Kate Currans chosen on NSW Youth Summit steering committee

LIVING WITH DROUGHT: 15-year-old Kate Currans has seen the impact of drought first-hand after growing up between Nyngan and Cobar. Photo: CONTRIBUTED
LIVING WITH DROUGHT: 15-year-old Kate Currans has seen the impact of drought first-hand after growing up between Nyngan and Cobar. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

The childhood innocence of rural and remote kids in drought-stricken areas is being lost quickly, says Nyngan's Kate Currans.

Ms Currans is among 11 people chosen to be on a steering committee for UNICEF Australia's NSW Youth Summit on living with drought.

As part of the steering committee, the youths help select about 100 young people aged 14 to 24-years-old who will attend the drought summit. The steering committee has also helped design the summit.

The aim of it is to collaborate with participants and experts to develop solutions for the problems young people are facing in the drought. The ideas will be presented to bureaucrats and politicians on the final day of the summit in October.

READ ALSO:

Ms Currans who grew up on a farm between Nyngan and Cobar said most of her life had been spent battling against the drought.

She says kids are growing up far too quickly as they see the affect drought is having on their families.

For the 15-year-old this was witnessed first-hand at a young age when she helped her mum check ewes that were lambing.

"Childhood innocence is lost very quickly in a drought." Ms Currans said.

"I remember when I was a young child, around three years old, riding out with my mum early of a morning during a drought, checking on the ewes that were lambing out. It was incredibly dry and whenever a ewe went down lambing, we would have to help her.

"I specifically remember, when there was any ewe with twins, it was my role to stop the crows from picking the eyes out of the first lamb, while mum would help pull the second stuck lamb.

"Just small experiences like this expose you to death and the cruelty that animals can inflict on one another for survival."

Ms Currans said youths were not spending their time being kids because they were seeing the affect of mental illness and financial instability, and hopes the summit will bring young people together to share experiences and find ways to tackle the hardships they find themselves in.

"I hope that young people are able to get off farm and see an abundance of green grass and the waters of Lake Macquarie, giving people hope," she said.

"For young people to be surrounded and supported by others that are affected by drought and have fun in a safe and supported environment and to come up with strategies and solutions to help assist youth through this drought, and future droughts, is also important"