Moonee Valley Young People's Forum 2018

On Friday the 3rd of August, 4 Year 10 students had the opportunity to participate in the Moonee Valley Young People’s Forum at Mount Alexander College. This day consisted of 40 students from various primary and high schools in the area coming together and sharing their views about Moonee Valley. Students came from many schools including Rosehill, Mount Alexander College, PEGS, Ave Maria College as well as a number of primary schools. The entire forum was organised by The Moonee Valley Young People’s Committee, who are a group of young people aged between 12 and 25, who live, work, study or play in the area. The day was organised into 3 different workshop sessions.


The first one focussed on events that are organised by the Moonee Valley Council. We started by looking at all of the important days within a year and then picking the ones that we as a group found the most important or interesting. Then, the top 2 that were voted, became the focus of an event development activity. Our specific day was International Women’s Day and as a smaller group we developed a day long festival that celebrated all people, but specifically young women in the area. We then presented the event ideas to the other groups and took feedback from event planners who actually work within the Moonee Valley. This activity gave us the opportunity to see what the event planning process for Moonee Valley was and how young people can be involved. This activity also showed the events and days that are most important to young people and allowed us to express our interest in the future development for such events or activities. The first activity was a great way to express our desired for the area in a creative way.


The next activity centred around our schools and asked us to write on post-it-notes different things that our schools did well as well as things that we thought our schools could improve on. These were then sorted into 4 different sections; Aboriginal Rights, Environment, Mental Health and Other. This activity gave us an opportunity to discuss things that we thought were going well in our own school environments but was also a space to see things that could be improved upon in the area and specifically in our schools. Issues that were raised here looked at how Indigenous education is presented at schools, how sex education differs from school to school as well as many different instances of unique environmental programs. Overall, for this activity, we came out with an understanding of the great things happening in the area but also inspirations for things that we wish to improve upon.


After lunch was the final activity, which put us in the position of civic designers who had been granted $50 million dollars by the government to develop facilities and infrastructure in the area. We then had a group discussion about what inclusions we would like to have within the Moonee Valley area and how physical facilities could use these ideas to make improvements for the area. This was a favourite session because, sitting down in a circle on the floor, surrounding a map of Moonee Valley gave us an opportunity to specifically discuss what we wanted to see with both students and council workers who had the opportunity to implement change. The discussion of specific buildings or services that we believed would be great additions to the area let us speak our minds on the things that we believed the area should offer to all people, and especially young people like ourselves. This activity showed the impact that physical buildings and facilities have on an area as well as the inclusion and benefits they can provide for its population.


In summary, this day was a really incredible opportunity for us to speak our minds and hear the perspectives of other students in the area. In the formal activity sections as well as the social time at lunch really gave us insight into the fact that we have the opportunity to have our voice heard in a way that could make real impact in the area. The event was run by 12-25 year olds which showed us that to talk about our community was not something exclusive to older people, which was really inspiring. Overall, the Moonee Valley Young People’s Forum enables us to share our thoughts on the council’s work and talk to other engaged young people in the area. We are so fortunate that we had the opportunity to participate!


Isabelle Orosz 10G

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