Page 852 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 9 April 2014

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features young performers, artists, musicians, a range of information stalls, and competitions that cater to the many and varied interests of young Canberrans. This is the 15th year of National Youth Week. It has become an institution across Australia. The ACT government is very pleased to be able to support activities here in Canberra this year.

There are more than 40 events taking place during the week, all designed to interest, excite and engage young people across the city. A few examples of the diversity of the events include a local music festival showcasing young producers and artists. At the Tuggeranong Arts Centre there will be a creative exhibition featuring repurposed skateboard decks. It is now on show and running until 17 April. For the athletic, there is a circus skills workshop which is held to improve coordination, general teamwork skills and to build body confidence.

There is a young writers workshop for young writers to boost their skills. For young carers and their families, there is a special breakfast at the National Zoo and Aquarium. These are but some of the activities. National Youth Week recognises the talent and enthusiasm of younger Canberrans and the contribution that they make to the entire community.

It is particularly fitting that the Assembly congratulate 24-year-old James Presneill of Giralang who has been shortlisted for the 2014 National Youth Awards. James has been recognised in the safer communities category for his leadership in promoting safer behaviours amongst young people, particularly in party and alcohol fuelled environments.

For the broader community and for MLAs National Youth Week gives us all the chance to reflect upon the needs, the aspirations and the unique challenges that young people face and to ensure that we are open to their input on issues of importance.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Minister, how can young people engage with youth events in the ACT during this week?

MR BARR: The events are designed to be as accessible as possible with a very strong focus on participation and inclusion. This has certainly helped to drive the success of the event over its 15-year existence. All National Youth Week events are free and are hosted in central areas close to bus interchanges. ACT schools across the public and private school sectors are also hosting events within their own school communities.

The week is being promoted through various media outlets, in a large school calendar on the national website through the Youth ACT web portal and via the various social media channels. With most of today’s young Australians being what might be described as internet or social media “natives”, it certainly is appropriate that there is an increased emphasis on social media channels.

For those organising events, the government provides a Youth Week grants program and a school seeding grants program. As is often the case, the most popular and most

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