Next generation of young leaders step up to change the city

07 February 2023

The next generation of Ipswich leaders have stepped up with fresh ideas at the official launch of the 2023 Ipswich Youth Advisory Council (IYAC).

The 38 young residents met at 1 Nicholas Street on Monday, 6 February, for their induction and first official meeting where they received journals to document their experience.

Mayor Teresa Harding said it was always an honour to meet the leaders of tomorrow.

“This group of young leaders represent the future of our community, and it is a privilege to have them join the Ipswich Youth Advisory Council,” Mayor Harding said.

“Ipswich is a youthful city. Our median age is 33, five years lower than the state and national median of 38.

“IYAC is an important part of our community as it allows young people to have a voice and play an active role in the decisions that affect their lives.”

Members of IYAC meet up to ten times a year and participate in a youth conference, sub meetings and a range of other civic community events.

Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner is Ipswich City Council’s youngest councillor and a former member of IYAC.

Councillor Fechner said membership of the advisory council offers valuable opportunities for further personal and professional development.

“Through the IYAC program our young leaders aged from 12 to 18 years old are exposed to a myriad of issues from all three levels of government and encouraged to work collaboratively within the team to achieve positive change,” Councillor Fechner said.

“They will also have the chance to meet community leaders from across Ipswich and develop networks with other young leaders.

“This will be a challenging and rewarding year for IYAC members with several great ideas already on the agenda. I am looking forward to hearing about their experiences and achievements.”

IYAC comprises young people aged between 13 to 18 years who come together to have a voice in raising issues and sharing ideas that affect young people in Ipswich.