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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 3580 ..

MR PRATT (continuing):

community. Prevention and education are far more preferable than putting firemen and others at risk. Therefore, it is important that the government take immediate action to introduce universal, departmentally supervised bushfire education.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Young Achievement Australia

MS MacDONALD (8.02): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) recognises the students in the ACT who have participated in Young Achievers in 2002;

(2) congratulates all the students for their participation, but particularly those who won awards last Friday;

(3) recognises and congratulates Young Achievement Australia for the good work it does in giving young people experience in business practice.

Mr Speaker, I wish to speak today about the many young people in our society who have just been recognised for their participation and achievements through the Young Achievement Australia business skills program.

All too often, young people in our society are portrayed as unmotivated and unimaginative. It is all too easy to portray our youth as unmotivated, as being "takers"from the community, while older heads sit back and reminisce about the "good old days"of youth where elders were respected and the young were model citizens. If we are honest with ourselves, everyone in this place has been guilty of the odd thought along those lines. It is an all too human trait to look upon our own youth with rose-coloured glasses, while we judge today's youth in an overly harsh way.

Today I want to give credit where it is deserved-to the 250 young people from the ACT and the region who have recently participated in the Young Achievement program. I would like to recognise these students, from a broad geographic region covering the ACT and south-east New South Wales, who participated in the 2002 program. The commitment to the program and their individual companies has been remarkable and an inspiration.

Young Achievement Australia, or YAA, is a non-profit organisation which provides hands-on enterprise education programs to youth. Young Achievement Australia relies on commitment from the local business community for business advisers and mentors, consultants and sponsorship.

One reason for wanting to note the work done by Young Achievement Australia lies in my own personal experience. I profess, Mr Speaker, that in my school days-which now seem a long time ago-I threw myself into the young achievers program and found it to be one of the most rewarding and challenging tasks of my youth. The lessons and the experiences from my involvement with Young Achievement have travelled with me since and have provided me with a solid foundation for many challenges in my adult life.

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