Monday, May 27, 2024

Brothers unite to support Holdfast youth

Tom and Jono Nelson are just like any other brothers – except they’re also volunteer members of the City of Holdfast Bay Council’s ‘HoldUp Youth Committee’ and have been since February 2022.

Both say they didn’t know the other had applied until the night before the first committee meeting.

“I had just come back from the US and I was on a high, wanting to do everything for the world,” said 21-year-old student pilot Jono (pictured, right).

“I saw an email about the group, signed up and came along… it was a simple as that.”

Year 10 student Tom, 16, signed up at the same time and hasn’t looked back since.

“We’re a small group but we’re always looking for more people…it’s really important that we get more people joining, because we don’t have a large enough group for everyone’s voices to be heard,” he says.

“We’ve got a special bond, we’re a little Council family in a way, we all get along with each other and all enjoy being there. I feel really valued.”

The committee, which boasts six members including the Nelson brothers, meets once a month and is the voice for people aged 12-25 in the Holdfast Bay area.

The group helps to inform Council decisions that are important to young people and have recently conducted interviews with high school seniors about the issues that are important to them.

“It’s important to have young people on Council’s side, talking to young people in the community,” Jono said.

“And we’re getting feedback that might otherwise be missed from regular council surveys.

“It’s important that we can reach out and engage and interact with these young people, tell them we’re here, what we are, what we do, and how they can talk with us and interact with us in the future.”

The HoldUp group instigated the Days at the Bay school holiday program for teens, a Youth Music register and are currently planning a community event to showcase young musicians.

Despite their busy schedules involving school, uni study, playing football and teaching music to kids, volunteering for the same group also gives the brothers something more to chat about over the dinner table.

“It’s something for us to bond over, focus on and work on together,” Jono says.

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