The Monash Young Persons Reference Group (MYPRG) has had a busy and productive 2017. This year has presented another opportunity to be the voice of the young people in Monash. The group continued to work on its two long term projects: Humans of Monash and Random Acts of Kindness. On our quest to foster connectedness in our community, our Humans of Monash stories have reiterated the importance of acceptance, wellbeing and cultural diversity.
As we continued to try and spread positivity, we completed monthly random acts of kindness in the community, from giving out study packs at the Glen Waverley Library, to gifting colouring books to residents in aged care.
Beyond these projects, we embarked on a new project: Conversations with YOUth. Mirroring Council's listening posts, the group conducted two of our own, in Glen Waverley and Oakleigh The purpose was to provide young people with an open forum to talk to us about Monash and what they liked and what they wanted to see improved.
MYPRG has been committed to raising mental health awareness and assisting MYS in advocating for a Headspace in Monash. We helped in collecting thousands of signatures, which we sent in the form of postcards to Health Minister Hon Greg Hunt. We promoted a Facebook page to raise awareness and spread the message, advocated for signatures at Clayton Festival and encouraged young people in our networks to show their support.
Additionally, we submitted detailed submissions for both Monash Councils Draft Budget and Draft Open Space Strategy ensuring young people's views were well represented.
Venturing into new areas of focus this year, MYPRG identified sustainability as an area of interest the group had a guest speaker come and talk about a range of current issues. MYPRG were further inspired by the 'War Against Waste' TV series, we conducted our own survey of the coffee shops along Kingsway, and were pleasantly surprised to see that cafes were encouraging sustainability often offering monetary discounts to people who used reusable coffee cups. It became evident that the key to minimising waste was to change consumer culture, to encourage and to promote sustainability. This lead to the creation of our new project- '12 Days of Sustainable Christmas', in which we suggest a sustainable Christmas gift idea for each of the 12 days.
MYPRG is an inclusive group of young people, committed to creating greater connections between young people and the Monash City Council. MYPRG talk and take action on ideas and issues that are important to young people, such as mental health, public transport, public safety, constructed environment and building a stronger community.
MYPRG is a group of young people aged 14 – 25 years who meet once a month, along with two Council officers and a Councillor to chat, have fun, and share ideas and enthusiasm. Please call 9518 3900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in becoming involved.