VOICES: St Joseph's Primary School Year 6 students in discussion.
VOICES: St Joseph's Primary School Year 6 students in discussion. Kathryn Lewis

Youth forum listens to our next generation

SAFETY in their community and mental health support were some of the issues discussed by the Valley's youth when their voices were put front and centre this week.

A Youth Forum run by the New School of Arts Neighbourhood House for Youth Week in Maclean and Grafton was a chance for students to talk about the struggles they face, and how they can be addressed.

Clarence Valley Council youth development officer Allira Newton said the forum was a success with more young people turning out than expected.

"Over the next six months we are hoping to have more conversations like this with other schools and young people, to get a feel for what they want.”

South Grafton High School Year 9 student Jessica Newton was glad for the chance for her voice to be heard.

"Older people don't always see us as people to be listening to, because we are younger, but we are the next generation, we will be living here, and soon we will be running the town,” she said.

"What we say they should be listening to, and what we need they should be providing.

"I personally, along with my group, want more mental health support and safety around the Grafton community, we also talked about equality and bullying, which is safety once again.”

"I feel like everyone could put in for this, the school definitely would be a big one to make a change, along with people higher up could help to be a role model for Grafton.”