Ditching political games
YOUNG people aren't often a main focus for any of the three tiers of government, federal, state or local.
New council candidate Pat Brown wants to change that through his intention to run for a councillor position in the upcoming Coffs Harbour City Council local government elections.
The Woolgoogla local, 25, aims to be a game changer in local politics to better engage young people with the council.
"I think some young people are disillusioned because this modern game of politics is sadly characterised by power plays, personal attacks and self-glorification," Mr Brown said.
"I am committed to not playing that game but rather I will work to develop a collaborative approach with strong, honest communication lines between council and the community."
A small business owner, he has placed issues of young people at the forefront of his election campaign, in particular youth unemployment.
"We have distressingly high youth unemployment, underemployment and homelessness in the city," Mr Brown said.
"And while the council is not about creating jobs, it should be about creating an environment where young people can thrive and excel."
Mr Brown is campaigning to appoint a dedicated youth development officer to ensure young people are prioritised equally with the council's other portfolios.
Increased youth orientated activities and infrastructure such as cultural venues; better cooperation between the council and educational facilities such as TAFE are among Mr Brown's suite of policies he'll be campaigning for in the lead up to September 10.
While young people are central to his campaign, Mr Brown's run for council is driven by a desire to bring change to our local government.
His drive to bring change also stems from something more personal - his great grandmother Granny Ferguson, who was a much loved and respected Elder on the Coffs Coast.
"I aim to continue her work, and make Coffs Harbour a model of unity and harmony and a city where opportunities abound for all."
He aims to do this by working to establish a more inclusive approach to the management of council to open conversations between ratepayers and council.