The Ipswich Youth Advisory Council (IYAC) is a youth engagement initiative for young people aged 16-25. The goal of IYAC is to ensure Ipswich’s young people are heard on the issues they care about and are empowered to undertake change-making initiatives across the city – designed by young people, for young people.

Apply now

Applications for the 2020 IYAC intake are now open. Applications will close on Friday 31 July 2020.

What's in it for me?

Being a part of IYAC allows you to make a real impact in your community, other benefits include:

  • Opportunities to develop your own youth initiatives and events for young people in the City of Ipswich
  • Develop leadership, planning, administration, community engagement, research and teamwork skills
  • Chance to work with and collaborate with other young people, community groups and services
  • Opportunity to be an active member of your local community and make a difference
  • Build networks and contacts in the City of Ipswich and further abroad
  • Learn how local government works, influence decision-making and be a part of the process

Who we're looking for

Ipswich City Council is looking for young people aged 16-25 living in the Ipswich region who are:

  • Dedicated, enthusiastic and committed to young people issues which affect and matter to them
  • Keen to learn new skills and experience personal development
  • Interested in becoming involved in and planning and development of youth events and initiatives
  • Willing to represent the youth of Ipswich at a range of events and other duties
  • Able to listen and respect the views of his/her peer group

Responsibilities of IYAC members

  • All applicants will have to be prepared to commit to the Ipswich Youth Advisory Council for a minimum of 12 months and maximum of two years. After the successful completion of a two year term, applicants will be required to re-apply for IYAC (providing age requirements are met)
  • Attend monthly meetings to be held at various venues across the City of Ipswich in the evenings, i.e. 6.00 pm - 8.00 pm.
  • Participate in local community events, forums and activities (both day and night events) on week days, weekends and during school holidays (as required)

Member biographies

Kacie, 25

Kacie Heath

Why I joined IYAC

As a young person who champions the next generation and is passionate about what our youth bring to the table, I jumped at the opportunity to join a program that aims to give the young people of Ipswich representation in matters concerning their community. My goal is to give a voice to under-represented youth cohorts and shine a light on current and emerging youth issues.

My personal areas of interest are LGBTQIA+ rights, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, child safety, young-care and disability, and life skills for youth. I am humbled to have the opportunity to advocate for these issues via IYAC.

What I like about Ipswich

Having lived in Ipswich my whole life, I have grown to love its unique charm and sense of ‘small town’ community. Despite its growth, at its core, Ipswich strives to maintain strength in community support. This is a quality that resonates strongly with me as I value local involvement.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

Youth engagement and participation are my focus areas, as I see them as over-arching factors to all other youth issues. Youth that are actively and respectfully engaged by Government, agencies, and service providers are the key to unlocking best-practice when dealing with youth issues including mental health, diversity, employability, and housing.

Zara, 18

Zara Childs

Why I joined IYAC

As young people, we carry an integral role of influence often labelled as ‘the next generation’. It is far too easy to observe negative things about a community that need to be addressed, however, we need more do-ers who will raise our hands to steer the positive change that needs to occur. IYAC allows me to be a proactive advocate, projecting the voices of those who regularly feel unheard.

What I like about Ipswich

My favourite thing about Ipswich is the ability to be fully self-expressed. There is no pressure of conformity and individualism is commonly embraced. This creates such a diverse city resulting in an ever-growing perspective.

What I want to see improved for youth

It would be fantastic to see an improvement of politically, socially and environmentally conscious decision-making skills of the youth in Ipswich whether this may be done through educational resources/workshops/mentoring programs and/or positive and present influence.

Nathan, 18

Nathan Fowler

Why I joined IYAC

I’ve always had a passion for politics and government, and I saw IYAC as a great way to learn and gain experience working within my local area. The chance to voice my hopes and concerns for Ipswich in a more recognised, official capacity is a fantastic and rare opportunity.

What I like about Ipswich

I like that, despite continued growth and investment, Ipswich has maintained the culture and identity of a small town, making it unique amongst other cities in South-East Queensland.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

I believe that the only way to improve long term opportunities for youth in Ipswich is through fundamental, cultural change amongst both youth and families, whereby an emphasis upon personal responsibility and a realignment of community values will promote Ipswich as a fantastic place to live.

