Paint Your Parra (City of Parramatta Council Youth Forum)

City of Parramatta Council

While the needs of young people are often discussed, there are seldom formal processes to include or empower them in community planning, design, or public engagement processes. This led the City of Parramatta to ask: “How can we embed engagement with young people in our planning processes?”

In 2016, Council engaged Cred Consulting to investigate through a study called The Needs of Young People in the Parramatta CBD. The study aimed to recognise the contribution of young people to the City and make recommendations to embed young people in all Council planning activities.

The recommendations made are continuing to be integrated across all Council departments and influenced Council to establish its first Parramatta Youth Forum, named by the youth event team as “Paint Your Parra."

A collaborative, capacity building and iterative process was used for the Parra Youth Forum including:

  • Promoting and recruiting for a youth organising committee resulting in a team of 14 local young people who we trained over 4 sessions about planning, event management, and engagement processes.
  • Event planning in collaboration with the Youth Committee and Youth Action.
  • Promotion of the event through Facebook, Snapchat, project postcards and posters, schools, and universities – all led by the Youth Committee.
  • Delivery of the first Youth Forum from 9am to 2pm, 27 April 2017, with 50 young people in attendance and facilitated by members of the Committee.
  • Design thinking and creative consultation techniques were used to keep young people engaged throughout the day including a Gif booth, craft activities, dotmocracy and opportunities to speak, be heard, and ask questions of Council staff about major projects.
  • Presentation of the forum findings, by the Youth Committee, to the Executive.