An annual North East speech has expanded beyond a single day in July in a bid to encourage young people to speak up.
The 2020 George Briscoe Kerferd Oration will be delivered by former Indi MP Cathy McGowan, continuing a Beechworth tradition that began in 2003.
But Ms McGowan and the oration committee will also oversee a three-month project that aims to engage young people about issues important to them.
"Talk to them about the Australia they want and how we as a community can make sure that in all the decisions we make we actually include young people's voices," she said.
Committee chair Karenne Thistleton said this was the first time a lead-in project had been planned ahead of the talk, to be held July 26.
"Broadly across the community younger people are starting to find their voice in a whole range of areas and I think climate change is the one that comes to mind first," she said.
"They represent 30 per cent of the community, but they're very underrepresented in terms of official positions in decision-making roles.
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"So this project will be a bit of a test about whether we can get some young people involved, but also whether we can come up with a model that works across industry or business or in various levels of government.
"We really need to try and make sure that their views are heard and that they're represented in a way that meets their needs."
Applications for a project officer close on February 25, with plans to begin the scheme early next month.
Ms McGowan also delivered the Kerferd Oration 14 years ago, focusing on "our common wealth - what we share in common".
"I was inspired by the love that people in the community had to where they live," she said.
"The 2020 oration will go back to some things said in 2006 and see how that vision has come to pass."
She said themes might include climate change, the arts and music and developing a profile in the community.
"How do young people find their voice, how do they use it and how do they get heard?" she said.
The former independent MP said she was excited and honoured to be asked to give the Kerferd Oration, particularly being an Indigo resident herself.
"Having finished with my work in politics I'm really keen to re-engage deeply with this community and listen again to what young people are saying in all the small communities that we work with," she said.
Anyone applying for the paid project officer role should send a one page (maximum) expression of interest to email@example.com by close of business on Tuesday, February 25.
The 2020 Kerferd Oration will be held on Sunday, July 26, 11am, at The George Kerferd Hotel, Mayday Hills, Beechworth.