Thursday, May 4, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Meet The Candidates

Mackay Youth Council Elections

The Mackay Regional Council has introduced the Mackay Youth Council, for Mackay young people to be able to make decisions regarding the area, be a voice for Mackay youth.

The Mackay Youth Council election began on May 2 finishing up on May 5, with vote counting beginning May 6. All young people aged 10 to 17 were eligible to vote. Preferential voting meant that voters can choose to vote for only one candidate, some candidates, or all.


Voting took place earlier this week at the following locations: Dudley Denny City Library, Mirani Community, Mirani State School, Sarina State High School, Sarina Youth Centre, Mackay Regional Council Jubilee Community Centre, Catherine McAuley College, Gordon White Library, Holy Spirit College and Mackay Regional Council Jubilee Community Centre.

There is still time to vote today, Friday May 5, at the following locations:

St Joseph’s Primary 10.40am to 11.40am

Whitsunday’s Anglican School 1.30pm to 2pm

Mackay Northern Beaches 11.05am to 11.45am, 12.55pm to 1.35pm

Mackay Regional Council Jubilee Community Centre 3pm to 5pm

The Candidates

Southern and Western

1. Ella Pimm

My vision for Mackay in the future is that every single young person will have a voice and will feel safe in their community.

2. Bridget Wright

I want to see Mackay grow into a place where every single child, teenager, and adult gets treated equally and fairly. I want to help create equal opportunities, such as career pathways and sporting programs that are available to everybody. Every single one of young people needs an inclusive and accessible place where they can go to be themselves – regardless of location, income, or other dividing factors.

I want Mackay to turn into a place that actively listens to its young citizens and does its best to help youth feel heard and understood in their community.

3. Henry Burrell

That young people from across the Mackay region can have their ideas, dreams and voices heard by our local authorities. I want to see equal opportunities and availability of resources open for everyone, no matter what their background. I want to see real change where it really matters.

4. Deegan McCormack

To see a place that is safe for kids mental health. So kids can talk to people about their problems like bullying (online and offline) and depression. This is a place that we all should dream of.

5. Stephen Miranda

Safety of the youth is a top priority, where students and kids alike feel confident about their mental health, where kids have safe access to road and train crossings, and where youth crime is lower than the Australian average.

If kids are not getting adequate mental health resources, then the amount of youth suicide and self-harm reportings will skyrocket as the city grows towards 200 000, putting even more strain on an already struggling network. And with some schools, like my school Catherine McAuley College (CMC), safer crossings are needed to ensure the safety of students needing to cross busy streets in order to get to their homes.

Northern Suburbs and Beaches/North

6. Krystopher Gakowski

We must invest in our young people to ensure they have the skills, resources, and opportunities to thrive and contribute to society. Mackay's youth are the leaders of tomorrow, and their well-being and success are essential to the future of our community.

Keeping youth in Mackay after they finish school is essential to the region's long-term prosperity. We need to:

● Promote local educational opportunities

● Advocate for local jobs

● Support entrepreneurship and innovation

● Promote the community and the region’s lifestyle

● Foster a sense of belonging

7. Rory McPhail

My vision for Mackay is a town which focuses specifically on youth development and success, which can be done through my policies and proposals. I stand for a number of policies including:

● Increased maintenance for skateparks and youth facilities which have been graffiti,

● Increase accessible activities that actually appeal to young people in Mackay,

● Increased council support for Defence Force Cadets,

● Providing for local youth sports club through funding, facilities and by meeting with local team community members,

● Meeting with local youth citizens to discuss problems and solutions.

● I am focused on realistic policies which will have a genuine positive impact in Mackay.

8. Ananya Goti

I want to create a community where everyone is respected, well-nourished and adequately housed, where our education systems thrive, and where healthcare is available for everyone. Mackay should accommodate everyone no matter someone's ethnicity, race, appearance, or identity.

We need opportunities such as multicultural clubs, a Lego Robotics program or even a monthly community clean-up, to offer more diversity. Additionally, these long-lasting experiences provide growth socially, mentally, and physically of our youth, possibly leading to future career pathways. The youth of Mackay are our future, their education, social life, and home should be a safe space to be themselves.

