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The power of shopping local

Mitchell Shire Council thinks outside the square - and harnesses the power of youth.

CHALPAT SONTI July 24, 2014 3:50am

Broadford Primary School's junior council with Seymour Business and Tourism's John Keeffe and Mark Dossor and Stuty's Bakehouse's Greg Stute with Mitchell Youth Councillors and council chief executive Rebecca McKenzie in the background.


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An innovative new way to spread the ‘‘Shop Local’’ message has been devised by Mitchell Shire Council.

Instead of just appealing to adults who might control the purse strings, the campaign also aims to teach school students about the benefits that flow from buying locally.

It was launched at a Broadford Primary School assembly on Friday and did not just feature Mayor Rodney Parker and councillors, but Australian Made Campaign chief executive Ian Harrison.

And Mr Harrison saw something he hadn’t seen before.

It involved a short animated video telling a tale of the ‘‘Mitchell Crowd’’ who shopped locally and what it did for them, before a quiz to see what the children had remembered (the answer was all of it).

Cr Parker and Mr Harrison also made brief speeches about the benefits of buying locally and Australian-made products, with one point made by Cr Parker being particularly effective.

‘‘When you guys get a bit bigger and want some local work, there might be someone able to hire you,’’ he told the assembly.

The program will be rolled out to Year 5 students around the shire, who will explore it further when studying persuasive arguments.

It will be led by Mitchell Youth councillors and the students will pair up with a classmate to create a Shop Local poster and explain what they have learned, what shopping local means to them and also share anecdotes of their own shop local experiences.

It is intended that these posters will be displayed in shop windows.

When the 30-minute lesson is complete the students will be given a Mitchell Crowd ‘‘goodie bag’’ containing branded bumper stickers, bookmarks with the Mitchell Crowd characters and a fridge magnet shopping list.

The concept is the brainchild of the council’s economic development, marketing and communications co-ordinator David Power.

Cr Parker only half-jokingly said he told Mr Power to patent his invention because it was going to prove extremely popular, and the concept seemed ideal for transplanting.

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