With new and complex societal challenges front of mind, and as communities around the world seek to respond to these challenges, one of the greatest future-proofing investments we can make today is ensuring our next generation of leaders believe in their capacity to drive change.
I am frequently asked by concerned members of the community what we're going to do about 'the young people of today', and yet at the same time, I meet and hear from countless trailblazing young people across our community who are making a lasting difference, simply because they believe they can.
It's not what we're going to do about our young people that should be the question, but how are we going to help our young people believe in themselves and their own ability to make a difference.
If young people believe that they can make a meaningful contribution, and that their skills and abilities are valuable in the pursuit of positive change, our community benefits not only from the direct contribution being made, but by a reconnection to citizenship and a rebuilding of self-pride and determination.
Time and time again I see examples of our local young people rejecting the fundamental notion that they are somehow victims of a system that needs fixing, and instead believing in themselves to be able contributors in making our communities stronger for all.
Ths past weekend, I was honoured, alongside my fellow Elected Members, to host 41 young people and their families who last year graduated from Mandurah high schools with an ATAR score of over 90. The ambition, motivation and positivity from this incredible cohort was inspiring and I was struck by the fact that we weren't in a room with the leaders of the future, but instead we were among young leaders of today.
To our ATAR superstars, our young volunteers, our Junior Council, Youth Advisory Group, our local trainees, apprentices and active young members of our community - thank you for being our trailblazers. Keep being part of the change, and good luck with your future endeavours. You've shown us the power of your generation to make a positive contribution to our community, and I'm very grateful to you for that.
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