Onkaparinga Youth Committee (OYC)

The OYC is an active group of young people aged 12-25 years. They meet regularly to advocate for young people and drive change in our community. The OYC listens to other young people within our region, and represents their views to the Mayor, Elected Members and other interested groups.

The City of Onkaparinga provides support and development to OYC members including access to training, on-going mentoring and professional development opportunities.

OYC membership aims to reflect the diversity of young people in the region. This includes consideration of gender balance and geographical location.  In addition, the OYC aims to support the representation of indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse youth; young people with disability and LGBTIQ young people.

Members are appointed for a three year term and are required to attend monthly meetings.

If you are curious and would like to know more, please contact Joshua Stokes, Community Development: Youth Coordinator on 0468 552 891 or email youth@onkaparinga.sa.gov.au

The OYC will be recruiting new members in 2022.

If you are interested in finding out more about this awesome opportunity, please get in touch.

Apply now

Your voice matters

The Your Voice Matters Forum

Over the last two years, over 600 young people in the Onkaparinga region have been a part of the ‘Your Voice Matters’ consultation. Through school focus groups and online surveys, we have been asking 'what matters to young people?'. The Onkaparinga Youth Committee (OYC) were integral to the Your Voice Matters project during its development – assisting the Onkaparinga Youth team to ensure the survey was community development focussed, empowering and inclusive.

The primary objective of Your Voice Matters is to utilise the feedback we have received from young people and together, create a plan of action for the OYC moving forward. In line with the community engagement plan, our purpose is to:

  • Ensure that young people have an opportunity to participate in the development of youth services in our city. 
  • Connect young people in Onkaparinga with decision makers and discover new ways to support young people in our community. 
  • Inform local young people about the project and how it will impact them.
  • Strengthen our relationships with young people and schools and build confidence in young people to have their say on important issues affecting them. 

Phase One of the consultation was over 2020/2021 and included a large online engagement survey with support from the Community Engagement team. The OYC and Youth team also worked together to deliver small scale focus groups within a number of schools and tertiary groups to unpack questions such as ‘If you had a magic wand, what change would you make that would be a big difference for you in the City of Onkaparinga’ and ‘What stands in the way of you living your best life?’.

Phase Two of Your Voice Matters continued on the 29 June 2022, where over 40 young people from schools FLO providers and tertiary institutions across Onkaparinga came together at Aldinga Payinthi College for our final Your Voice Matters Forum. Using a NOISE Analysis tool, the young people who attended brought fantastic insight into the key themes that had been overwhelmingly identified throughout our engagement: Mental Health, Climate Change and the Environment, and Access and Inclusion.

When it comes to the Climate Change and the Environment, feedback was targeted around people and community education – with requests for more information days, educational presentations and awareness campaigns led by young people. A big focus on waste education and disposal of soft plastics was also prevalent.

Emerging themes around Mental Health seemed to be focussed on schools and systemic action – a large percentage advocated for psychologists based in schools and lower waitlists for mental health clinicians. Feedback also stated that young people should be recognised as lived-experience leaders on youth mental health and should be included (if not driving) the creation of resources aimed at them. Many of the post-it notes from young people during the youth forum referenced the creation of posters and hard-copy resources that should be available locally at their schools and other gathering places where young people come together. Another repeated suggestion in the feedback provided is to have more support dogs/animals available to students as a means of preventing poor mental health.

When discussing the topic of Access and Inclusion the word analysis reveals themes relating strongly to disability groups, First Nations peoples, themes around funding and themes around school environments. The students feel strongly that we should consider structural access for people with disabilities more closely – not just for during “normal” traffic levels or “normal” times - (i.e. COVID QR codes / displays of recent COVID hot-spots placed at standing eye height – not easy for wheelchair users to access). Discussions around easier access to indigenous dictionaries and sign language classes were discussed, alongside the barriers to including everyone due to funding – (if you don’t tick our box or live in this post-code, you’re out of luck).

A key takeaway from the consultation is that young people also request that we ‘close the feedback loop’ – ensuring that after consultation and seeking their ideas and advice, we reconnect with them to share our plan of action and how we have responded to their feedback.

The Onkaparinga Youth Committee are working hard to analyse and respond to the feedback and recommendations in this report so stay tuned and subscribed to our mailing list for some exciting new projects and upcoming events and activities.

See below for the full report including emerging themes and all recommendations for the Onkaparinga Youth Committee.

Your Voice Matters final recommendations(PDF, 966KB)