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.

How to apply

Applications for the Ipswich Youth Advisory Council (IYAC) closed on Friday 31 July 2020. The next intake for IYAC will occur in mid-2021. For more information please contact youth@ipswich.qld.gov.au or 3810 6285.

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

Alexandria, 20

Alexandria

Why I joined IYAC

Born and raised in Ipswich, I have lived locally for my whole life. As I grew older, I became immersed in my community, getting involved with fundraising initiatives, volunteering, and community service. Joining 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 they all are, how friendly they 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: from paying for a Learner’s licence to being able to drive to a job, then saving and budgeting for bills, and finding financial independence. It’s all linked together, and without financial freedom, it can be difficult to live life to the fullest.

Current/past study area and where you studied/are studying

The University of Southern Queensland, Bachelor of Business and Commerce (Marketing) and Bachelor of Arts (Creative and Critical Writing).

My hobby is

Creative writing

Personal focus area for youth

Employability and financial independence.

Apolina, 23

Apolina

Why I joined IYAC

I joined IYAC because I am passionate about empowering young people and IYAC is the ideal body for me to achieve that. I would like to continue encouraging young people and ensure that their voices are heard.

Ultimately I joined IYAC because I want to ensure that young people are elevated in education, health, employment and community engagement.

What I like about Ipswich

I love and appreciate the diversity within Ipswich. With this powerful advantage, I look forward to seeing growth and prosperity.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

I would like to see more youth participation in Ipswich with the wider community, service providers and government representatives and vice versa. I think this will encourage conversations on how to improve aspects of young people’s lives, that being education, employment, health, entertainment etc.

Favourite saying/motto

"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto"

"I am human, and I think nothing human is alien to me." by Terrence.

Personal focus area for youth

Education, employment and diversity.

Cultural background

Congolese (DRC)

Blake, 19

Blake

Why I joined IYAC

I joined IYAC in hope to better my communication skills and to also expand my contact list throughout Ipswich in case I can use any necessary support services to pass on to my employer and or customers of the organisation I work for.

What I like about Ipswich

I really enjoy the work lifestyle up here. Since moving to Ipswich from Sydney I have been shown just how well a community and different organisations can cooperate and work together to achieve greater things.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

One thing that I would like to see improved not just in Ipswich but the youth in general, is for more information and activities regarding people living with a disability. I want to see more community events that are Dis-friendly such as sporting events, cultural activities and even some more disability focused information being taught throughout our local schools.

My passion in life is

My passion in life is to make the world a safer, easier and stress free life for people living with a disability, I want more people to be more educated on different disabilities and how they affect a person’s behaviour and actions.

Caleb, 17

Caleb

Why I joined IYAC

I joined IYAC to engage with my community, to volunteer in a meaningful way, and to make an impact in the lives of people living in Ipswich every day. My goal is to create a change in the lives of young people, by fully engaging them in the Ipswich community and in the opportunities the Ipswich City Council and the community provides.

What I like about Ipswich

The aspect of Ipswich I like the most is its constant and ever-present growth. Ipswich’s exponential growth will soon lead it to become a large city in not only Queensland, but also the entirety of Australia, making it an even more vibrant city with more to offer.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

What I want to see improved in Ipswich is for the youth to have easy access to learning what the council and the Ipswich community has to offer. There are many events that a minimal amount of youth in Ipswich have known about, so them being able to easily learn what is going on in their city.

My hobby is

Playing volleyball, both competitively and with friends.

My passion in life is

Helping people who need it.

Personal focus area for youth

Engagement of youth in council activities and the community.

Chloe, 22

Chloe

Why I joined IYAC

I joined IYAC because I wanted to meet like-minded people who felt the youth of Ipswich did not have a voice. I had a feeling that joining IYAC would allow us to speak up about what we, as a collective group, believe the youth may need. I also wanted to join IYAC because of the amazing opportunity to work on projects with the City Council and other organisations across Ipswich.

