The Relay for Life has quickly evolved in to proud part of Goulburn’s annual traditions; valiant warriors braving the elements, their own bodies and even time itself as a tremendous sign of solidarity against an insidious illness that remains the second most common cause of death in Australia.
While it was inspiring to see the reaction and effort from the wider Goulburn community, something that inspired me personally was the reaction of Goulburn’s young people to the event.
The Goulburn-Mulwaree Youth Council has been operating a lap-counting contest at the Relay for Life since 2014.
Known as the Jigsaw Cup (sponsored by Jigsaw Tax & Accounting), it gives the high schools in town the opportunity to engage in some friendly competition, both for the benefit of the people who must endure the monstrosity that is cancer, and for good old-fashioned bragging rights, of course.
The response this year was overwhelming. Nearly 100 young people bought in to the competition, raising around $400 for the Cancer Council in the process. These young people logged a total 5,135 laps over the course of the event, travelling a distance of over 1,540kms; enough to easily do a full walking trip from Goulburn to Rockhampton.
It was unquestionably heart-warming to know that there was nary a moment where there wasn’t at least one young person logging laps, regardless of whether it was 4pm or 4am.
I believe that this is simply a small taste of the amazing things that the young people of Goulburn can achieve, both for the benefit of the town and for ourselves.
Just this Monday gone we saw the power of youth in action when 10 students from Mulwaree High School participated as audience members during the ABC’s latest Q&A high school special. The representation of young people on that show was amazing to watch, and I’m proud our future lies with people like them.
This kind of community spirit and activism at all levels is something that the Goulburn-Mulwaree Youth Council wants to nurture, grow and maintain in the region; to help make Goulburn not just a town of young people, but a town for young people. A town that is not only aware of the issues young people can face, but a town that is actively doing what it can to help young people through those trialling times. That’s the town I know that we can live in and that’s the community I know that we can continue to craft.
The next time the Youth Council meets will be on November 24. Take the chance to come along and help make the region a better place.