iHub update: students and council discuss the city’s future economic development

Thursday, 17 Mar 2022

Bishop Druitt students and Council discuss the city’s future economic development

On Tuesday 8 March, Bishop Druitt College's wonderful new iHub hosted a Coffs Council community engagement session with some of our primary and secondary student leaders. The forum was about our city, and its future economic development. Representatives from the Council were the Economic Development and Destination Marketing Director, Fiona Bardon, and Ashley Sambrooks. 

The main aim was to hear the views and ideas of student representatives from junior and senior BDC students: Brodie Hart, Maddyson Cowling, Noah Wells, Ada Smith-Brooks, Zsofia Dryburgh (Junior School); and Mikal Tesfamariam (Year 12), and Heather Nivison, Abbey George, Matilda Watson, and      Ruby Couper (Year 11).

At the start of the session the facilitators asked what the group knew about economic development, then gave a simple, but very effective explanation, using youtube … and lego!

We discovered that, In simple terms, it involves the programs, activities, and policies that are generated to improve the quality of life for our community.

Our inquiring young students were given documents to read in advance of the forum. During this event, which went for nearly two hours, students discussed the council’s ‘key directions’: what they felt were important issues, what elements might be missing in the community, and what the next 5 years might look like in terms of priorities for the council. Some incredible ideas, ranging from: youth retention in the area; how to attract visitors; better management of waste; creating entertainment and performance spaces;  improving transport and access around the city; and methods for better communication using current technology. 

The suggestions put forward were really creative, well-considered, and intelligent. Fiona Bardon, who took copious notes with suggestions and points of discussion, was thoroughly impressed by the responses of our primary and secondary representatives and has suggested that the forum was such a wonderful success, we should make it ongoing. 

Optus Digital Thumbprint sessions

On Thursday 24 February over 350 students participated in Optus Digital Thumbprint sessions in the BDC Senior Theatre. These were free, curriculum-aligned workshops designed to teach young people to participate safely online, with the tools they need for positive, responsible and authentic experiences. 

The Digital Thumbprint lessons have been designed by the Optus Corporate Social Responsibility team, endorsed by the eSafety Commissioner, and included:

Year 7 – Cybersecurity workshop: How to strong passwords, enabling privacy settings on social media, and understanding just how easily and far things can spread when shared on the internet.

Year 8 – Cyberbullying workshop: Understanding the importance of respectful relationships and the impact of cyberbullying Explores Image Based Abuse & Consent online

Year 11 – Digital Balance workshop: During the workshop, students explore the positive uses of technology on our wellbeing and take steps to improve our digital wellbeing through streamlining what our devices can do for us

It was wonderful to see this interactive approach to imparting skills that students need to help them stay safe online, and teaching them to be responsible digital citizens. If anyone would like to see more about online safety, see their website:  www.digitalthumbprint.com.au