Yarriambiack Youth Action Council
Cr. Kylie Zanker and Will Drage, spoke about the activities of the Yarriambiack Youth Action Council in our community. This group began in 2015 with six members. In most other communities it is often extension of the school Student Representative Council, but in Yarriambiack Shire it is a ground up organisation, formed through the initiative of Murray McKenzie, the Yarriambiack Shire youth engagement officer. They meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The only other youth council in the region is in Nhill.
Currently the Yarriambiack Youth Action Council has 21 members aged 13 to 22. They conduct an annual youth forum with over 200 students from eight schools in the region, with speakers such as Jannik Blair, a wheelchair basketballer from Horsham who has played for the University of Missouri and in the Australian National Wheelchair basketball team. They have run or been involved with a Youth Forum, beyond blue programs targeting rural youth,Yarriambiack has Talent, Patchewollock Music Festival, the very popular Games Nights in Warracknabeal, Hopetoun and Murtoa, Camera Nights, the Ramp it, Rage it, Stage it event at the Skate Park.  They have also worked with NEXUS in Horsham and been involved with Freeza.  They talk about the community, sports and events on Triple H every 2nd week. Other programs include job skills programs such as car detailing, barista courses, testing and tagging, food handling and first-aid.
Will Drage spoke about the skills that he had learnt, from doing the lighting at talent shows; to emceeing events and public speaking. He has found it a rewarding and enjoyable  experience, and wishes to continue with the Council.
Cr Kylie Zanker, who is the Shire Delegate on the Youth Council, told Rotarians the most amazing part is watching their growth, which was highlighted 3 weeks ago when one of the members was presented with the Order of Australia Central Highlands Group School Student Citizenship Award.
Many Rotarians expressed surprise at the range of activities and the future opportunities for both Rotary and Rotaract to support and partner with the youth Council to provide a better community for young people in Yarriambiack Shire.