Young voices shine at Children’s Forum

A smiling child on stage with their hand in the air.

Find out what greater Melbourne’s youngest residents want from our city thanks to our debut Children’s Forum.

The fun and interactive event delivered with inclusive theatre practitioners from the House of Muchness evoked 425 responses from 199 participants, with noticeable themes.

Many children told us that they love our city’s parks, gardens and people, and believe Melbourne would be better with less traffic.

Children also expressed their worries about climate change and the environment, and want us to provide practical support to people who are homeless.

Ada, a child who took part in the forum, said the event was important because it allowed participants to share their perspectives on the city they will inherit.

‘I learnt that even grown-ups can listen to kids and take their questions and answers into consideration,’ Ada said.

‘In the future, I want the city to be clean and full of trees to prevent car gas from hurting anyone and polluting the earth. And we should possibly add solar panels to the cars.

‘I also think we should get rid of plastic and replace it with cardboard, because plastic can kill sea life and land life.’

The City of Melbourne is committed to engaging Melburnians of all ages, and to ensuring that children can participate fully in the creation of the city.

We have also been working with Polyglot Theatre to understand the city’s opportunities and challenges from a child’s perspective, using ‘voice labs’.

These futuristic domes record willing participants’ responses to a series of questions about: inclusivity, climate change, health, creativity, and how best to engage them in Council decision making.

Lydia, Ada’s Mum, said it is important to give children a voice, as they are our future.

‘Children look at things in a much more simplistic way which often cuts to the heart of the matter,’ Lydia said.

‘The opportunity to speak helps empower young people and encourages them to try to make a difference.’

To find out more, visit Children.

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