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Media releases

New approach needed to stop students being kicked out of education

15 August 2017: Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic), the state’s peak body for young people, welcomes the release of the Ombudsman’s Investigation into Victorian Government School Expulsions.

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The Youth Affairs Council Victoria announces new CEO appointment

7 August 2017: YACVic’s Board of Governance would like to announce the appointment of Leo Fieldgrass as YACVic’s new Chief Executive Officer. Leo officially starts in the role today, Monday 7 August. The Board is very excited for Leo to lead YACVic into a new era and has full confidence in his ability to do so.

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Young people deserve their say on Q&A

24 July 2017: Victorian youth advocacy organisations welcome the focus on young people in tonight’s ABC Q&A television program. 

High school students from across Victoria will participate on the panel and comprise the audience, discussing a range of social and policy issues live with Josh Frydenberg, Liberal Federal Member for Kooyong and Minister for the Environment and Energy, and Catherine King, Shadow Minister for Health and Federal Member for Ballarat. 

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Victorian Government’s youth justice changes will widen the gap for Aboriginal young people

26 May 2017: The Victorian Government’s proposed changes to the youth justice system will deepen the disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal communities in Victoria. The proposed Children and Justice Legislation Amendment (Youth Justice Reform) Bill 2017, which includes increased maximum penalties and weakening the successful dual track system, is a step back for Victoria’s youth justice system and the government’s commitment to closing the gap for Aboriginal people.

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Safe homes for Victoria’s young people key to this state budget

2 May 2017: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic) welcomed the Victorian Government’s strong ongoing commitment to preventing and ending family violence, reinforced today through an investment of $1.9 billion in family violence initiatives.

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Safe Schools are for everyone, say youth and disability advocates

3 March 2017: The Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) and the Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) express strong support for Victorian special schools that are adopting the Safe Schools program as part of their health curriculum.

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Overcoming youth disadvantage – the difference a license makes

23 February 2017: Concerns are rising about youth unemployment and the risk that disadvantaged young people may remain seriously marginalised from the rest of the community. Today Victoria’s peak body for young people put forward one simple question: what if all young people got the right help to become safe, independent drivers?   

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Concerns for Aboriginal young people amidst changes in the youth justice system

9 February 2017: The Koorie Youth Council is deeply concerned at the announcement that responsibility for youth justice will move from Department of Health and Human Services to the Department of Justice and Regulation. Victoria has some of the nation’s lowest rates of Aboriginal young people in custody and the recent decision threatens to change this.

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Fears the adult corrections system will ‘train young people in crime’

6 February 2017: Victoria’s peak advocacy body for young people expressed deep concern at today’s announcement by the Victorian Government that youth justice custodial services, community based youth justice and youth justice policy will move from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Department of Justice and Regulation.

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YACVic voices concerns that Safe Schools will suffer under new leadership

20 December 2016: The Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic), the state peak body for young people, today expressed strong concern over the state government’s decision to move Safe Schools Coalition Victoria (SSCV) operations within the Department of Education and Training (DET) from term one 2017.  

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Youth justice reforms must tackle the causes of crime

8 Dec 2016: Reforms to the youth justice system announced this week give us a new opportunity to tackle the causes of youth crime and enable positive changes in young people's behaviour. However, Victoria’s youth peak body warns that a focus on reporting, compliance and punishment is not enough, and may cause further harm.

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Port Fairy youth forum forced to find bigger venue after unprecedented interest from local young people

2 December 2016: The Youth Affairs Council Victoria’s rural agency, YACVic Rural, will host a forum on Wednesday 7 December in Port Fairy at a new, larger venue after unprecedented interest from young people across the region in coming together to discuss what’s important to them.

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A great opportunity for Gippsland’s young people to turn ideas into action

6 October 2016: The Youth Affairs Council Victoria’s rural agency (YACVic Rural) will host a forum on Thursday 3 November to bring young people from across the region together in Morwell to discuss what’s important to them.  

Young people can share their ideas on what can be done at State Government level to better support young people and their communities.

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Pornography, young people and sexuality today

6 October 2016Explicit sexual imagery is now easily accessed, created and shared. For young people, it is almost impossible to avoid and is a key source of information on sex and relationships.

Leading Australian community educator in this field Maree Crabbe says, Young people need help from adults who care about them to understand that porn does not represent a realistic view of sexual desire, activity or relationships.

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YACVic welcomes release of Victorian Government’s new youth policy

29 June 2016: The Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) welcomes the release of the Victorian Government’s new youth policy, which includes a clear articulation of how the government will engage with young people across its portfolios into the future. 

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Young disabled man calls on political leaders to commit to more affordable and accessible housing

28 June 2016: The petition launched by Luke David, 24-year-old member of the YDAS steering committee, today highlights the challenge faced by thousands of young people with disability unable to live independently because of the lack of affordable and accessible housing. 

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Work with schools to include students, not exclude them

23 June 2016: This was the key message of a new research paper released today by the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, the state peak body for young people and youth services.

