Community News

Paris with Mr Gulaptis. Image: contributed.

Lower Clarence teen to carry the torch for youth on Regional Taskforce

Lower Clarence teen, 17-year-old Paris Brailsford of Yamba has been selected to join seventeen other young people from across regional NSW as a member of the NSW Government’s Regional Youth Taskforce, Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis has announced.

Mr Gulaptis said he was delighted to see Paris, a Year 12 student at Maclean High School, appointed to the Taskforce and last Thursday took the opportunity to personally congratulate her.

“Paris is a terrific young lady who has a bright future ahead of her,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“She has a long history of volunteering, youth advocacy and being in leadership positions, including being elected as Youth MP twice at NSW Youth Parliament representing the Clarence electorate.

“Paris is very passionate about wanting to help initiate positive change for young people not only in her local community but across other regional communities,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“She will be part of a really important initiative and will work with her peers from across the state to steer youth policy and deliver real change and practical benefits for regional young people”, he said.

Paris said she is looking forward to initiating tangible change, especially in the areas of mental health, youth advocacy and mentorship for youth on both a local and state level.

“I believe this opportunity is invaluable in that it allows the youth of NSW to have their voices heard in an arena which traditionally doesn’t value youth opinions,” she said.

Minister for Regional Youth Bronnie Taylor said the second-year cohort will build on their predecessors’ achievements, which included improvements to education, digital connectivity and public transport.

“The incredible young leaders from our first ever Taskforce were integral in pushing for an online licensing scheme which cut a lot of red tape and is already saving young people a long trip to a Service NSW centre,” Mrs Taylor said.

“The 2019/20 Taskforce also helped shape holiday programs that gave hundreds of young people in drought and bushfire affected areas the chance to attend recreation camps, skills programs and community activities for free.

“The new Taskforce will have big shoes to fill, but I am really excited by their potential and am eager to hear their views on how the NSW Government can continue to make life better for young people living in the bush.”

The group, which includes two young people from each of the state’s nine regions, will meet for the first time later this month in Coffs Harbour to discuss the topic ‘work-readiness’, one of the pillars outlined in the Regional Youth Framework.

“Our 18 new members will drive policy change and advocate for real outcomes for young people, continuing to be the voice of regional youth at the highest level in their state,” Mrs Taylor said.

“I can’t wait to work with them over the next year to build a safer, stronger regional NSW and to make sure we are addressing the wide range of issues impacting young people from the regions.”

For more information on the Regional Youth Taskforce, visit: nsw.gov.au/regional-youth-taskforce.

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