THE Derwent Valley Youth Future Action Team (D’FAT) is looking forward to big things in the coming year following a successful annual general meeting yesterday. The Derwent Valley Council’s youth advisory group welcomed a number of new members, with one of them being elected to the position of vice chairperson.
Held at the New Norfolk Salvation Army headquarters in a COVIDsafe format, the meeting on Thursday night saw the membership grow to 14. “The new members stated that they joined D’FAT through participating in D’FAT’s validated learning activities or promotion by D’FAT at schools,” facilitator Matt Hill said.
The election of office-bearers saw Nic Kaiser, Sam Dawes and Amy McDonald returned to their respective positions of chairman, treasurer and minute-taker, while new member Matthew Rime was elected vice-chairperson.
Membership of D’FAT is open to 12-25-year-olds throughout the Derwent Valley municipality (from Granton to Maydena. The group meets monthly at the Salvation Army’s Derwent Valley Corps, although from April to June this year it held online “Zoom” meetings due to the coronavirus pandemic.
D’FAT exists as a Special Committee of the Derwent Valley Council, to increase awareness of and address youth issues and concerns; provide opportunities for community involvement; facilitate and promote consultation between young people and community groups and all levels of government; represent the views of young people; develop young leaders; and to support and co-ordinate activities and projects for young people.
Despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, D’FAT has had a busy year of consultations, meetings, social and learning activities, and media promotions. This included participation in last year’s New Norfolk Christmas Parade and carols, the Bushy Park Show and Westerway Primary School centenary. The group is also represented on the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival organising committee and the New Norfolk Australia Day Celebration Committee. An outdoor movie night was presented in New Norfolk and multiple workshops were held in robotics, coding and online gaming.
Since 2018, D’FAT has been a validated public learning destination for Children’s University, enabling children aged from seven to 14 to participate in accredited activities for their Passports to Learning. Once a certain number of activity hours have been logged, they graduate from Children’s University in a ceremony at a University of Tasmania campus. With support from Children’s University and the Rotary Club of Derwent Valley, D’FAT recently began a 15-week First Lego League 2020-21 season team program in robotics.