Last week, our Cairns high school was buzzing with excitement as the Young Mayors Program, a unique initiative, held its Election Week. This program empowers local students to actively participate in their community by voting for a fellow student who will join the Cairns Youth Council.

The Young Mayors Program: A Platform for Youth Empowerment
The Young Mayors Program is an exceptional opportunity for young individuals to make a tangible impact on their local community. It goes beyond providing a voice for the youth; it offers a platform for them to take meaningful action. This program provides participants with essential training, mentorship, and financial support to initiate local projects and campaigns that address the concerns and needs of their community.

young mayors of cairns

Students considered the candidates and then officially placed their votes at the Polling Booths.

In partnership with the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Centre for Cities and supported by the Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness, and Housing through the Engage program, the Young Mayors Program operates across five local councils. It actively supports young people who are eager to play an active role in shaping their local communities.

The Youth Council Experience:
The heart of the Young Mayors Program lies in the formation of Youth Councils within these local communities. Elected by their peers, young council members collaboratively define priority action areas. Over a 12-24 month term, these youth councils work hand in hand with their respective councils to implement projects, organize events, and influence decisions that directly affect their community.

A Global Movement:
The impact of the Young Mayors Program extends far beyond the borders of Cairns. Across the world, thousands of individuals aged 11-18 have actively participated in the election of young council members. These programs have yielded impressive results, ensuring that council policies and programs are more attuned to the concerns, needs, and aspirations of local young people.

cairns mayor

It was a great experience for students to place their votes.

Marishka: A Beacon of Youth Leadership
Among the nominees for the Young Mayors Program was Freshwater student, Marishka. With a vision centered on creating a safer and more connected community, both physically and socially, Marishka embodies the spirit of the program. Her dedication to improving Cairns reflects the program’s mission to empower young leaders who are ready to make a positive impact.

Marishlka says ‘My central vision for the Cairns community is to create a safer more connected community both physically and socially. If I am elected I will advocate for the council to create safer and more consistent pathways and accessibility. This will make it safer for young people to ride to school or bike parks. One other idea I plan to propsoe is to create a more connect community this would include more social events and activties amoung the neighborhood to encourage young people to stay off the streets and with safer people.’ 

Thanks to the Foundation of Young Australian’s for visitng our Cairns school and for creating such a great initiative for our young people.

The Young Mayors Program in Cairns is a shining example of how young leaders can create a positive impact on their community. Marishka’s vision for a safer and more connected Cairns is just one testament to the potential and passion of the youth. We eagerly anticipate the results of the Young Mayors Program and the transformative changes it will bring to Cairns. This program exemplifies the incredible power of youth in shaping the future of our communities.

Want to experience the Freshwater Difference?

Freshwater Christian College is a Kindy to Year 12 Private Independent College in the heart of Cairns. Situated on 40 acres of lush tropical rainforest our learning community is rich and diverse. Join our Principal at one of our upcoming College Tours