Maria takes on Highland Youth Convener Role
Issued by High Life Highland
On Monday 28th August, Maria Roberts will succeed Calum Maclennan by becoming the 11th Highland Council Youth Convener.
Maria (22) from Inverness was actively involved in the Highland Youth Parliament before becoming a student at the University of the Highland and Islands which saw her become President of the Inverness College Students’ Association and then going on to become Vice-President of Higher Education of the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association.
Paying tribute to outgoing Youth Convener Calum Maclennan the new post-holder said, “Calum has done an amazing job over the last 12 months and he should be very proud of the ambassadorial role he has played on behalf of young people across the Highlands.
“I have been lucky enough to undertake some ‘on the job’ shadowing with Calum over the last couple of weeks which has given me a real idea of what is going to be involved in taking on the role of Highland Youth Convener.”
Looking forward to taking up position on Monday, the former Inverness Royal Academy pupil went on, “I am really honoured to have been chosen as the new Highland Youth Convener, and although it is a huge responsibility – I am definitely ready for the challenge.
“I think it is really important for the views of young people to be heard and for young people to be involved in the decision making processes which could have an impact on their future.
“I think I have gained great experience from my recent roles with the University of the Highlands and Islands and therefore feel confident to be able to speak up and offer a young person’s opinion when it matters.”
Maria, who is also a Lieutenant in the Girls Brigade in her spare time continued, “I would like to spend my year developing support for sexual and mental health services for young people across the Highlands. However, as equalities are also a big issue for me, I would also like to focus on supporting young people with additional support needs or who are in care.”
The Highland’s new Youth Convener concluded, “I will do my best to maintain the relationships that Calum has built as well as continue the work he started; but I am also looking forward to fostering new relationships with young people and groups across the Highlands as we work together to make the Highlands the best place for young people to live, grow and develop.”
The outgoing Youth Convener Calum Maclennan said, “I am delighted to see Maria taking up the Youth Convener position and I am absolutely positive she will do a great job in representing the views of young people across the Highlands.”
Calum who will shortly leave the Highlands to start his training as a Police Constable at the Scottish Police College in Tulliallan concluded, “I have had a tremendous year as Youth Convener and I have been extremely honoured to work with some amazing young people throughout the Highlands who have confirmed for me how important it is that young people are involved in decisions affecting their future.
“As I complete my year as Youth Convener and prepare to leave and take up my new post with Police Scotland, I wish Maria every success for the forthcoming year. I am sure she will do an absolutely amazing job.”
Cllr Alasdair Christie, Chair of Highland Council's People Committee welcomed Maria on her first attendance at the People Committee, he said: "I am sure that Maria will find her new role very rewarding and enjoyable and we look forward to working with her over the coming year. We also wish our outgoing Youth Convener Calum Maclennan all the best in his new career, which I understand he will be following with the Police. Best wishes to both of them with their new roles."
Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson also paid tribute to Calum, she said: "Calum has been an excellent ambassador for young people in Highland and he has contributed effectively and concisely to council debates on many topics affecting young people putting forward a different perspective from the average age-group of the council chamber. I wish Calum the best of luck for the future and look forward to working with Maria who has joined Highland Council in a very interesting and challenging time during its re-design. Her input and outlook on council business will be greatly appreciated."