Laidley State High School student Tameka Zabel during the shadow the mayor program, run by the Lockyer Valley Regional Council. Photo: Ali Kuchel
Laidley State High School student Tameka Zabel during the shadow the mayor program, run by the Lockyer Valley Regional Council. Photo: Ali Kuchel

Laidley student urges youth to ‘care’ about local politics

HIGH SCHOOLERS should have a greater interest in local politics, according to year 11 student Tameka Zabel.

Without an interest in local council, the town could become compromised, she says.

The Laidley State High School student was the final student of the year to shadow Lockyer Valley Regional Council mayor Tanya Milligan for a day.

“These people decide how our town is run, and I think that people should be interested in that,” Tameka said.

“Otherwise, you wouldn’t have a good town if you didn’t have your say.”

The opportunity to shadow one of the region’s most influential leaders was an eye-opener to Tameka, who has a strong interest in law and legal studies.

“There are so many pathways to go onto once I leave year 12,” she said.

Laidley State High School student Tameka Zabel with Lockyer Valley Regional Council mayor Tanya Milligan. Photo: Ali Kuchel
Laidley State High School student Tameka Zabel with Lockyer Valley Regional Council mayor Tanya Milligan. Photo: Ali Kuchel

“Just learning about the different jobs and another area, such as council, that I could enter was an opener of what I could do.”

From meetings to rubbing shoulders with the CEO, it was a day of learning there’s much more to council operations behind the scene.

Tameka said she didn’t realise how many people it took to bring a plan together at council level.

“There’s so many different jobs within the council and what certain people do to make a plan come together,” she said.

Tameka was touched by Cr Milligan’s interest in the community, setting down to hand-write Christmas cards.

“This morning the mayor was in there handwriting Christmas cards for the people in town – that’s incredible that she handwrites them and it’s so personal,” Tameka said.

With 2020 studies wrapping up this year for Tameka, the shadow the mayor experience has given her an insight into possible career pathways.

Although she is unsure about studies after high school, Tameka said she was interested in law.

“I know I love law, and that may take me to university, or not,” she said.

Next year she will be busy studying English, maths, legal studies, early childhood studies and hospitality.