What I like about Ipswich

What I like about Ipswich is that there is always somewhere new to go or something new to experience. After living in Ipswich for over 12 years, I would have thought I knew Ipswich like the back of my hand. I am glad to say that I was wrong and there is still so much about Ipswich that surprises me - whether it be a festival I have never attended before, or a cute little cafe which is hidden away that I have never seen before. There are always hidden gems to uncover all around Ipswich.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

I would like to see more publicity for youth activities across Ipswich. I have found that the youth of Ipswich believe that there is nothing entertaining for them, when in actuality, there are quite a few festivals, events and activities across Ipswich. The problem is that the youth are not aware that these events are happening. I am not saying that we do not need more events for youth - we do! But we just need to find a way to better advertise the events across Ipswich that already exist.

Favourite ice cream flavour

Cookies & Cream

Current Study Area

Bachelor of Laws & Bachelor of Business Management majoring in Human Resources at UQ.

Favourite place to eat

Indian Mehfil

Chloe, 19

Chloe

Why I joined IYAC

I joined IYAC so I could meet people who have the same passion as I do about our town. Have lived in Ipswich my whole life and grew up in a very giving family with my father being born and raised in Ipswich as well. His love for Ipswich grew on me and now I wish to give back and love this town as he has. Being a member of IYAC has given me the opportunity to meet like-minded people and create a voice for the youth of our town.

What I like about Ipswich

The thing I love the most about Ipswich is the community spirit. You can walk the street and be greeted with multiple welcoming smiles and many "Hello's" from people you don't even know. Another thing I love about Ipswich is the history it holds and shows within the buildings.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

I would like to see more opportunities given for the youth of Ipswich for jobs. I have said this multiple times but a lot of jobs want experienced people but no one is willing to help young people get the experience they need. I also wish to see more youth activities or at least more advertisement of youth activities. That last improvement I would like to see is motorsport precinct improvement. I love the motorsports world and happen to be heavily involved myself and would love to see improvement on a few of the motorsport precincts around.

Favourite genre of music

Country for sure!

Favourite place in Ipswich

Would have to be Champions Way at Willowbank.  Specifically Queensland Raceway.

My hobby is

Racing cars out at QR. Also car shows and car cruises around Ipswich.

Jacinta, 18

Jacinta

Why I joined IYAC

I joined IYAC to meet like-minded people. I’ve lived in Ipswich for over 16 years and have always had a love for the area. With this love for Ipswich I wanted to help influence and improve the local community. I especially want to help Ipswich become a more enjoyable, fun and accepting place for youth.

What I like about Ipswich

What I like most about Ipswich is that the city is always growing. Not only in population size but also in innovation and programs. Another charm about Ipswich is the diversity and the strong sense of community that comes with that.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

In Ipswich I would love to see more events targeted at youth and see more young people attend those events. I would also like to see an improvement in support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Favourite genre of music

K-Pop

Favourite colour

Lime Green

Favourite motto

Treat people with kindness.

James, 23

James

Why I joined IYAC

I joined IYAC to create a voice for the young people at the main decision making, so that the older generation see, feel, sense and hear the important voice of the emerging generation.

What I like about Ipswich

Ipswich is culturally diverse. It is an industrial area and easy to access educational institutions as well as transport networks and recreational centres.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

Inclusivity in job networks- more young people from migrants background don’t have jobs. More sports activities representing cultures and Ipswich suburbs competitions. Ipswich Mr & Mr year (more branding) and more promotion of activities.

Currently studying

Bachelor of Commerce major in Economics – Griffith University

My hobby

Watching politics and policy debate on Australian Parliament and UK Parliament. Also loves writing and reading.

Personal focus area for youth

Diversity

Jorrell, 17

Jorell

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 showgrounds that happen every 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 shop.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich
There is not many things to do in Ipswich which results the youth in Ipswich to mainly stay inside and do 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. I also would like to see the youth be in a better mental health state as I can see that this is a very common issue.

My hobby is

Gaming

Favourite colour

Black

Cultural Background

Indigenous Australia

Kacie, 25

Kacie

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 continue in 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.

