What skills are you hoping develop or enhance whilst being on the LMAYC?
I am hoping to grow my presentation skills – to learn better ways to hold people's attention and really get them to listen and understand what you are saying. We will have opportunities to present our ideas, so this skill will definitely be enhanced. I also am looking forward to enhancing my teamwork skills; I will be meeting a lot of new and different people, so it will be cool to collaborate with them and get to know them.
What is your vision for Brisbane in 2022 and beyond?
I think I would like Brisbane to continue in its inclusivity - allowing people to have their different opinions/beliefs/ideas, but also being respectful and non-judgmental towards these differences. Society (especially in young people) is quickly becoming a place in which people are hesitant to share what they think or believe, due to cancel culture or fear of how others will judge them. I think if we keep heading down this road, society will become more segregated, and a harder place for people to feel like they belong.