On Wednesday, twenty student leaders of Margaret River Senior High School were invited to participate in the annual Councillor-for-a-Day workshop at the Augusta Margaret River Shire. The workshop was organised by last year’s Head Student and Community Development Trainee Hope Sortras. The trainee role is a 12-month long position filled annually by a Year 12 graduate who works with Shire staff on projects around youth development, community engagement, event planning and communications. 
The students were greeted by Hope, Cr Naomi Godden, Shire President Ian Earl and Shire CEO Ms Stephanie Addison-Brown. In her welcome address, Cr Godden explained to the students how important their contributions were in the Shire and that active participation by young people was crucial for the future of the local community. She explained that she ‘invented’ the position of Community development trainee to ensure that young people had a voice. The students were then given a tour of the Augusta Margaret River Shire council facilities. 
In the workshop that followed, the students discussed their perspectives and opinions relating to mental health services in the community. The full Shire council arrived early to the ordinary meeting to listen to the students’ submissions. Cr Godden put forward a motion to the council to have the submissions written up. Afterwards, the students and councillors met and exchanged views during an informal lunch where students. Finally, the students attended the Ordinary Shire Council Meeting that started at 2 pm and watched with interest how formal meetings were conducted.

Margaret River SHS wishes to thank the Augusta Margaret River Shire for the generosity and their interest in the opinions of our youth. A massive thank you goes to Hope for all her organisation to make this another successful event. As one student said upon returning to the school: “Well done to everyone. We made something happen today. I think this is really cool.”

Patrick Marzohl 
Head of Department, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Languages
Teacher of European Languages and Student Leadership Coordinator