Page 427 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 20 February 2018

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contribution young people make to our city. Indeed, I have run into Mustafa a number of times since last year’s award ceremony as he has been quietly continuing his role as a young community leader.

The ACT government has a clear commitment to consult and engage with the Canberra community in new ways. The government actively sought the contributions of young people in developing, for example, the ACT carers strategy, for which I launched the vision, outcomes and priority statement in December 2017 after a two-month consultation. As an advocate for new way of engaging the community I was determined that we use the development of the ACT carers strategy as an opportunity to build experience and expertise in deliberative democracy. The ACT government partnered with Carers ACT and democracyCo to engage with the diverse community of carers in Canberra for this consultation. The deliberative Carers Voice Panel was designed to include people who may be less likely to engage through traditional forms of consultation, including young carers.

The particular needs of young carers who are combining a caring role with study was a key consideration of the panel. Panel members heard directly from young carers about their own experiences of caring for a family member. Young carers articulated a real desire to support the person for whom they were caring but also spoke about the effects of this role on opportunities to connect with friends and remain engaged with school and employment opportunities.

More broadly the development of this strategy has presented an opportunity to stretch our shared understanding of government consultation. Using a deliberative process supported genuine consultation with the community that gave carers, including young carers, real influence in the policy process and directed their voices to government officials. This engagement will continue as the government explores ways to involve the voices of young carers as the strategy is implemented.

I also want to note that last year was the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Commissioner for Children and Young People. I know that the commissioner is absolutely committed to ensuring that the voices of children and young people are heard and I look forward to continuing to work with her to explore how we could further listen to the voices of children. In that context I thank Ms Le Couteur for her comments about how we engage with children and the importance of listening to them on the issues that matter to them.

The ACT government understands the need for broad engagement with the community, particularly on innovative measures to engage with younger Canberrans. We know young people want to be and deserve to be heard. The measures I have outlined today are just some of the ways we continue to engage with young Canberrans.

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (4.32): I do my best generally to avoid topics of youth in this place, mainly because I do not like to remind people how old I am. However, in this instance I feel I should contribute because I think it is important that young people engage with politics and government. We are often told that young people are disengaged with politics and government. This is a misconception. Young people are

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