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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (2 April) . . Page.. 1290 ..

MS MacDONALD (continuing):

ACT social and demographic profile, this is because Canberra is still a young city and the nature of the industries and occupations continually attracts young, educated and skilled people. To continue quoting from the summary, young people in Canberra have obtained a high level of involvement and success in the Canberra work force.

Some young people opt to volunteer as well as work, according to the Youth InterACT report. In 2000, there were 12,900 people aged 18 to 24 who willingly gave unpaid help in the form of time, service or skills through an organisation or group in the previous 12 months. Canberra's number of young volunteers, at 36.4 per cent of the age group, is much higher than the national average of 26.8 per cent-nearly 10 per cent higher.

Our carers aged 10 to 18 are supported by the Cyclops initiative, which the ACT government funds. These carers achieve so much despite their young age and they are a credit to our society. Mr Speaker, having been in the situation at a young age of having to exchange roles with somebody with a mental illness, being at times more a carer than the carer, I do relate to their situation. I know that some of them do not have the support mechanisms around them that I certainly have had, so I do acknowledge the excellent work that Cyclops does for these young carers.

The youth organisation Galilee lost a Kambah building and $60,000 of equipment and resources during the fires, but director Craig Webber told the Canberra Times that the worst of times also brought out the best in people. He said, "We've weathered the storm. The staff and students have really pulled together in what has been a very difficult time."Mr Webber said that 15 students were currently being taught in a temporary building in Kambah and that it had been heartening to see the community and students rallying behind the service.

There are many reasons to be proud of Canberra's young people and it is timely that we acknowledge their importance on the eve of Youth Week, Mr Speaker.

MS DUNDAS (8.10): The ACT Democrats will be supporting this motion in recognising the importance of young people and of Youth Week. National Youth Week is an annual feature in Australia's youth calendar and provides a platform for reaching the 3.8 million people aged 12 to 25 in every Australian state and territory. This year's theme for Youth Week has the provocative title "What's it to you?". This is challenging young people to be creative and display what it means to be young in this country. This displays the diversity of young people in our community.

Just a quick browse through the many types of events provides a snapshot of what is going on in Youth Week. There will be many artistic pursuits, band competitions, a summit on sexuality, a young carers expo, a multicultural picnic, a disco for the disabled, dance parties, skateboarding competitions, a picnic for young parents and even a film festival. Mr Speaker, I will also mention the special event that you and I will be attending on the weekend, that is, the street chalk art competition in Belconnen. The theme of the event is "What's good for your mind".

Mr Speaker, you and have been selected as the guest judges for this event. I'm sure that we'll be able to spot good chalk art when we see it. The prizes are vouchers of $100 to pursue artistic endeavours and the winning chalk art pieces will be printed on postcards to be sent round the country. I invite all members to come along to the free barbecue

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