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Councillor Column – 8 February 2022

Feb 8, 2022

For Immediate Release 8 February 2022
Authorised by Mayor Margaret Roles   


The young people of our Hilltops play an integral role in the life and vibrancy of our community.

Not only are many actively involved but by their participation in clubs and sporting activities, parents and friends are also included in the community life of our region – all value adding to the social capital of Hilltops.

It is in our interest to care for and foster the wellbeing of the young people of our region; they are our leaders for the future.

I have seen this leadership in action recently; at the formal appointment ceremony of the NSW Police Commissioner – Karen Webb APM – a ‘Boorowa girl’ and at McLean Oval, Harden, where the Junior Rugby League Association, led by Chris Beal, a ‘Harden boy’, hosted an interregional event.

There is continued discussion about the long-term effects of Covid on the physical and mental health of our community. I would suggest that for our youth – especially those between 12 – 24 these effects remain largely unknown.

Not only has schooling and tertiary study been interrupted but the social interaction and freedom to explore and experience, so necessary for life’s development, has also been curtailed. For the young people entering the jobs market, the dynamics of the workplace have also changed significantly.

Our Hilltops Youth Action Group (HYAG) has been active in supporting young people during the pandemic – I encourage everyone to visit the facebook page, Hilltops Youth Action Group, to connect with activities and services promoted by HYAG. The Young Junior Citizen of the Year, Jannet Bakri, was one of the inaugural members of HYAG and her leadership and contribution to the wellbeing of other young people in our region, has been outstanding.

Another way that we, as a community, can support our young people is by lobbying for a Headspace Hub to be established in Hilltops.

Headspace is an Australian non-profit organisation established by the Australian Government The service provides a safe, confidential environment for young people aged 12- 25 and their families, to access services such as education, training and employment support, alcohol and drug support, general health, wellbeing and mental health support.

At the moment, Hilltops young people have to travel to Cootamundra or Cowra to access this service. Working with local support groups, schools, health agencies and all the community, we will advocate, on all platforms, for a Headspace Hub for Hilltops to further the health and well-being of the youth in our collective care.

Margaret Roles