Youth Advisory Group 

To build interest and momentum in the local Hepburn community, a Youth Advisory Group (YAG) has been formed to provide the Young Mayors team with advice on the best ways to engage young people in civic and democratic activities ahead of the Hepburn Shire Youth Council election in 2025.

Media release for Hepburn Shire.

The Youth Advisory Group currently meets fortnightly to share ideas and understand youth engagement challenges in Hepburn Shire. 

For more information about the YAG or to share interest in participating, get in touch with Savannah Supski at

Want to be part of the
2025 Hepburn Youth Council? 

1. Nominating for Youth Council

Feburary 2025

If you’re aged 11-17 or are currently in high-school in the Hepburn Shire region, you will be eligible to nominate yourself to run for a seat on the Hepburn Shire Youth Council in February 2025.

2. Campaigning for election

APRIL – MAY 2025

Candidates will campaign for six weeks ahead of the election and will be supported with free media training, campaigning workshops, marketing tutorials and more. A Meet the Candidates community forum will also be organised to give campaigners the chance to hear from and speak with constituents. 

3. Election Week

JunE 2025

The Hepburn Shire Youth Council election will take place over a block period of one week in June 2025. Ballot boxes will be set up in primary and secondary schools and community spaces across the Hepburn Shire region and online voting options will be made available. Young people aged 11-17 are eligible to vote. 

4. Term in Office

July 2025 – December 2026

The Hepburn Shire Youth Council will serve a 18-month term in office of which 12 months will focus on delivering projects, campaigns and events based on a priority agenda developed together early in their term and 6 months will allow for a transition period to the next Youth Council.

Check back early in 2025 to find more information!

Frequently asked questions

Key Details for the 2025 Council

  • February 2025 – Nominations open (6-weeks)
  • April 2025 – Campaigning period (6-weeks)
  • June 2025 – Hepburn Elections period
  • July 2025 – Induction and Swearing in Ceremony
  • July 2025 – December 2026 – Term in Office (18-month term)

Check back early in 2025 to find more information!


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.

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.

Campaigning for the youth council

How is the campaign process managed to ensure it is respectful and equitable?
We are committed to this program being a safe, accessible opportunity for all young people.

All candidates are asked to sign a code of conduct when they nominate themselves to run for Youth Council.

Candidates are given campaign support by FYA, and are not allowed to use any personal funds or seek donations (cash or in-kind) for their campaigns. We want to make sure all young people, regardless of privilege, are on an equal playing field.

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.

A comprehensive set of child safeguarding policies underpin all of FYA’s work. In addition, a well-being plan tailored to the program in Hepburn will be in place to ensure young people are using social media safely, with clear avenues for support should any incidents occur

Commitment during term in office

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.

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 Council 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.

Common FAQs

Does it cost anything to be involved? Will members be paid?
The program is completely free to participate in.

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.

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.

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 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.

Child safeguarding, inclusion and accessibility

What safeguarding is in place for young people in this program?
The Young Mayors program works with young people aged 12 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 Erin Brindley (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 with the Young Mayors Team for support on or book a time to chat here.