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Nominations open for Horsham and Mackay 2023 Young Mayors program

Open for nominations: new program to empower young people in rural and regional areas to be decision makers in their local communities.

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Open for nominations: new program to empower young people in rural and regional areas to be decision makers in their local communities.

The Young Mayors program has launched in Mackay Regional Council and Horsham Rural City Council

The Young Mayors program will support people 11 to 17 across the two regions to take part in a Youth Council of 12 members respectively. 

Elected by their peers, together this Youth Council will nominate a Young Mayor, set an agenda for their 12 month Term in Office and work with the Council on specific issues. 

“If you’ve ever spotted something that could be done differently in Mackay, or something that needed to change; if you’ve ever wondered how you could make an impact in our community – this is your time,” said Mackay Mayor Williamson.

Nominate yourself as a candidate, cast your vote in the election and help elect this country’s inaugural Youth Council.”

For councils like Horsham and Mackay the program will foster civic identity at a young age, leading to greater participation in the democratic process and more engaged young people. 

“With access to training, mentoring and money to run local projects and campaigns, Youth Councils won’t just have a voice – but a platform to take action on the issues that young people truly care about,” Louise Barnett, Co-ordinator Youth and Early Years, Horsham Rural City Council, said. 

“Young people are invested in building a better future, leading movements and doing the work to drive change. But they’re so often framed as the problem and excluded from discussions and decisions that affect them, and their communities,” FYA CEO, Nick Moraitis said. 

“Young Mayors will flip this dynamic on its head – to ensure that young people’s voices are not just heard, but listened to and that they are able to meaningfully influence the decisions that impact them and their communities.”

The Young Mayors program is being delivered in partnership with the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Centre for Cities, and is supported by the Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness and Housing through the Engage program.

Nominations for Mackay and Horsham are open at 


Media contact 

Shona McPherson | (03) 7042 7237 |


Molly Whelan, Executive Director, Civic & Cultural Engagement, FYA

Interviews available on request.


About Horsham Rural City Council

Horsham Rural City is a vibrant, multi-cultural community situated in the heart of the Wimmera region of Victoria, approximately 300 kilometres north-west of Melbourne. The municipality has a population of 19,961, covering an area of 4,267 square kilometres, with approximately three quarters of residents living within the urban area of Horsham.  

About Mackay Regional Council 

Mackay is a thriving regional centre with a population of almost 120,000 people. The local economy is diverse and supported by strong activity in the resources sector, resurgence in agribusiness, and growth in construction, logistics, education and tourism. Mackay Regional Council is an innovative and responsive council that strives for excellence to achieve for our customers and the community.

We operate efficiently and effectively to develop strong partnerships with all stakeholders providing valuable services. As a region, our total economic output for 2020-2021 was $17.164 billion. 

About FYA

The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), is the pre-eminent national organisation dedicated to backing young people. Established in 2000, FYA has a proud history of collaboration with government, industry, the community sector, and young people themselves on large scale projects designed to back and support young people across the country. Our vision is that young people have the power to beat injustice and transform the future. In pursuit of this vision, our purpose is to back young people with the trust, resources, skills, and connections to make change.