Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

More youth events for Deniliquin

Deniliquin needs more youth events and facilities, according to Deniliquin High School’s Student Representative Council.

CASS SAVELLIS March 25, 2014 4:25am

SRC members Georgia Van Lieshout, Jaime Blake, Abbey Smith and Forbes Lindeman.

Deniliquin High School’s Student Representative Council would like to see more youth events and facilities specifically for young people in Deniliquin.

Talking to the Deniliquin Pastoral Times on Friday, four SRC students — Georgia Van Lieshout, Jaime Blake, Abbey Smith and Forbes Lindeman — shared their views on the need for more events that attract a school-aged crowd.

The students also believe a dedicated youth ‘hang-out’ may help stop country kids turning to crime, drugs or alcohol for thrills.

Year 11 student Georgia Van Lieshout said there needs to be more options for people ‘‘our age’’ to do on a weekend.

‘‘A permanent cinema would be great. One that shows up to date movies that can’t already be hired. If they are already out on DVD then people don’t always see the point in going.

‘‘It wouldn’t matter who had to organise it, even if there was a roster and people could take it in turns.

‘‘If there was a proper cinema set up that could charge money and keep running, say on a Friday night, that would give a lot of young people something to do.’’

With the Deniliquin Youth Council now disbanded, the SRC wants youth to still have a voice.

SRC member Jaime Blake, a Year 10 student, is also part of the Youth and Beyond group which has representatives including Deniliquin Mayor Lindsay Renwick, police, the school counsellor and other interested community members.

The group meets once a term to discuss ‘‘where youth are at and what they are interested in’’, Jaime said.

‘‘We discuss what kids want to do in town and have come up with ideas like as an under-18 music festival and movie nights,’’ she said.

‘‘But there are big logistics to organise something like a festival.’’

Year 11 SRC member Forbes Lindeman acknowledged that while there have been youth events in the past, he believes young people are more inclined to attend if the event is aimed at adults.

‘‘If there are events like a ‘youth disco’ or ‘youth movie night’ young people get the idea that they are going to be for kids and not teenagers,’’ he said.

‘‘If you take the word ‘youth’ away from the events, it automatically gets more people’s attention.’’

All SRC members agreed the stigma around the term ‘youth’ deters teenagers away from events for young people.

‘‘It’s like the Youth Council; not many students want to be on these committees because they ‘aren’t cool’,’’ Jaime said.

‘‘Whereas I know lots of people under 18 that want to go to the high school music night (tomorrow) just because it’s for adults only.

‘‘It’s as though you have to aim a little bit above their age to get them interested.’’

The students also reiterated that while many teens claim ‘‘there is nothing to do in town’’, many are also reluctant to do something about it.

‘‘Some people aren’t interested in being on these committees or helping to run events,’’ Georgia said.

The SRC is workshopping ideas to involve all high school students in projects throughout the year, such as a whole school fundraiser or activity that aims for a contribution from every student.

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