Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic), the state’s peak body for young people and the youth sector, is proud to announce the launch of its Youth Work Matters campaign.

Youth Work Matters is an election campaign calling on the Victorian Government for more trained, supported youth workers in Victoria. It seeks commitment from all political parties to invest in:

  • A state-wide youth work strategy so every young person can access the right support, whether they live in rural, regional or metropolitan Victoria;
  • A new initiative to recruit, train and employ youth workers from diverse communities, focused on those where young people experience high levels of disadvantage, exclusion or crime.
  • Employing more youth workers to help address our state’s priority issues, such as youth employment, mental health, youth justice and education.

“Every young person deserves someone they can count on,” said YACVic CEO Leo Fieldgrass. “But many young Victorians say they don’t have the support they need. This leaves them more vulnerable to things like school disengagement, unemployment, poor mental health, or involvement in the justice system, which all have serious individual and community costs."

"Increasing the number of trained, supported youth workers means our young people can access the right support – wherever they live, whenever they need it.” Mr. Fieldgrass said.

Youth Work Matters is an initiative led by YACVic with support from over 20 leading organisations such as the Centre for Multicultural Youth, Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, Parents VictoriaBerry Street, VCOSS, Flemington & Kensington Legal CentreWhitelion, Anglicare VictoriaYouth Support + Advocacy Service (YSAS)African-Australian Multicultural Employment and Youth Services (AAMEYS)Jesuit Social ServicesThe PushKoorie Youth Council (KYC)Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC), Domestic Violence Victoria, Victorian Local Learning and Employment Network, Youth Disability Advocacy Service, YMCA Victoria, Brotherhood of St LaurenceYouthlaw and Melbourne City Mission, among others. 

The campaign includes a deeply moving video series featuring thank you letters from Victorians who have been supported by a youth worker in the past, read aloud by current youth workers. The messages highlight the importance of the work of youth professionals, and speak to the breadth and diversity of support youth workers provide young people.

“Youth workers are unique professionals supporting young people to enjoy things like good health, education, work opportunities, and connection with culture, community, friends and family”, said Mr. Fieldgrass. “Their work is vital to building safer, stronger and more supportive communities – that’s why Youth Work Matters.”

Head to youthworkmatters.org.au to learn more and sign up for campaign updates.

Further comment: Leo Fieldgrass – CEO Youth Affairs Council Victoria – 0450 427 584 or [email protected].