Northern Rivers students set to Takeover

An ABC-led program amplifying the voices of young people is taking over the Northern Rivers. Kristi Pritchard-Owens reports.

Students sitting at desks looking at a teacher standing next to a screen. Students sitting at desks looking at a teacher standing next to a screen.
Image: ABC journalist and former Lismore High student Leah White runs a workshop at her alma mater.

Young people in Lismore have started laying the groundwork to Takeover their town.

Takeover is a place-based initiative run by the ABC that amplifies the voices of young people on radio, through school workshops, a youth summit and a community grants program.

The ABC’s Director of News, Justin Stevens, said the broadcaster was looking forward to the program landing in the Northern Rivers.

“Takeover is a celebration of local community and gives a voice to the young people who live there,” he said.

“The Lismore community has shown immense resilience over recent years.

“The ABC is looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate with Lismore’s young people to help bring their stories to the nation.”

A partnership between the ABC, the Office for Youth and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, Takeover offers young people a platform for their unique voices and perspectives to be heard and celebrated.

Students from the region’s public schools have already started participating in class-based workshops to help craft their stories.

Executive Principal Chris Randle said all three campuses of The Rivers Secondary College (Kadina, Lismore and Richmond River) would participate. Nimbin Central School has also signed on.

“Our students have been through a lot, but they are strong, they are diverse, and they have so much to say,” Mr Randle said.

“There has been so much enthusiasm and engagement during the workshops. It’s really exciting.

“We can’t wait to see what they produce.”

A minimum of 35 winners will be chosen from all participating schools to have their stories produced, before attending the Takeover Youth Summit in Lismore in May 2024.

The summit brings together young people, community leaders and program partners to develop youth-led ideas.

More information is available at

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