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Youth Coalition of the ACT 2014-15 Annual Report: Youth Participation & Leadership

In 2014-15 the Youth Coalition undertook a number of new activities to further promote youth participation and leadership. Highlights include:

Mental Health: Perspectives of Young People aged 12-25 in the ACT

The Youth Coalition launched a report on young people's perspectives on mental health. The report outlines the perspectives that young people shared as part of the Youth Coalition's series of consultations on mental health and wellbeing, held between October 2014 and February 2015. Young Canberrans called for earlier education, people in key roles to develop their skills and knowledge, and more timely responses to help-seeking to address ongoing concern about mental health in our community.

Just Sayin'

Held during National Youth Week this event saw a panel of young people answering the question: Why should decision makers care what young people have to say?

Klair is a Wiradjuri woman from North West NSW. She did all of her schooling in the ACT and has been a part of the local community for most of her life. Currently, she works for Northside Community Service as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program Coordinator. At Just Sayin', Klair discussed how loss of identity and culture impacts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and the importance of education in closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Please click here to view Klair's speech at Just Sayin'.

Jasmine is 10 years old and goes to Canberra Girls Grammar School. She loves animals and dancing. At Just Sayin', Jasmine shared a great idea she has for raising awareness about children and young people in the out of home care system. She wants to hold a "simultaneous dance party" in all ACT schools later in the year to raise awareness and funds for organisations like CREATE that work with young people with an out of home care experience. You can hear more about her idea by clicking here and watching Jasmine's speech.

At Just Sayin', Joel shared his experiences of coming out as a lesbian at age 17 and, only a few years later, coming out as trans and transitioning to living as a male. He spoke passionately about the discrimination that he and other young people who are marginalised experience day to day and how important it is that decision makers listen and seek out the voices of young people when making decisions that shape our community. Please click here to view Joel's speech at Just Sayin'.

At Just Sayin' Alara spoke passionately about bringing education into the 21st century by integrating technology into our classrooms, banning homework and spending less time practicing outdated skills such as cursive handwriting. She also talked about the importance of physical health and calls for more investment in parks and public spaces where young people can have fun and be physically active outdoors. Please click here to view Alara's speech at Just Sayin'.

Ismail is currently studying journalism at the University of Canberra. He is an ethnic Hazara from Afghanistan and came to Australia in May 2011.  He is an active member of the Hazara migrant community in Canberra and has been involved in the Sadaie Dosti Radio Program on 2XX. Please click here to view Ismail's speech at Just Sayin'.

At 17, Rachael was told she was "more likely to lose her life to mental illness than recover", but that was not her story as shown in the film that she created for the Just Sayin' event during National Youth Week. Please click here to view Rachael's film.


Return to the Youth Coalition Annual Report 2014-15 contents page.