Page 1570 - Week 04 - Thursday, 7 April 2011

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community. I am pleased to also recognise the significant financial support provided by beyondblue for Youth Week. Youth Week in the ACT has received over $40,000 in sponsorships to conduct a week-long program in Jervis Bay. Half of these funds were distributed to conduct additional National Youth Week events focusing on beyondblue’s key message of “look, listen, talk and seek help”.

Mr Speaker, as you can see, Youth Week in the ACT is a strong community-based event delivered with, and engaging with, young people. This terrific range of activities and events highlights the diversity and achievements of young people in our community and are a credit to all those involved.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, a supplementary?

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Minister, could you explain what has been organised for the Youth InterACT conference as part of National Youth Week?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hargreaves. Tomorrow I will be opening the Youth InterACT conference, which is being held in the Ainslie Arts Centre. The Youth InterACT conference is now in its 10th year and is hosted by the ACT Youth Advisory Council with the support of the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services. Conference participants are from a range of ages, abilities and backgrounds. As a result, the diverse views and thoughts of all young people in our community will be well represented and heard.

The Youth InterACT conference aims to inform and engage young people in topical issues and fun activities, while providing them with the opportunity to give valuable and insightful feedback to the ACT government on issues of importance for young people. Each year, the ACT Youth Advisory Council identifies forum topics for discussion. These topics are selected on the basis of their priority and based on feedback which is received through an online survey conducted by the Youth InterACT consultation register, as well as feedback provided by the national survey of young Australians conducted by Mission Australia, and in accordance with the priorities outlined in the young people’s plan 2009-14.

For the 2011 InterACT conference, five topics will be addressed: arrive alive—young drivers and passengers; sustainability and the environment; alcohol: its health and social impact on youth; mental health and wellbeing: removing the stigma; and accessing entertainment for under 18s: identifying the barriers.

A number of confidence building and recreational-based workshops will also be conducted, such as circus skills, hip hop and funk dance, Zumba dancing, stencil art, a drama development workshop and unicycling. As well as participating in the conference, young people will be involved in the delivery of the actual conference through event management, catering, conference photography and assisting in generating positive media coverage over the event through partnerships with Communities@Work, Northside Community Service and Anglicare ACT.

I look forward to hearing about the outcomes of the conference tomorrow and young people’s ideas about these important issues.

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