Children across the Blue Mountains were invited in 2021 to have their say about what is important to them about their community.
Kids, aged five to 12 years, were asked to share their views about what would make their village awesome, what has helped them during lockdown, and what they would like to do to make their community a great place for everyone.
Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said: “What we heard from the kids who participated was the importance of the relationship they have with the natural environment. Living so close to the natural environment provides support for their physical, emotional and social wellbeing.
“Many kids noted how important being out and about in their environment was, and that bike riding and bushwalking was important for them during lockdown.”
Kids shared their concern about keeping their environment safe. They spoke about deforestation, climate change and the impact of raising the Warragamba Dam wall.
Three major themes also emerged in response to asking kids what they would like to do to help the community be a great place for everyone. They want to care for the environment, be involved in finding solutions and include children activities in public spaces.
“Blue Mountains City Council wants children and young people to feel valued by the community and be connected to the community and the place where they live,” Mayor Greenhill said. “This helps kids be safe, healthy and secure in their cultural identity.
“Children bring a unique perspective to our community. Creating opportunities for childrensʼ experience and voice to be heard helps Council represent the whole community, and also supports childrenʼs sense of belonging.”
These priorities for children and young people are identified in Councilʼs framework for supporting Children, Young People and their Families: Strengthening Our Villages: 2019 – 2024.
Kids Say is an online platform for children living in the Blue Mountains to share their views and help inform the Council. It was launched in 2020 when kids were invited to identify suitable locations for Kids Street Libraries across the Blue Mountains, as well as the artwork for the Libraries. As a result 11 Kids Street Libraries were provided.
The summary of what Kids Say about what important to them about the community they live in – can be seen at yoursay.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/kids-say.
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