The Search for Jurors
Over the months of April and May the PYM team completed phase two of the Youth Jury Process. These months consisted primarily of heading out to schools in the Parramatta region and giving presentations about the Youth Jury and contacting youth organizations in Parramatta to help spread the word about the Youth Jury. 18 schools in the Parramatta area were very interested in the project and were happy for us to make a presentation to students aged between 16-17 years of age. We subsequently received a massive amount of participation forms from potential jurors from a wide variety of schools and youth organisations. In fact, forms and requests to make presentations kept coming in even after the closing date. We took this as a positive sign that young people in the Parramatta community believe they can and want to make a difference in their community.
The Selection Process
Through the process of random selection we have ended up with 17 jurors. Originally the plan was for 18 jurors but to ensure that the group make-up reflected the principles of the selection process we have kept the jury to 17. This now means that the group will be more representative of the broader young community in regards to cultural and education backgrounds and schools
The Introductory Sessions
When the task of collecting participation forms and selecting the jurors was over we had to prepare for the Introductory Sessions (previously called pre- youth Jury meetings). The point of these sessions (3 in total) is for the jurors to meet each other and also meet the facilitators. It is also hoped it will help the jurors become comfortable with each other and begin to understand what the point of the Youth Jury is and most important by the end of the 3rd introductory session (IS3), formulate a charge that they were all happy with.
Now that the Youth Jury is closer than ever, the PYM team has gone into overdrive. Firstly we have allocated roles for the whole team (like facilitator, evaluator and caterer), secondly we have also created proposed agendas for the three introductory sessions, and thirdly we have organised professional facilitators that serve and will continue to serve as mentors to the project until its conclusion. These professional facilitators include Graeme Gibson, Max Hardy, Kathryn Leaney and Noel Winterburn. Lastly we also attained the assistance of a professional evaluator to help the PYM evaluator: Joe Sorby who will evaluate the introductory sessions and the Youth Jury.
The entire project team went a little media savvy over the last couple of months and there has been intense preparation in gearing up for the youth Jury. We have largely focused on national radio and print media in our media strategy but there has been substantial interest by the media community in helping lift the project’s profile, which the project team is very grateful for.
See our Media Releases for more information
The Youth Jury
It is almost unbelievable but the youth jury is now coming on fast and the PYM team and quickly tying up loose ends. Of course the most important component of the project (the selection of the jurors) has been completed but now begins other aspects, the venues, the catering, the expert presenters that are going to ask the questions presented to them by the jurors. Of course this will be figured out slowly but surely and before we know it, the youth jury will be upon us.