Meet Mackay’s Youth Council!

The Mackay Youth Council were elected in May 2023 and are serving a 12 month term in office.

Together, the Youth Council are delivering projects, campaigns and events based on a priority agenda developed together early in their term.

Youth Council Updates

The Youth Council are preparing their priority agenda, which will be published here soon.

If you have an issue you’d like the Mackay Youth Council to consider, contact


About the 2023-24 Youth Council

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

The Youth Council priorities are developed in response to the needs and dreams of young people in Mackay. The current youth council have established a priority agenda focused on health and wellbeing, transport, sporting facilities and activating third spaces (libraries, parks etc). The Priority Agenda is reviewed and developed at the beginning of each Term in Office.

The Mackay Youth Council current priority agenda can be viewed here. You can also view the priority agendas of youth councils in Horsham and Wollongong.

During the Term in Office, the Youth Council will be expected and supported to 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 connecting with other youth advisory groups, speaking at schools and community events.

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

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

Youth Council meet once a fortnight, alternating between in-person meetings at the Jubilee Centre, and online via zoom. Meetings are 1.5 to 2 hours on a weekday after school.

As well as fortnightly meetings, Youth Council may have the chance to go to MRC meetings and other events, which are decided as the Term in Office rolls out.

Are Youth Councillors paid?

Youth Councillors are 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 is provided for meetings with all dietary requirements catered to.

Does the Youth Council work with the Mackay Regional Councillors and Mayor?

The Youth Council have opportunities to meet with and provide recommendations to MRC Councillors and the Mayor throughout their Term in Office.

What suburbs and towns are in the Mackay Regional Council area?

Check out a locality map here.

General info

How did Young Mayors Mackay start?

Through the 1000 conversations consultation project, YOL1000, young people in Mackay told the Council they want to be part of decision-making in the community. It was suggested that a youth council be formed, beyond the Valley District Youth Council which supports young people in Pioneer Valley.

FYA came to Mackay in June 2022 to meet the Council, young people and community allies to talk about the Young Mayors Program, and then again in July 2022 to run a co-design session to shape the Young Mayors program with and for young people in Mackay.

The session was attended by 48 people, including 24 young people, the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, councillors, Council’s Acting CEO, council staff, Traditional Owners, YOL1000 backbone members, other community stakeholders and FYA staff including the CEO.

The session led to the development of the program, tailored to young people in Mackay.

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.

A well-being plan tailored to each community is developed at the beginning of the program, based on a thorough co-design process undertaken with each local government area.

The well-being plan 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.

What inclusion and accessibility support is available?

We are working hard to make every part of the program as accessible to as many people as possible. This includes using wheelchair accessible venues, having the option to provide Auslan Interpreters for events, providing single and gender neutral bathrooms, creating social scripts and maintaining COVID safety. 

We are committed to supporting all access requirements and welcome suggestions for any access needs not covered here. Please email Tahlia Azaria (she/her) at or call FYA on (03) 7046 3837 to book a time to chat.

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.

Want to be part of the 2024 Mackay Youth Council?

1. Nominating for Youth Council

OPEN 24 April 2024 and closes 9 June 2024.

If you’re aged 11-17* and live in the Mackay Regional Council region, nominate yourself to run for the Youth Council! *Note, if you are 11 you will need to be high-school age.
You do not need to be an Australian citizen to nominate. Young people both in and out of school are eligible to apply.

Download the Nominations Infomation Kit here.
Download FAQ information here.
Sign up for information sessions and workshops here.

There are two ways to nominate yourself:

2. Campaigning for election


Candidates will campaign from 1 July until the election in mid August 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

19 – 23 AUGUST 2024

Polling booths are set up in high schools and community spaces across the Mackay region during the election week.
Young people aged 11-17 are eligible to vote. 

4. Term in Office

SEPTEMBER 2024 – MAY 2026

The Youth Council will serve a 18 month term in office from September 2024 to May 2026. 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?

Week commencing 24 April – 9 June

  • Wednesday 24 April: Youth Council nominations open
  • May: Info workshops. Sign up for information sessions and workshops here.
    • Tuesday 14 May: Young Mayors 101 (online)
    • Thursday 16 May: Champions info session (parents and guardians) (online / in-person at the Jubilee Centre)
    • Tuesday 21 May: Young Mayors 101 (online / in-person at the Jubilee Centre)
    • Tuesday 28 May: Campaigning 101 (online)
  • Sunday 9 June: Youth Council nominations close
  • Friday 21 June: Final list of candidates confirmed

1 July – 19 August

  • Monday 1 July: Campaign period begins
  • Dates TBC: Online and in-person campaign workshops. Where possible workshops will be offered hybrid (online and in-person)
    • Candidates meet and greet / information session (in person)
    • Workshop: Being a representative & Building your team | (online / in person)
    • Workshop: Campaigning 101 (online / in person)
    • Drop-in session: Campaign support and Meet the candidates event prep
  • Week commencing 29 July: Meet the candidates community event
  • Monday 19 August: Election week begins

19 August – 23 August

  • Monday 19 August 2024: Election begins
  • Friday 23 August 2024: Election ends
  • Saturday 24 August 2024: Vote count


  • Induction consists of youth council orientation sessions. There are 2 sessions held on 2 Saturdays. Dates are TBA, likely in early September.

Swearing in Ceremony

  • The Swearing in Ceremony is a special event to formalise the elected council. Youth Councillors make an affirmation of their roles before the Mackay Regional Council, family, friends and community.

Term in Office

  • September 2024 – May 2026

What are the youth council meetings?

When the youth council meets

Regular Youth Council meetings are held once per fortnight and where possible hybrid (in-person with options to join online) meetings are offered. At the beginning of the Term in Office the youth council are asked to provide preferences for time and day, to determine the best time to meet. The schedule of meetings is also reviewed throughout the term in office.

Meetings are usually 1.5 hours and held in a central location.

Project-based (subcommittee) meetings which councillors opt into are additional and depend on the needs of the projects. It is up to the subcommittees to decide what day and how often these meetings occur.

How the youth council meets
Meetings are held in a central location. We also recognise that travel and internet availability can be challenging for some young people in Mackay and work with the youth council to find different ways for councillors to contribute meaningfully.

MS Teams is also used for youth council communications.

Youth councillors are expected to commit to their roles for the period of the Term in Office, however we understand that how youth councillors contribute may vary throughout the term with other commitments such as school, work, sports  etc.

The Young Mayors Mackay Team and the youth council work together to support all councillors to contribute meaningfully.

Youth councillors will also be encouraged to attend additional meetings with community, participation in events and some excursions.

Meetings are held at the Jubilee Centre at Mackay Regional Council. Public transport access can be viewed here. Transport to additional meetings and events is supported where possible. If transport is a barrier to participating, please let us know.

Food is provided for meetings with all dietary requirements catered to.

How can I participate in the Mackay Youth Council?

The Mackay Youth Council are fulfilling their term in office, which ends in June 2024.

Nominations to run for election for the next term in office are now open!

There are two ways to nominate yourself:

Online submission. Link here.

Download and print a hardcopy form. Link here.

In the meantime, you can have your say on issues they cover by emailing

How old do you have to be to get involved?

Nominations for the Mackay Regional Council are open to young people aged between 11 and 17 years of age* (at the time of application) living in the Mackay Regional Council.

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

Note: if you are 11, you will need to be high-school age.

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!

Does it cost anything?

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 ($1500 across the Term in Office) to recognise that costs might come up as a part of being involved (eg. transport).

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, in libraries and community locations, but the Young Mayors program is not part of the curriculum. Nominees do not need to be attending school to nominate.

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.