New youth mayor 'honoured' by role

YOUNG leader Declan Primmer could be the next Michael Neoh, Glenys Phillpot or David Atkinson following his election as Warrnambool’s new youth mayor.

Warrnambool mayor Michael Neoh presents his new youth counterpart Declan Primmer, 16, with the mayoral bling yesterday. Declan will head the Warrnambool Youth Council.       140513DW61 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Warrnambool mayor Michael Neoh presents his new youth counterpart Declan Primmer, 16, with the mayoral bling yesterday. Declan will head the Warrnambool Youth Council. 140513DW61 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

The 16-year-old was appointed by his peers this week to lead the city’s youth council for the next 12 months, with fellow councillor Teagan Lane as his deputy.

The third-year youth councillor has long had an interest in politics and is aiming to study law at Melbourne University once he graduates from high school.

“It’s a great honour and really exciting,” the Warrnambool College student said.

“I’m really interested in politics and the way it all operates. 

“I’ve met mayor Michael Neoh and he was great to talk to about what’s involved with the whole mayoral position and the work he does.”

Seventeen youth councillors were chosen in March and hail from Brauer, Emmanuel, King’s and Warrnambool colleges as well as South West TAFE and the general workforce.

Cr Neoh dusted off the ceremonial mayoral chain yesterday after congratulating Declan, adding that he’ll represent the city’s youth well.

“The youth council provides our young citizens with a chance to take on a rewarding leadership role that allows them to use their passion and knowledge to make Warrnambool a better place for young people,” the mayor said.

Declan said he drew leadership inspiration from a number of figures, including late South African president Nelson Mandela and former prime minister Julia Gillard.

“Everyone has an opinion on Julia Gillard but she did a lot of good things for Australia,” Declan said.

“She was a really strong leader and led the way for other women to become PM. 

“She showed us that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, you can be prime minister or whatever you want to be.”

Serving alongside Declan on the youth council will be Olivia Niddrie, Tom O’Sullivan, Jamison Kenny, Taylor Johnstone, Phoebe Cody, Aislinn Primmer, Ben Cressall, Emily Bakic, Gabby Good, Jessica Benter, Lachlan Peach, Natasha Knowles, Nicholas Webb, Sarah Schietroma and Jess Lehmann.

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