9. Ojas Goti

My vision for the future is for no one to be misunderstood. I know it might be weird but that’s what I think is the real problem. When our youth were getting bullied online what did we do? We took away their technology, and what did that accomplish? Children of this day are so closely linked to these devices that by taking them away all we did is make them more reckless and ignorant, disobeying their teachers and parents. When instead if we understood the real problem, that the youth think the only reason for life is technology, we could have fixed it by teaching them that there is more out there in this wonderful world.

10. Amna Ansari

My vision for the future of Mackay is to raise the voice of youth. I want to hear your opinion, I want to hear your voice, I want to make a difference for youth today!

To make this vision a reality, I want to increase youth-led and centred events like sporting, academic and cultural activities to provide a range of opportunities for young people.

I want to introduce more youth disability facilities and mental health assistance, to ensure young people always feel included in society and experience aid with issues they face today.

11. Reuben Pulikkottil

As a young citizen in Mackay, I would like it to be a place where people of all ages matter and have a voice. Younger people in the region are constantly silenced and marginalised. I would like to try and help our youth be more confident and speak up within our community to help resolve that directly affect us.

I would like to make this dream that I have a reality so that the younger generation of Mackay can finally step into the spotlight and have an opinion on the future of their home.

12. Nate Ralph

My vision for the region is to foster a safe, happy, and thriving community for all, with a special emphasis on the youth population. We must prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of our youth population. The development of mental health resources and support programs can go a long way in providing a safe and supportive environment for young people to navigate the challenges of growing up.

We should ensure the continued development of safe and accessible pathways and bike lanes throughout Mackay, enabling people to travel around the city with ease and security.

13. Farrah Hamilton

My vision is to make meaningful projects for the youth of Mackay a reality. Young people have passion, drive and energy and we just need to find ways of expressing this. What I would really love to see happen is a dedicated space for Youth Street Art for young people to share their talents. I would also love for the Youth of Mackay to be involved in restoration projects. Whether it be furniture, equipment or even cars, we could help young people learn trade skills, finance and team work so that they could actually sell the restoration projects.

14. Erin Hanrahan

My vision for the future of Mackay is to not only to introduce large scale road safety projects like a community car, allowing children with no resources or mentors to gain 100 hours on their learners, but also small scale projects like implementing a zebra crossings in school zones or frequently used roads or having conferences at schools discussing the importance of following the guidelines for pedestrians and drivers.

Additionally, an app that incorporates the youth in the community’s opinions and projects that they would like to see implemented into Mackay’s suburbs.

15. Caitlin Rourke

I want Mackay to be a friendly, welcoming community where young people are able to contribute in the decisions that impact them. I will strive to make Mackay an inclusive and respective community. I want young people from Mackay to have more opportunities like they do in capital cities. These would range from entertainment, to sporting areas, and workshops to develop their skills and experience. I want to create a platform which allows teenagers to put their input on ideas and issues that affect them. By improving issues affecting young people by introducing new programmes, I want to build a better future for all the youth of Mackay.

16. Van McDermott

Van McDermott is running for selection on the Mackay Youth Council, for the Northern Suburbs and Beaches.


17. Lily Cheyne

My vision for the future of Mackay is to bring together the youth and elderly with a nice space. It will include many items for the youth to learn new skills off the elderly, along with special recipes. This will bring together the youth and elderly and help improve both their lives.

18. Georgia Moohin

In the future I hope that Mackay can be a more peaceful and safer environment allowing everyone to feel safe living and/or staying here. I would also love to see safer and better maintained footpaths letting the youth of Mackay and all ages ride or walk to and from somewhere safely without being at high risk.

19. Evelyn O’Brien

I believe the future of Mackay will include safe and inclusive leisure opportunities for all ages, a range of services around the issues of mental health and awareness of the issues of mental health among youths. This future includes a healthy environment for young people to address issues and solve problems they deem important in our current community. I believe the future of Mackay will include a larger normalisation of an understanding and embracement of Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander culture; include more awareness on the history of the Yuwibara people, whose land makes up our region. I believe our future in Mackay will see a cleaner town with a wider respect of our environment.

20. Nicolette Gooch

Nicolette Gooch is running for a position on the Mackay Youth Council, for Central.

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