THERE is a new mayor in town — a youth mayor.
Frankston Council anointed its first Youth Mayor at this month’s public council meeting.
Former Frankston High School student Gerard Felipe, 18, currently studying at university, donned the youth mayoral robes for a 12-month stint on 13 March.
At the meeting he said he is focused on working to improve youth engagement and advocating for access to support against bullying.
“This opportunity will allow me to speak up for youth who may not be willing to and stand side-by-side with those youth who can,” he said.
“I admit I don’t have all the answers but I am willing to listen to other people’s ideas and perspectives, even when they contradict my own, for the greater good of the community.”
Frankston mayor Cr Colin Hampton said the youth mayor program aims “to enable young people to develop exposure to the community and local government processes”.
The program encourages 18-21 year olds “to take an active role within our community”, the mayor said.
The inaugural youth mayor said he believed in following the example of Mahatma Gandhi who said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
“I strongly believe the youth in the community are not just the leaders of tomorrow but we are also the leaders of today,” Mr Felipe said.