Jacob steps up for round two as a young leader
SOUTHERN Downs Regional Council has announced the team of eight for the 2016 Young Leaders program.
Among them is Jacob Meiklejohn who returns as a Southern Downs young leader for his second year.
Son of councillor Neil Meiklejohn, Jacob said he was drawn to the program as a way to help change his community for the better.
"Obviously I do get lots of traits from dad but I do lots of things with Scouts as well," he said.
"There was an ecologist on one trip who spoke to us and said 'you can't change the world but you can change your little bit of it', and I suppose young leaders really inspired me to do that change."
Jacob said the intensive learning in project management, leadership and teamwork had been a big learning curve but he was excited to apply his new-found skills to another project in the New Year.
"After learning so much this year and having a project that was a bit rushed I really want to do something more structured next year," he said.
"This year I presented Stay Strong Southern Downs at Warwick High School for the grade 11 students with guest speakers Michael See, Stewart Bailey at Scots PGC and Sophia McLucas from headspace.
"Michael had a fall while abseiling and Stewart has been through so much on his journey with cancer and their stories were just amazing and Sophia shared some more practical ideas with us.
"The idea was to show people that there's always a light at the end of the tunnel."
Also elected as Community Service Team Leader, Jacob said he wanted to help his community and see it thrive. He hinted he could follow in his father's footsteps and make the move into politics.
"The amount that I've learnt is incredible and the materialisation of all of that and pulling off a project has definitely been rewarding," he said.
"I'm hoping to go to uni to do demography (the statistical study of populations) - I've always loved maths and recently switched into geography so that ties the two in together really well.
"My mum's not thrilled about it but politics is definitely on the list."
Jacob and his fellow young leaders will be officially welcomed to council on January 21.
2016 Young Leaders