Page 1518 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 April 2005

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through to Sunday, 17 April. The theme for National Youth Week 2005 is “make it yours”. It is a message to young Canberrans to get involved and have a say in how National Youth Week is celebrated in the ACT and to help to foster that real youth community as part of the broader Canberra community. Youth Week is the major coming together and celebration for young people across Australia and is celebrated here annually through events organised by the ACT government, community groups and, of course, young people themselves. The ACT government plays an active role in facilitating Youth Week but it is really the contribution of young people at the many events that make it a worthwhile exercise, which builds a sense of community for young people in the territory.

One of the important events, which will kick off the week’s events, will be the annual Youth InterACT Conference, which is an important forum for young people to formulate a common program of actions in response to the issues facing young people. The conference is to be held tomorrow, Friday, 8 April at the Gorman House Arts Centre. The conference aims to provide an opportunity for participants to contribute to youth policy, learn various skills, make connections, establish networks and meet new people. The conference outcomes will be collated into a report and posted on the youth website for public access.

National Youth Week Expo will be occurring in Garema Place this Friday from 3.00 pm. There will be music throughout the afternoon, food available, and a youth marketplace where information regarding youth services and information can be obtained. People will remember from previous years that this is a vibrant part of the calendar of events—not quite rivalling the Multicultural Festival but certainly a dynamic expo in its own right.

Canberra Youth Theatre will be holding ZAPTfest, which will provide the opportunity for young students interested in dance, music and acting to meet one another and showcase their talents. This will culminate in a gala event to highlight the week’s acts that will be held on the main stage of the Street Theatre on 10 April. Quamby will be conducting an expo where up to 20 agencies will provide information stalls of the services that are available to assist Quamby residents as they re-engage with the community. Woden Youth Centre will be holding a youth festival with a line-up of 10 bands, a short film festival and a performance by the Circus Warehouse. The festival will highlight the creative works by young people in the fields of film, photography, graffiti art, painting, drawing and music.

On Tuesday, 12 April, I will have the pleasure of announcing the ACT Young Canberra Citizen for 2005 and the recipients of the first round of Youth InterACT grants for 2005. The ACT Young Canberra Citizen of the Year Award is an opportunity for the ACT government to recognise young citizens who have made a significant contribution to the ACT community through their personal efforts. The nature of the nominees’ contributions can range through community work, sport, education, science, culture, the arts and the environment. The Young Canberra Citizen of the Year is expected to participate in activities such as significant community events, speaking to government agencies, relevant community groups and officiating at special events.

The Youth InterACT grants provide funding of up to $1,500 to young people to organise projects, events, activities and programs for other young people in the ACT. The Youth InterACT scholarships provide funding of up to $500 to young people to attend

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