90 SEONDS: Bonner Youth Advisory Council

Today’s students are tomorrow’s teachers, doctors, carpenters and politicians.

As we continue to grow older, it is our shared responsibility to raise quality members of society who will work hard and contribute, and might I say Bonner is a treasure trove of curious minds and dedicated students.

I would like to thank the 13 Bonner students in years 10, 11 and 12 who committed to my Bonner Youth Advisory Council, BYAC, in 2023.

I’ve been so impressed by their passion and hard work and have no doubt that each of them will achieve great things in their future. Congratulations to Abigail and Blanca from Citypointe Christian College; Bailey and Ollie from Iona College; Aimi, Georgia, Sharna and Xavier from Mansfield State High School; Zayden from Queensland Academies Creative Industries; Alice from Redeemer Lutheran College; and Araminta, Heer and Ishita, who are all from Rochedale State High School in my electorate.

Throughout the year we heard from leaders in our community. Last year I was able to partner with You Are Not Alone, the Queensland Koala Society and Ocean Crusaders to speak with BYAC at our meetings.

Throughout our workshops, students from different schools collaborated on research projects aligned with their personal interests.

Last year we had four groups, who investigated the topics of mental health, the cost of living, the impact of technology on young people, and the environment.

Each group worked together to identify specific issues within their topic and proposed problem-solving strategies.

At the end of January, the group submitted their reports, and I would like to share with my parliamentary colleagues some of the interesting findings from BYAC.

The group who investigated mental health found that some young people may be unable to distinguish between online connections and genuine, meaningful relationships in person.

The group on the cost of living found a worthwhile solution would be teaching students about financial independence and money, and this feedback was particularly interesting to me, as I continue to fight for my motion to make financial literacy a compulsory part of our national curriculum.

The students who reported on the impact of technology found that education on cyberbullying should be compulsory in all schools, including what cyberbullying is, what to do if you are being cyberbullied, and how to prevent and report cyberbullying.

When it came to the environment, the team found the establishment of a youth advisory council for environmental planning would be useful, particularly to consult on any trail bike tracks and jumps in Brisbane. Nominations for the 2024 Bonner Youth Advisory Council are filling rapidly but have not yet closed.

I encourage any parents to apply to BYAC on behalf of their keen child, and I look forward to meeting you all.