Page 1977 - Week 05 - Thursday, 5 May 2011

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and boys about what they can do to prevent violence against women and to encourage positive role models and respectful relationships with women. The approach that the White Ribbon Foundation takes, to say that men need to take responsibility, talk to our peers, our brothers, our relatives, our colleagues, is a very powerful approach because, as is the case in many areas, the personal comment, having a conversation with someone, is far more powerful than a television ad or a newspaper ad can ever be. That personal bearing witness and challenging is a very important thing that we can all take responsibility for.

I simply want to take the opportunity to draw to the attention of members the vigil, which is now an annual national event, held on the first Wednesday in May, and of course the need to keep the issue of domestic violence in the public arena.

Youth—integrated education and accommodation program

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Women) (6.06): I think I have got the last call for the night, but I would like to quickly take the opportunity to provide the Assembly with information about the new youth integrated education and accommodation program that is being established here in the ACT, and most commonly known around the country as youth foyer.

The program combines housing and support for young people, with a particular emphasis on education, training and employment opportunities. The program is targeted at young people aged between 16 and 25 that are either homeless or at risk of homelessness. These young people may be students struggling to find accommodation in the current housing environment or young people transitioning out of home care arrangements. The program will accommodate up to 25 young people who will be supported to progress through a personalised development plan which tackles any underlying complex issues they may have but certainly with a focus on education and training and employment.

The service will operate out of the social housing complex in Braddon. I had the privilege of opening that just recently and announcing the support providers, Barnardos Australia, who will work in collaboration with Anglicare. The new program will be overseen by a governance committee which has both community and
government representatives on it, including the Rotary Club of Canberra. These strong partnerships will see these young people engaged in the program equipped with life skills to be able more strongly and actively to participate in education, training and employment.

It is anticipated that the youth integrated education and accommodation program will be operational later this month, with applications into the program currently being received and assessed. The key part about this is the on-site support from and linkage to education and employment providers. The program is certainly a welcome boost to the supported housing options for young Canberrans. It will ensure that young people here in Canberra have the best possible chance of breaking the cycle of homelessness,

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