Page 2927 - Week 08 - Thursday, 17 August 2017

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The Youth Advisory Council provides strategic advice to the ACT government on issues affecting young people. The council comprises 15 young people aged between 12 and 25 years at the time of their appointment, and membership reflects the diversity of young people residing in the ACT, including a gender balance and representation from young people with a disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait young people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and young carers.

Each year the council develops an annual work plan identifying issues affecting young people in the ACT. This work plan is based on current research and trends and, most importantly, on the views of council members themselves. This year’s work plan includes three priority areas: youth employment, particularly around rights and opportunities; inclusive sexual health and wellbeing; and environment and planning.

I was pleased to be able to appoint new co-chairs of the Youth Advisory Council in June this year and met with them recently to discuss their work plan and progress to date. On behalf of the ACT government I will continue to meet regularly with the Youth Advisory Council co-chairs on their work.

In addition to the established engagement processes through the advisory council, the ACT government endeavours to engage with young people on their views, through various consultations, working with service providers and other processes such as the youth think tank on 20 August last year that brought together more than 100 young people to discuss a range of topics as part of the #briefingBerry series of events supported by the former minister for youth, the Deputy Chief Minister.

MS ORR: How is the ACT government supporting young Canberrans to lead and participate in community development activities for other young people in Canberra and the region?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Orr for her supplementary question. The ACT government’s youth InterACT strategy encourages and supports young people to engage and participate in the local community through grants and scholarships. The 2017-18 youth InterACT grant round is currently open and due to close on 3 September. The 2017-18 grants round will support young Canberrans to pursue projects that support, engage with and inspire other young people in the community.

Youth InterACT grants provide funding of up to $1,500 per project. There are many ways that activities, events or projects can be facilitated, such as building supportive connections between community members using sport; cultural and creative activities; creating awareness of issues affecting young people; or recognising the contribution young people make to their local communities.

In 2016-17, 19 youth InterACT grants were awarded. One example is the youth community photography pastings project facilitated by Canberra College highlighting the artistry of young Canberrans and celebrating diversity in our community.

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