THEY are young, they have ideas, and Greater Taree City Council is listening.
The Manning Youth Action Team (MYAT) was formed last year after council recognised the need for a functioning and regularly assembled youth advisory group
The aim was to be a sounding board for youth issues to council and youth service providers as well as an advocacy group for young people to express their views to council.
In 2011, a small group of young people involved in planning and conducting Live'n'Loud in the Library were asked to consider diversifying and becoming an advisory body
MYAT developed into its current form in 2012.
Members, aged between 12 and 24 from the local area and schools, meet regularly to help plan and conduct a range of activities, including including Youth Week, community awareness days and Live'n'Loud events.
The next Live'n'Loud event is happening tonight (September 18) at Taree Library from 6pm to 9.30pm and will feature a number of local bands. Entry is a gold coin donation to MYAT.
For more information go to the Greater Taree City Council website.
All volunteers, the young people have committed themselves to the group for the year, and are facilitated and maintained by council's community outreach librarian Debbie Horgan and youth development officer Jane Lynch.
Last year MYAT was involved in Youth Week, Taree Community Connect Day, Spring Together 2012 and Live'n'Loud in Harry Bennett Park.
This year MYAT has been able to secure funding to provide four Live'n'Loud events in Taree, planned and designed all the Youth Week activities, sent youth representatives to NSW parliament house as part of Youth Week's youth leadership conferences, and sent 14 representatives to the Indent Feedback Festival as part of Sydney's Vivid Festival.
They have some big plans for the coming months, with one of the most exciting being the Indent Regional Tour, bringing hip-hop act Spit Syndicate to Harry Bennett Park on November 23.
The tour is a great chance for the skill development of young people as Indent will work directly with them to stage the show.
MYAT includes students from St Clare's, Taree High, Taree Christian College and Chatham High and the group has been working together for more than a year.
To keep up to date with the group, youth services and youth events in the Manning Valley, you can 'Like' the Facebook page Manning Youth.