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, and service providers are the key to unlocking best-practice when dealing with youth issues including mental health, diversity, employability, and housing.

Personal focus area for youth

Diversity and intersectionality

Favourite band

Bullet for My Valentine

My hobby is

Cooking! I am an avid home-cook as it helps me de-stress and re-focus.

Milly, 24

Milly

Why I joined IYAC

I applied for IYAC because I saw it as an ideal way to make a contribution to the Ipswich community by providing my voice to council. I also was excited for the personal and professional development that would result from being a part of a community development initiative, and spending time collaborating with other young people with a passion for social justice and politics.

What I like about Ipswich

I love that Ipswich is extremely diverse- socioeconomically, ethnically, linguistically, has a large Indigenous population, and many front line community services looking after the vulnerable. The social issues that plague all communities are visible in Ipswich, because it is small and the paths of people experiencing vulnerability overlap with the privileged in public spaces every day. I believe this means there is a lot of potential for more connectedness between different social, economic and cultural groups, if the city central can grow in a diverse and forward thinking way. Finally, Ipswich is small enough where one tends to see familiar faces around, and there is some spirit of community care, without being a ‘small town’, in the sense of being dominated by gossip and small mindedness.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

I believe my generation is still learning what Ipswich is and can be, as older generations of leaders have not established a clear, positive, modern identity for the city, yet. I hope that youth in Ipswich will have an increased sense of belonging, wellbeing, and connectedness, with access to all the services they need, the ability to coexist with people from different backgrounds, and the desire to share wealth and care with others. I believe this can be achieved through a combination of top-down policies, and grassroots initiatives that seek to connect young people under a common vision, and to empower them.

Favourite genre of music

I love to make Latin music of many genres – particularly Bolero, Salsa, Mariachi and Llanera music.

My hobby is

Learning instruments and improving my Spanish.

Personal focus area for youth

I am particularly passionate about improving relationships with Indigenous community, as well as ensuring mental health access, particularly for people living with DV and substance abuse issues.

Molly, 21

Molly

Why I joined IYAC 

I joined IYAC to make a real difference within the community and hopefully make things a little easier for people. I want young people to feel listened to and respected.

What I like about Ipswich

  • Community pride
  • Generosity of the people
  • Appreciation for historic buildings
  • The biodiversity
  • Facilities and opportunities

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

  • The river / additional places to swim / camp
  • More interaction with the community to find out what the city needs
  • Better night life
  • More fun activities (bowling, ice and roller skating, arcades, go karts, clubs and pubs)
  • Dedicated places to take photos
  • Improved motorsport precinct
  • Better relationship with the government
  • Lime scooters!

Favourite place in Ipswich

Queensland Raceway

Favourite place to eat

Longboards Laidback Eatery & Bar

Favourite band

The Dreggs

Nathan, 19

Nathan

Why I joined IYAC

I have 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 feel of a small town, making it seem 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. This achievement is reliant upon a careful consideration for community structure and make up, which have unfortunately deteriorated over time.

Favourite place in Ipswich

Kholo Gardens

Current study area

Engineering

Cultural background

British

Sally, 20

Sally

Why I joined IYAC

I joined IYAC because I wanted to make a difference in my community and to bridge the gap between young people and local government. It is important for the future of Ipswich for youth to be engaged in politics, to know who is making the important decisions and acting on the behalf of the people - because someday their choices will affect all of us. Being a part of IYAC contributes to a greater cause that I am deeply passionate about and I am proud to serve Ipswich.

What I like about Ipswich

I like how Ipswich has excellent services for people who struggle with mental illness. The empathy, patience and support is what I love - as everyone deserves to feel like they are cared about.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

Young people tend to struggle with finding themselves in a society that demands nothing but excellence - I hope there are more opportunities for the youth to find their passions, hone their skills and discover who they are as individuals.

My passion in life is

To advocate for diversity, equality and acceptance.

Favourite place to eat

Hikari Ramen at Springfield Orion.

