Australia’s peak bodies for young people and youth services are urgently calling on the Federal Government to reinstate a Minister for Youth and funding for national youth week and the national youth peak body.
This week is youth week (13–22 April ) and The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC), Youth Affairs Council 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 Youth Affairs Council of South Australia (YACSA) are urging the government to take positive steps to signal the end of an era that has seen a deliberate disconnection from young people.
“We’re asking the Australian Government to tangibly demonstrate that it is committed to the country’s 4.3 million young people,” said Katie Acheson, Chair of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC).
“Young people are facing sustained high youth unemployment rates, worrying spikes in youth homelessness, record low housing affordability and difficulties transitioning from education to work.
“Right now, there’s an empty chair in the room where decisions are made that affect young people. Appointing a Minister for Youth to drive a cross-government national youth strategy from within Cabinet, and funding a national youth affairs peak body to represent young people, would ensure the issues that impact young people lives are considered and inform decision making and policy development at a national level.
“The Australian Government must put official mechanisms in place to connect with young people and ensure they are able to participate in decision making that affects their lives,” said Ms Acheson.
The state peak bodies for young people are urging government to:
- Appoint a Minister for Young People
- Commit to funding a national youth affairs peak body that can be the voice of young people
- Reinstate National Youth Week funding to celebrate young people’s contributions to our country.
Further comment: Leo Fieldgrass – CEO Youth Affairs Council Victoria – 0439 254 667 or firstname.lastname@example.org.