Molly, 20

Molly Mackay

Why I joined IYAC

I very much joined IYAC to make a difference in Ipswich.

My goal is for there to be more support to people and organisations that need it within the community.

I love attending Ipswich events and constantly ask the community what they think about Ipswich. What works well and if it doesn’t work well how it can be improved.

IYAC is a great opportunity to have the local government listen to my feedback and ideas.

I’m a huge advocate for Ipswich City Council and the services they offer.

What I like about Ipswich

The biodiversity of Ipswich is my absolute favourite thing about this City. I find it absolutely amazing that one side of the City is busy and has plenty of activity going on but you can travel to the more rural side and be in a much more relaxed environment.

Ipswich is very rich in history. I always find that I am shocked when looking at the photos in Picture Ipswich and how much everything has changed. I love that there are still very historic buildings that are around the City.

Community pride is seen a lot in Ipswich. I am very proud to be a part of Ipswich and live in a community that has so much pride in where they live and come from.

Others:accessibility to education, attractions and events, cultural diversity.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

Safety, security and support within the community.

  • The river / additional places to swim / camp
  • Education about council services within   schools
  • More interaction with the community to find   out what the city needs
  • Additional youth based events

Kori, 20

Kori Besgrove

Why I joined IYAC

I originally joined IYAC in 2014, and I loved the time I spent with the old team. When I saw the ad for the revamped program, I jumped on it straight away. Ipswich needs strong young leaders who can advocate for Ipswich youth, and we are definitely the people for the job!

What I like about Ipswich

Ipswich is a great place to live! We have a great housing market, beautiful cafes, full of multicultural communities and loads of amazing creatives. We are also a very young city, with a median age of 32 years old.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

I would like to see in improvement in our education rate, as only 68.8% of our young people are enrolled in some form of education (2016, Ipswich City Council). Education is not a privilege; all young people should be given equal opportunity to study and succeed in any field they choose. I would also like to see more activities and events in Ipswich catering to our youth.

Jacinta, 17

Jacinta Cabassi

Why I joined IYAC

To help make Ipswich a better place for the youth of Ipswich.

What I like about Ipswich

I love that Ipswich has so many free parks and community spaces that anyone can use.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

I want to see better mental health for the youth of Ipswich. I also want to see more community events and activities that are targeted for the youth of Ipswich.

Caragh, 27

Caragh Dickson

Why I joined IYAC

I joined IYAC to be able to advocate for youth, arts and culture in the local region. Also to have the opportunity to work on projects that impact the culture of our city and to help change the conversation.

What I like about Ipswich

I love Ipswich because it's a city with so many historic stories, diverse communities and emerging potential.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

With an average median age of 32 I believe we need more youth to have a seat at the table to speak for the future they see for Ipswich. I believe in creating more opportunities locally for young people to invest in our city will benefit the larger community.

Chloe, 21

Chloe Boike

Why I joined IYAC

I joined IYAC because I felt that being a young person within Ipswich, I had no say – no opinion as to what Ipswich needs. When I heard about IYAC, I thought it would be a chance to have a voice and to speak up about what I think the young people of Ipswich might need.

What I like about Ipswich

What I like about Ipswich is the sense of community and how people come together in times of hardship. Ipswich has seen quite a few hardships and it is always wonderful to see the spirit of Ipswich pull through.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

I want to see more opportunities for the youth of Ipswich to come together and have some fun. There are not too many activities and events that the youth of Ipswich can attend and enjoy with friends.

Milly, 24

Millie Sargeant

Why I joined IYAC

The opportunity to sit on a council with other young people passionate about making positive change in the community was too good to miss. I am passionate about the way societies are governed, and believe that small grassroots initiatives can change lives and communities. I wanted the opportunity to collaborate on projects that could put public resources towards important social good, to network with other young people and with local social organisations, as well as to learn more about how the local government works and what it is good for. This kind of community involvement is also very grounding and helps me stay connected to my purpose, when other areas of life feel less on track.