Personal focus for youth

Youth employment

Seth, 16

Seth

Why I joined IYAC

I joined IYAC to try and better my city, create more opportunities and better outcomes for Ipswich youth and to give a voice to those who are often voiceless (The youth, the elderly, minorities, the LGBTQIA+ community and the economically disadvantaged).

What I like about Ipswich

I have spent my entire life in Ipswich, and this city is an integral part of who I am. I grew up in a single parent house hold and although I didn’t have a positive father figure, the vibrant community of Ipswich, from school to activity groups, has taught me what it means to be and how to be a man in society.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

My vision for Ipswich is a city where everybody, regardless of background, is able to not just survive, but thrive. This means providing the youth with economic opportunities that allow for the embrace of their creative needs, happiness and fulfilment.

Favourite food

Sushi

Personal saying

”The job of a leader is not to be the best at every role, but to instead surround themselves with people who are better than them in each individual role.”

Personal focus area for youth

Economic equality

Taletha, 16

Taletha

Why I joined IYAC 

I joined IYAC as a way for myself to contribute to the community. Being heavily involved within my school community I wanted to branch out and volunteer within the Ipswich community and IYAC provided a way to do that whilst also providing me with a chance to voice my concerns and ideas for the youth of Ipswich to help better not only the community but their life experience in Ipswich.

What I like about Ipswich

Bushland areas such as White Rock and Castle Hill are probably my favourite things about Ipswich as they provide a sense of serenity and peace in the crazy world we live in. Just going for a walk through those areas is a great time to embrace nature and enjoy life away for electronics and social media. Growing up in Ipswich I have been lucky enough to be a part of as well as witness our community getting together and helping those in need in difficult times. I particularly love the sense of community the Ipswich people offer.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

Youth mental health as well as youth unemployment are the two issues I wish to see improved most for the youth of Ipswich as both are vital to living a healthy and functioning life as an adult.

Focus area

Youth mental health

Hobby

Soccer

Favourite place in Ipswich

White Rock

Wilo, 24

Wilo

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.

Zahed, 24

Zahed

Why I joined IYAC

As a Rohingya from a poor background, where poverty and poor well-being never cease to change, I realised the importance of having the youth well equipped with personal and social skills that will navigate them through the adversaries and challenging conditions. The youth, especially the refugees and teenagers with language barriers, need to see an organisation like IYAC exists to provide support and activities that will help them and make them not alone. I want to help them with their mental, physical and social well-being.

What I like about Ipswich

Ever since my family moved to Ipswich city, not a single complaint or flaw has been noticed. That’s how good it is. The neighbours, parks, lakes, big shopping centres, universities, public swimming pools and a big loving community are all some of the parts I love about Ipswich!

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

Some of the areas I believe could be addressed to improve the youth in Ipswich are better mental health services, youth workshops where teenagers can voice their concerns and make them feel heard, outdoor activities to improve their mental outlook and provide support for inter-relationship issues such as domestic violence, break ups and so on.

Favourite place in Ipswich

Springfield Lake and Orion

One interesting fact about me

I love playing soccer and chess.

My hobby is

Sport and talk deep topics e.g. philosophy.

Zara, 19

Zara

Why I joined IYAC

IYAC presents a wonderful opportunity to promote engagement and voice topical ideas concerning the younger demographic in Ipswich. This was seen to me as an obvious trajectory in steering positive change while elevating the youth of the region, inviting new opportunity and experience for betterment for all.

What I like about Ipswich

Ipswich hosts fantastic eateries; outdoor family and pet friendly spaces and educational facilities.

What I want to see improved for youth in Ipswich

I would like to see youth engagement improved through the provision of increased opportunity for young people. It is through instilling adequate leadership opportunity; mentorship; employment prospects; meaningful learning and the encouragement of discovery through self-expression that engagement must be improved upon.

Focus area

Youth engagement

Favourite band

Parcels

Current study area

Undergraduate Bachelor of Social Sciences (Public Policy and Development)