We are heading towards Youth Week for 2024, and it is a great reminder just how important our young generation are in setting the path for our shire’s future.

The theme is ‘Express. Empower. Get loud!’ and it captures the mood of our the generation who are between 12 and 24, and at an exciting time of their lives.

Last month, we announced Gunnedah Community Scholarships for 28 young people embarking on their tertiary education adventures.

The Gunnedah Community Scholarship Fund is a wonderful partnership between council, businesses and the community that provides a financial kickstart for students.

It was an initiative of former mayor and much-loved Gunnedah resident Gae Swain after she found statistics showed our shire did not have a high number of people going on to tertiary education.

This year, we will again help our young people find an exciting future through the Gunnedah Youth Expo at the Gunnedah Town Hall from 9am to 3pm on Thursday, April 11.

This expo has become a popular event on the school calendar for students who not only wish to pursue further education, but for those who want to chase their dreams while remaining at home in Gunnedah shire.

The youth expo involves a whole range of businesses and organisations who are all in one place on one day to show young people just how many local options there are available to them.

It is the perfect place to find out about apprenticeships, some of the amazing community organisation roles that are out there, and a whole range of business opportunities.

There are so many paths available to young people, some of them accessed through education in other areas, and many of them right here in Gunnedah shire.

We have the lowest unemployment rate on record and a real need for homegrown talent in all areas.

There is no need to leave home to pursue a rewarding and well-paid career.

I urge any businesses, services and organisations who have not yet registered for this event to contact Gunnedah Shire Council’s economy and growth team on 6740 2100 or [email protected]

I would also urge any school, organisation involved with young people, and parents and carers to ensure people aged between 12 and 24 have the opportunity to attend.

The Gunnedah Youth Expo 2024 is a free event, and as well as being a source of valuable information, there are giveaways and prizes to be won.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish our community a happy and safe Easter.

I hope you are able to spend time with your families and loved ones to mark this special occasion.

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