"We’re concerned about what happens to students who are excluded from their schools, via suspension, expulsion, reduced attendance, or being urged to leave,’ said YACVic CEO Georgie Ferrari. ‘Excluding a student may make things easier for the rest of the school community in the short term. But it rarely fixes serious behavioural problems or disengagement, and it places some very vulnerable young people at risk."

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YACVic Supports Safe Schools Co-Founder

3 June 2016: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, the state peak body for young people and youth services, voices its strong support for the co-founder of Safe Schools Coalition Victoria, Roz Ward, who was suspended recently from her position at La Trobe University.

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Bringing healthcare to young people when they need it most

10 May 2016: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic) supports the Victorian Government’s plan to give young people in some of Victoria’s most disadvantaged communities increased access to health care within their secondary schools.

“If a young person has a concern about their health, especially their mental health, it’s vital to encourage them to seek appropriate professional help – and to make this help easy for them to access,” said YACVic CEO Georgie Ferrari.

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Visionary state budget welcomed by youth peak body

27 April 2016The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s commitment to deliver a stronger, inclusive education system and targeted support for young people escaping family violence.

"This is a strong budget which delivers on the Andrews Government’s promises to build Victoria into the Education State and take a powerful lead in preventing and ending violence in the home," said YACVic CEO Georgie Ferrari.

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Royal Commission into Family Violence – landmark report to improve the system

30 March 2016The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic) has welcomed the release of the final report and recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

As Victoria’s youth peak body, we are deeply concerned about the impacts of family violence and relationship violence on young people, said YACVic CEO Georgie Ferrari. Experiencing violence early in life can set a dangerous precedent. To make things worse, many family violence services simply don’t have the capacity to work closely with young people. But if we can catch violence early and support young people through this formative stage in their lives, it can make a tremendous difference.

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YACVic supports Safe Schools Coalition

1 March 2016: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic), the state peak body for young people, expresses its strong support for Safe Schools Coalition Australia. Safe Schools is a thoroughly researched, evidence-based program that works primarily with teachers and school welfare staff to eradicate bullying and make schools welcoming and inclusive for same-sex attracted and sex/gender diverse students, staff and families.

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Youth Affairs Council of Victoria welcomes Liana Buchanan as new Commissioner for Children and Young People

23 February 2016: The state’s peak body for young people and youth services today welcomes the appointment of Liana Buchanan as the new Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People in Victoria.

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Young People with Disabilities Call on Government to End Disability Abuse

1 December 2015A young Melbourne woman with a disability who is forced to have male carers attend to her menstrual management, showering and toileting, had her abuse responded to in the Australian Senate’s ‘Inquiry into Violence against People with Disability in Institutional and Residential Settings’, tabled this week.

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Two new YACVic regional offices announced today

19 November 2015: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic), with the Minister for Youth Affairs, Jenny Mikakos, today announced the sites of their two new regional offices. From early 2016 YACVic will establish a presence in Warrnambool and Swan Hill.

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Youth Affairs Council of Victoria Thanks Commissioner for Children and Young People for his Service

29 October 2015: The peak body for young people and youth services this week acknowledged and thanked Bernie Geary OAM for his tireless service as Commissioner for Children and Young People in Victoria.  Mr Geary announced his retirement from the role this week after 10 years in the job and 40 years working with children and young people.

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Young people with disabilities celebrate full NDIS rollout

16 September 2015Young Victorians with disabilities can celebrate today with the signing of an historic bilateral agreement with the Commonwealth outlining the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Victoria over the next three years.

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YACVic welcomes the development of a New Youth Policy for Victoria

25 August 2015: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic) has welcomed the announcement of consultations that will inform the development of a new youth policy framework for young Victorians.  The Andrews Government yesterday announced plans to consult widely with young people and the broader community in the development of a new policy.  

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Victoria’s first Gender and Sexuality Commissioner

16 July 2015: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s appointment of Rowena Allen as Victoria’s first Gender and Sexuality Commissioner.

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YACVic calls for relationship education in schools

18 June 2015: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic) is calling for respectful relationships education in all Victorian schools as part of a package to reduce the impact of domestic violence on young people. 

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A strong state budget for young people

5 May 2015: The Andrews government’s first budget signals a strong commitment to vulnerable families and young people with solid investment into education and support services in Victoria.

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Youth peaks respond to McClure report: New welfare model raises concerns for young Australians

25 February 2015: Australia’s peak bodies for young people and the sector that supports them – the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC), the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic), Youth Action NSW, Youth Coalition of the ACT, Youth Affairs Network Queensland (YANQ), Youth Network of Tasmania (YNOT), Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia (YACWA) and the Youth Affairs Council of South Australia (YACSA) – have  raised joint concerns about the Final Report of the Reference Group on Welfare Reform to the Minister for Social Service (the McClure Report).

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Election 2014 – What’s in it for young people?

25 November 2014: Five days out from Victoria’s state election, the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria asks: what initiatives are the major parties promising to improve outcomes for Victoria’s young people?

