MADELINE Walter has always wanted to make a difference in her community.
When the opportunity arose in 2010 to join the local FReeZA group with the council’s youth development team, Madeline took it up.
“I saw FReeZA advertised on YO Bendigo and it sounded like a cool thing to do, so I applied, and I've been here since,” Madeline said.
Through FReeZA, events are planned by young people, for young people, to engage them in their local communities. Events range from music gigs to skills-based workshops.
The program engages more than 130,000 young Victorians each year and has more than 1200 young volunteers.
Madeline, along with the rest of the local FReeZA team, has helped organise a large number of events since she started.
“We hold at least one event almost every month, and recently held an event with around 1000 attendees,” Madeline said.
“It was great to be able to see our work reflected in the success of the event, and we were all really happy with the result.
"Being in FReeZA really gives me a sense of belonging."