VICTORIA’S YOUNG PEOPLE SHAPE THEIR FUTURE

Young Victorians will have even more opportunities to have their say and help shape government decisions, with Victorian Youth Congress applications opening today.

The opening of applications were announced today by Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos at the inaugural Youth Summit held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and attended by over four hundred young Victorians.

The Andrews Labor Government’s inaugural summit is a huge gathering of Victoria’s young people, bringing together an abundance of ideas and actions to improve the lives of young people now and in the future.

Marking the first day of National Youth Week, the summit is an opportunity for young people to share their views, hear from other inspiring young change makers and workshop priority issues including mental health, education, housing and education.

The summit is also the first of more than 100 youth-focussed events and activities to take place over the next week as part of National Youth Week.

National Youth Week is a celebration of Victoria’s young people and helps them get involved in their communities with activities ranging from African dance and drumming classes to performing arts festivals, obstacle courses and sporting events.

The outcomes from today’s summit will guide discussions for the Victorian Youth Congress, an advisory group of young people aged 12 to 25, which will meet with Ministers in 2017-18 and advise on all areas of youth policy.

Reflecting the diversity of young people in Victoria, the group will include representation from those living in out of home care, Aboriginal young people, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, those living with a disability, LGBTI young people and young people living in regional, rural and metropolitan areas.

The Summit and the Congress are key actions being delivered as part of the Victorian Government’s Youth Policy: Building Stronger Youth Engagement in Victoria, which was announced last year. The policy strengthens how government engages with young people, including those whose voices often go unheard.

The Labor Government also today released the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria’s report Turning Ideas into Action, which highlights the key issues impacting young people’s lives.

For more information on the Victorian Youth Congress and how to apply, go to www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au to read the report visit www.yacvic.org.au

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

With over 400 young people at today’s inaugural Youth Summit, it’s clear that young Victorians are keen to be heard and contribute their ideas.”

“I encourage young Victorians to apply for the Youth Congress – which provides an exciting new opportunity for young people to speak directly with government and influence policies and programs.”

“I look forward to getting the outcomes and ideas from today’s summit and how these will be addressed by the Youth Congress.”