Well we've finally made it. It's the end of 2020.
HYC's last project of the year, the 2020 East Auckland Youth Awards was delivered last Saturday and once again saw the recognition of talented youth in the local area. You can learn more about the prizewinners here.
In light of that, we thought it would be cool to take a look back at the year while our regular Annual Review is still in the works for the beginning of 2021.
A turbulent year like no other
It has been a turbulent year like no other and we've undoubtedly had our moments of consternation, but as we come to the end of 2020, the youth council is in a stronger position than it ever has been — the projects we've run this year show that the best.
The 16 projects which have been delivered by our five teams despite COVID have been a result of the dedication of youth council members who have volunteered countless hours, skills and energy to making their community a better place for their peers.
Below is a reminder of what they've been able to accomplish in the past 10 months.
Left to right, Team 1: Elaine, Eddy, Victoria (lead), Krish, Hannah (not pictured)
Team 1 took on the Howick Youth Summit, running it in its eighth year and saw to it while it survived postponement through both lockdowns. Amid being postponed, the team ran Lockdown Diaries utilising the youth council's social media.
Left to right: Emma, Akira, Chloe (lead), Liam, Minju, Sarisha (leadership team)
Team 2 built upon and significantly grew the strongest projects from the youth council's prior years including Pride Allied, Youth Performing Arts Showcase and the Youth Awards.
Left to right, Team 3: Willy, Joanne, Camryn, Cuan (lead), Twinkle
Team 3 saw to running the Youth Visual Art Showcase for its third year as it grew exponentially in submissions, meanwhile dabbling in exciting new projects like Destress, InTENse and Mean Green Scene.
Left to right, Team 4: Noyiuki, Regina, Anna (lead), Andrea, Matt
Team 4 led the youth council's most successful digital project through lockdown in Wednesday Weeklies and jointly-conceptualised and brought Destress to life with Team 3.
Left to right: Danica (leadership team), Leané (lead), Annika, Amy, Daniela (not pictured)
Team 5 successfully ran two MP candidates forums in the Botany and Pakuranga electorates while under COVID gathering restrictions. The team also successfully ran the East Auckland Youth Film Festival for its second year, Pick Your Party for new voters and TikTok Lockdown Challenge in March.
Our membership list for 2021 has already been confirmed and we're expanding the council from 32 members to 36, including the addition of three new roles within the Communications Team.
The 2021 Leadership Team has already had weekly meetings since late-October and has been busy working on applications, interviews, member selection, induction planning and long-term tabled discussions — as well as learning more about their roles and the history of the council.
Left to right: Victoria Kree (secretary), Justin Hu (communications), Ben Fraser (co-chair), Danica Loulie-Wijtenburg (co-chair), Krish Patel (council community), Chloe Yip (treasurer)
The team, which was elected in an uncontested election, has been expanded to six roles from five, with the addition of the Council Community Lead. This role will ensure that a sense of council culture, community and wellbeing is maintained for members.
Ensuring that our members build themselves while on the youth council is a key focus for the 2021 team with a greater emphasis on building connections within the council for members.
Since 2018, the council has grown significantly in terms of the number of projects it runs, the scale of those projects, as well as the number of teams running projects.
Accordingly, the work associated with making outreach happen on projects has likewise grown. The expansion of the Communications Team from being a three-person team currently to a six-person team in 2021 will hopefully see to greater capacity and higher quality in the outreach efforts of the council.
Left to right, 2020 Communications Team: Lia Arroyo, Sachi Kapadia, Justin Hu
Next year will be the tenth anniversary of the Howick Youth Council - a monumental milestone for any volunteer group like ours. In the past decade, members have put in thousands of hours collectively and produced incredible projects which have empowered the youth of East Auckland.
But none of it would have been possible without the Howick Local Board and the many dedicated elected officials and Auckland Council officers who have diligently supported the youth council throughout the past nine years.
Their unwavering support despite the ups and downs of running a volunteer group has been heartening for members to see throughout years.