Regional Youth Taskforce
Regional Youth Taskforce © Salty Dingo 2020

The NSW Nationals are encouraging young people in rural and regional areas to put their hand up for next year’s Regional Youth Taskforce, a Ministerial advisory group with a voice into government to raise everyday issues faced by friends and classmates in their communities.

NSW Nationals Minister for Regional Youth Bronnie Taylor and Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders announced the search was on for applicants aged between 12 and 24 who want to have a say on what their peers need when it comes to services, programs and infrastructure in the bush.

Mrs Taylor said since its formation last year, the inaugural Regional Youth Taskforce members have provided advice and feedback to NSW Government Ministers on local issues resulting in immediate action and work undertaken to deliver improvements in areas such as education, digital connectivity and obtaining a drivers licence.

“It is hard to believe that almost a year has passed since NSW’s first Regional Youth Taskforce came together to have a hand in making decisions and creating change, but 2021 is around the corner and it’s time for more voices to raise fresh ideas,” Mrs Taylor said.

“If you are aged 12 to 24 and have an idea about how to make life better for young people or are passionate about your area, being on the Taskforce is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people in your age group and importantly, tells us what you really want for your town or city.

“We know each region has different challenges, so we are seeking an even representation of two members from each of the nine NSW regions. We are looking for applications from everybody, not just the best and brightest, but those who can talk with firsthand experience.”

Great outcome for regional youth

Mr Saunders said young people living in regional areas such as his were already benefitting from initiatives delivered with the support of the Regional Youth Taskforce.

“Our youth are now able to quickly upgrade a P1 driver’s license online without having to travel far to the local Service NSW centre, and through drought, some of the region’s worst affected families were able to access free drought holiday activities,” Mr Saunders said.

“More than $18 million in funding is also locked in across 41 local Stronger Country Communities funded infrastructure projects and programs specifically designed for youth in the Central West and Orana region alone.”

Easy to apply

Mrs Taylor urged young people to apply for the Regional Youth Taskforce online by answering a few simple questions and uploading a short video or written account of their own personal experiences from time spent living in a regional community.

“It’s easy to apply – simply fill out the form and create a short video on your phone telling us about who you are and what are the most important issues impacting young people in your part of the world,” Mrs Taylor said.

“I also want to personally thank each of the outgoing members from the 2020 Taskforce for their passion and commitment, especially for speaking out on confronting topics during what has been an incredibly tough year for young people in regional NSW.

“It has been an absolute honour working with these 18 young people to make real changes for our young people in communities across the state.”

For more information or to apply, visit http://www.nsw.gov.au/RegionalYouthTaskforce.