What I like about Ipswich

Ipswich has a small city centre but extends over a massive geographical area, and is an extremely diverse place. The community is made up of a large First Nations population, people who have migrated from all over the world, others who have lived here for generations, as well as people on every degree of the socioeconomic and wellbeing spectra. Those most vulnerable in the community, such as people experiencing homelessness, poverty, addiction, those engaged with the justice system and other forms of social isolation I believe have more visibility and physical presence here than in larger cities like Brisbane. This is essential because they have a right to be listened to and engaged with, and to receive community attention, care and respect. There is a high concentration of social and health services in Ipswich trying to coordinate amongst themselves to address community suffering and harm, which I believe makes it a place where almost everyone is connected individually or through their family to a social cause.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

I believe the biggest thing that needs to change for Ipswich’s youth is that we need access to more communal spaces for young people to be themselves, have fun and experience cultural and creative things. We need more youth friendly spaces that provide hangout spots that are safe, well populated and filled with live music, cheap food, and other cultural experiences so that young people can feel entertained and like they belong, outside their homes, without feeling quite so drawn to substance use and crime out of necessity and lack of connectedness and stimulation.

Jorrell, 16

Jorrell Pomeroy

Why I joined IYAC

I have joined IYAC because I want to help people in need to support with fundraisers and donations etc and help out with other things in IYAC.

What I like about Ipswich

What I like about Ipswich is the Ipswich Show that happens once a year as it is fun and enjoyable. Also Riverlink that me and my friends can meet up there and watch movies or go to some other shops.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

There is not many things to do in Ipswich which results in the youth of Ipswich mainly staying inside and doing nothing but video games or Netflix. What I would like to see in the future for youths is that there is something for them to do or even exercise or at least go outside more often.

Emile, 20

Why I joined IYAC

Joining IYAC for me was a no brainer. To be given an opportunity to be a part of something positive and create real change for our city was something I couldn’t pass up. Being new to the area, IYAC allowed me the opportunity to get to know our communities more and it has really grown my love and appreciation for this city. There’s so much potential in Ipswich and IYAC is one of those opportunities for us to unlock that potential and see this city become the showpiece of multicultural diversity, opportunity, change and innovation.

What I like about Ipswich

Our city is growing at a fast pace, but despite this – Ipswich still has the charm of a ‘big country town’. Where neighbours can rely each other, support each other and create a sense of belonging. Ipswich has really stayed true to its roots as a hard-working, warm and welcoming community.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

I want our youth to be proud of their city and make a positive contribution to the wider community. To have more opportunities to showcase their talent, turn their passions into a profession and develop their skills and knowledge to further their aspirations.

Alexandria, 19

Alexandria Walker

Why I joined IYAC

I was born in Ipswich and have lived here my entire life. As I grew older, I became immersed in my local community; fundraising initiatives, volunteering, community service etc. Being a part of IYAC was the next step in being able to connect even further: opening up the opportunity to have a say in projects that affect Ipswich, to listen to my peers and give them a voice, and to have direct influence on projects that impact us.

What I like about Ipswich

I love the libraries, the hole-in-the-wall cafés, and public green spaces where anyone can go to relax. I also love the people; how diverse we all are, how friendly we can be, and willing to help anyone who’s in need. I love it all.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

I want to see youth homelessness and unemployment reduced, and the opportunities for youth to enjoy themselves in Ipswich increase. I think financial difficulty impacts our lives from the ground up: paying for a Learner’s licence; being able to drive to a job; saving; paying bills; finding independence etc. It’s all linked together.

Wilo, 23

Wilo Balelweo

Why I joined IYAC?

I joined IYAC because I really want to help people and make our City of Ipswich better. I want to make good and different things happen in Ipswich. One day I would like to work in the government and help people who are in a similar situation to me. For this reason I want to be part of IYAC because it will give me good skills for my future.

What I like about Ipswich?

I really like Ipswich because we have good health, education, libraries, free parks, sport, places of worship and community.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich?

I really want to see more opportunities for the youth of Ipswich and see better mental health for the youth of Ipswich. I want to see young people stop fighting, respect older people, and support young people to stop them getting in trouble. I want to see our City of Ipswich be better than before.