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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 2 August 2018) . . Page.. 2634 ..

Later this year the Youth Advisory Council will partner with the government’s youth engagement team to host an ACT youth assembly. The youth assembly will provide a platform for up to 80 young people to have their voices heard on key issues. Participants will be empowered to speak up on topics that matter to them through a series of interactive sessions to be held right here in the Assembly chamber. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Madam Speaker, for granting permission to Canberra’s young people to use this place for their own assembly.

MS ORR: Minister, how does the government’s support for youth-led initiatives fit in with the broader strategy to promote inclusion and participation for all Canberrans?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Orr for her supplementary question. Canberra’s young people, we know are, dynamic and diverse and bring a wide range of unique skills and perspectives to our community. It is important for this government to support young people to make their best contribution to our city and our society. Recipients of youth interACT grants from previous years have demonstrated that empowering young people to make their own contributions helps to promote inclusion across a broad cross-section of the community.

Among last year’s grant recipients was Trash Mob, a volunteer-run initiative that aims to keep Canberra looking cleaner and greener. All Canberrans benefit from the work that Trash Mob does to clean up our open spaces and the message of environmental conscientiousness they promote. I understand that it has already been spoken of earlier this week in the chamber. I encourage all members to visit Trash Mob’s Facebook page to see what work they may have done in each member’s own corner of Canberra.

Another of last year’s grants winners was Girls Take Over, a program that aims to empower young women to be leaders, giving them the tools and support to help them take action and pursue their dreams. Members are aware of the vital importance of ensuring that our young women are supported and empowered to be a part of the next generation of leaders.

Past youth interACT grants have also supported initiatives and activities focused on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, the LGBTI community and multicultural communities. The benefits of the youth-led initiatives such as these supported by the youth interACT grants are felt across the community. I strongly encourage all members of this place to get out into their communities and encourage young people and the organisations that support them to put in an application for the youth interACT grants.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, why is it important for the government to have a role in encouraging social participation among young people?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Cheyne for her supplementary question. Young people have life experiences, ideas, thoughts and perspectives that can enrich decision-making processes and ensure that policy decisions and services are appropriate, relevant and responsive to the specific needs of young people. We know that young people face unique challenges. It is important that the government

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