Want to be part of the Hepburn Youth Council? 

1. Nominating for Youth Council

NOW closed

If you’re aged 11-17 and live, play, work, study in the Hepburn Shire Council region, nominate yourself to run for the Youth Council! Nominations open week commencing 8 April 2024, and close Sunday 19 May.

2. Campaigning for election


Candidates will campaign from early May until the election in mid June, with access to free campaigning workshops, marketing tutorials and more. Candidates will each get 10 free campaign t-shirts and $100 for campaign materials. A Meet the Candidate community forum will give candidates the chance to hear from and speak with constituents. 

3. Election Week

Late JunE

The Youth Council election is happening in mid June. Ballot boxes will be set up in high schools and community spaces across the Hepburn Shire region.
Young people aged 11-17 are eligible to vote. 

4. Term in Office

Late july

The Youth Council will serve a 12 month term in office from July 2024 to July 2025. During this time they will deliver projects, campaigns and events based on a priority agenda developed together early in their term.


Frequently asked questions

What are the key dates?

Event Launch

  • Friday 19 April, more details to come


  • Monday 8 April: Youth Council nominations open
  • Wed 24 Apr: Young Mayors 101 (get to know the program).
    Watch the recording here. Passcode: !a0Mpa&R
  • Sunday 19 May 5:00pm: Youth Council nominations close
  • Monday 27 May: Final list of candidates confirmed


  • Monday 27 May: Campaign period begins
  • Tuesday 28 May: Candidates meet and greet / information session (in-person)
  • Thursday 30 May: Messaging and Strategy workshop (online)
  • Tuesday 4 June: Candidates videos Workshop (online)
  • Thursday 6 June: Drop-in session for support (online)
  • Tuesday 11 June: Drop-in session for support (in-person)
  • Tuesday 18 June: Meet the Candidates Forum (online)
  • Tuesday 25 June 2024: Campaigning ends


  • Thursday 20 June 2024: Election begins
  • Tuesday 25 June 2024: Election ends
  • Thursday 27 June 2024: Vote count
  • Wednesday 24 July: Swearing in Ceremony and Community Announcement


  • Wednesday 10 July: Youth Council Induction Day 1
  • Thursday 11 July: Youth council induction Day 2

Term in Office

  • Date TBC: Late July 2024
  • Youth Council meetings will be held once a fortnight

How old do you have to be to get involved?

Nominations for the Hepburn Shire Youth Council are open to young people aged between 11 and 17 years of age (at the time of application) living in the Hepburn Shire Council region.

You do not need to be an Australian citizen to nominate yourself.

What type of projects and campaigns will the Hepburn Youth Council run?

The Youth Council will decide their priorities based on issues identified by young people in Hepburn.

The projects run by youth councils and forums around the world have covered a range of issues, including: 

  • Campaigns for mental health, LGBTIQ+ equality, poverty reduction, sustainability, safety and tourism
  • Youth homelessness support projects
  • Lowering the age of travel concessions
  • New inclusive council programs for young people with disabilities
  • Forums that bring young people together with local, state, and federal decision makers
  • New sports competitions, music programs, and art exhibitions

During the Term in Office, the Youth Council will regularly consult with their constituents to make sure their work is meeting the needs of young people in the community. Consultation will happen in different ways, including a Community Forum during their Term in Office.

Why can’t over 18s run for Youth Council?

Australian citizens aged 18 and over are eligible to vote in local, state and federal elections, and can nominate themselves to run for election to represent their constituents at all levels (and we encourage you to consider it!)

If you’re over 18 and want to be involved in the Young Mayors program in other ways, get in touch!

We have paid opportunities available for young people to deliver presentations at schools, support other young people to nominate themselves, help coordinate Election Week, set up and manage voting centers, and count votes.

How often and where will the Youth Council meet, and what’s the time commitment?

The Youth Council will meet once a fortnight. Meetings will be 1.5 to 2 hours on a weekday after school (day of the week to be confirmed).

If any Youth Council members can’t attend meetings because of transport, we’ll find a way to help – just let us know when you complete your nomination form.

As well as fortnightly meetings, the Youth Council may have the chance to go to Hepburn Shire Council meetings and other events, which will be decided as the Term in Office rolls out. They will also be encouraged to attend events in the community.

Does it cost anything to be involved?

The program is completely free to participate in.

Will Youth Council members be paid?

Youth Council members will be paid a quarterly stipend of $250 ($1000 across the Term in Office) to recognise that costs might come up as a part of being involved (eg. transport).

Food will be provided for meetings with all dietary requirements catered to.

Can candidates use social media to promote campaigns?

Social media can be used for campaigns as freely available tools for promotion. Candidates can not run cash advertising on social media platforms.

The Candidate Code of Conduct and Rules for Engagement outline expectations including respectful interactions and reporting of inappropriate or harmful commentary.

A comprehensive set of child safeguarding policies underpin all of FYA’s work.

Is the Young Mayors program a school activity?

No. Elections will be run at schools, but the Young Mayors program is not part of the curriculum.

The Youth Council runs outside of school time, but it’s best to let your school know you’ll be getting involved either as a candidate, or as an elected Youth Council member. A letter to your school can be provided on request.

On occasion, Youth Council members may have the chance to get involved in activities that run during school hours, with advanced notice.

What safeguarding is in place for young people in the program?

The Young Mayors program works with young people aged 11 to 17 years. We recognise this program puts young people in the public spotlight, and this can create vulnerabilities.

Risk management planning includes, but is not limited to specific actions and support available to keep young people safe, processes to report harm, and clarity on expectations young people can have of each other, partners involved and the general public.

FYA and our partners are required to have Working With Childrens’ Checks and adhere to a comprehensive set of safeguarding policies and legislative requirements. Both FYA Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy and Hepburn Shire Council Policies inform and underpin the program delivery.

Got more questions?

During the nominations period, we’ll be coming to participating schools and community groups to tell you more about the Young Mayors program and how you can get involved.

In the meantime, if you have a question that hasn’t been answered here, get in touch with the Young Mayors Team for support on youngmayors@fya.org.au or book a time to chat here.