Year 10 student from St John Fisher College in Brisbane, Sofia Velkos, has more on her mind than holidays as she prepares for a big pitch to the Lord Mayor’s Council on 4 December 2018.
Earlier this year, Sofia was one of 80 Brisbane Year 10 students selected to sit on the Lord Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (LMYAC).
Students meet with the Lord Mayor once a term, to act as a voice for Brisbane’s youth, identifying issues, providing feedback and their opinion on Brisbane City Council policies, local laws, services and programs that affect young people.
Sofia and a team of 10 LMYAC students, including Oliver Horwood of St Joseph’s Nudgee College and Thomas Darben from St Patrick’s College, have come up with the idea of increasing Brisbane’s creativity and vibrancy through the utilisation of a mobile ‘Pop-Up’ van.
Sofia says the plan is for the van to travel to identified areas within Queensland, enabling children and young teens to participate in drawing, painting and other forms of art, using supplies they may not have previously had access to.
“Our aim is to increase the sense of community and inclusivity within Brisbane through art,” explained Sofia.
St Joseph’s Nudgee College student, Oliver Horwood said the idea came from a project the Council currently funds called Visible Ink in Fortitude Valley which is a free art space with art supplies and resources.
“We’ve been there for meetings and seen people using it, but we felt like more people would use it if they knew about it. And so came the idea of setting up the mobile art space we proposed to Council,” said Oliver.
Sofia and one other student will pitch the mobile pop-up van idea, on behalf of 80 students and she is excited at the prospect of the idea coming to fruition.
“It feels amazing to know that extremely important people like the Honourable Lord Mayor Graham Quirk are asking the youth and future generation of Brisbane for their opinion on current issues that are prevalent within society,” added Sofia.
She said discussions have been raised surrounding the vibrancy and creativity of the city, as well as its environmental friendliness. Methods of improving transport, technology, business, the economy, and lastly health, within the Brisbane region have also been major touch points.
“It’s honestly so rewarding to be a part of the LMYAC group as we provide a voice for the issues and problems that we as individuals and as society, are currently facing. Knowing that these issues can be fixed and changed for the better through the help and assistance of the Brisbane City Council is a real thrill.”