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New TAFE pathways for young Victorians

17 November 2014: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria today welcomed the Victorian Labor Party’s commitment of $100 million to strengthen the TAFE sector in Victoria.

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Boost for secondary schools in Victoria

17 November 2014: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria today welcomed the Napthine government’s commitment of $1.2 billion in capital funding for new schools and school upgrades through 200+ projects around the state.

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New help for secondary students to plan their careers

14 November 2014: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria today welcomed the Napthine Government’s commitment of $1 million to help secondary students plan for a career.

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Safe, affordable housing key to young people’s futures

14 November 2014: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria today welcomed the Victorian Government’s commitment of $6 million to erect up to 120 backyard studios to house young people at risk of homelessness.

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Strengthening mental health support for young people

14 November 2014: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria today welcomed the Victorian Labor Party’s commitment of $60 million to rebuild Orygen Youth Health’s Parkville facility.

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Support for young drivers a welcome commitment

10 November 2014: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria today welcomed the Victorian Labor Party’s commitment to increase support to young Victorians to become safe and responsible drivers.

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Some relief for young job seekers, but fears remain

7 October 2014: The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) and the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic) today welcomed news that the government will not require young job seekers to apply for 40 jobs a month. The announcement is part of the Department for Education’s Request for Tender for Employment Services 2015-2020 document, which was released today.

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Research shows regional students continue to be disadvantaged

14 August 2014: A new report is calling for more support for rural and regional students to help them overcome significant barriers they face in accessing higher education.

The Deferring a University Offer in Victoria report recommends affordable and supportive accommodation options near Melbourne educational institutions, and more course, career, financial and social guidance, particularly in the first two years out of school.

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Students appalled by corporal punishment remarks

16 July 2014: Two of the leading Victorian peaks for young people, The Youth Affairs Council and the body representing secondary schools students, The VicSRC, have condemned recent comments made in the media by Kevin Donnelly, the Prime Minister’s key advisor on curriculum reform.

Tess Shacklock, Year 11 student and the young media spokesperson for the Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC) said "It’s wrong, completely wrong! It shows Dr Donnelly is out of touch with students and the modern classroom environment. If he doesn’t respect students, how is he going to understand what is best for students?”

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Federal budget 2014-15: Response from the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria

The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic), the state peak body for young people and the youth sector, has expressed deep concern at the likely impacts of the 2014-15 federal budget on young people. With reduced access to income support, education, training and employment, many young people will be at risk of poverty and homelessness.

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Budget Tells Young People 'You are on your own': Youth Peaks

15 May 2014: Yesterday’s federal budget places unemployed young people in the firing line, severely reducing their access to income support and making a rise in youth poverty and homelessness a real danger.

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Youth Disability Advocacy Service and YACVic launch the Youth Disability Rights Hub

13 May 2014: Victoria’s young people with disability, and those who work with them, will have a fantastic new resource when the Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) together with the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic) launches the Youth Disability Rights Hub, in Law Week on 13 May 2014. The Youth Disability Rights Hub (youthdisabilityrights.org.au) is an online resource which aims to empower young Victorians with disabilities aged 12-25 to know and defend their rights.

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State budget a mixed bag for Victoria's young people

7 May 2014: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, the state’s peak body for young people and the services that support them, has praised the 2014-15 state budget for its funding of youth justice diversion programs, and for its increase to disability supports in schools. However, beyond this the budget shows little sustained investment in Victoria’s young people.

“With youth unemployment at twice the average unemployment rate, Year 12 attainment still not at national target levels, ongoing concerns about youth mental health, and youth homelessness a growing problem, young Victorians had a right to expect better,” said YACVic CEO Georgie Ferrari.

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YACVic launches Yerp - young people making change

2 April 2014: Victoria’s young people, and those who work with them, will have a fantastic new resource when the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic) launches Yerp on Wednesday 2 April. Yerp (www.yerp.org.au) is an innovative online toolkit for 12-25 year olds who want to make change in their communities. It is also a practical guide for organisations and groups who want to engage young people in what they do.

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Inquiry into sexual abuse in state care shows the value of having an independent ‘watchdog’

13 March 2014: The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic), the state’s peak body for young people and the sector that supports them, welcomes the announcement by Victoria’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Bernie Geary, of an inquiry into sexual exploitation of children in state care.

The announcement follows media reports of the sexual abuse of children as young as 12 in out-of-home care by paedophile gangs. It also responds to concerns about vulnerable and traumatised young people being housed in settings which are understaffed and underfunded.

“Young people in out-of-home care represent one of the most vulnerable groups in Victoria,” YACVic CEO Georgie Ferrari said. “It’s vital that their right to safety is guaranteed, and that their voices are heard.”

The new inquiry will look at sexual exploitation and assaults by outsiders, as well as sexual violence committed by children towards other children in care.

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YACVic has a number of partner agencies. For more information click on the logos below.

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