National Muslim Youth Summit
It is a great pleasure to be with you all here this morning and I would like to begin by acknowledging the elders and traditional owners of the Eora Nation on whose land we are meeting today
I take this opportunity to acknowledge Dr Ameer Ali (Chairman of the Muslim Reference Group) President, Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Mr Hass Dellal OAM, Executive Director, Australian Multicultural Foundation (AMF) and Summit Chairperson, Nazeem Hussain and the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, John Cobb
Theme of Conference
The Muslim Youth Summit is an opportunity for young Muslims who are already playing a valuable role in their communities to build on their leadership skills and will assist the Australian Government in meeting their needs
This Government recognises that all young Australians and their families have similar aspirations for a good future, education, employment, prosperity, health and family
Young people are the future and this Government will continue to provide the necessary services and programs which allow all young people to achieve their goals and build leadership capacity in the wider community
There are number of initiatives available through services, funded by the Australian Government, such as the Centre for Multicultural Youth Affairs and Crossroads Reconnect in Victoria
The Centre for Multicultural Youth Affairs, auspiced by the Australian Multicultural Foundation, aims to build and strengthen partnerships between young people, support services and the community to enhance life opportunities for young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
This includes its current joint program with the Somali community in which it has employed a young Somali woman to engage in a range of activities, including camps and recreational opportunities for girls, enabling them to build their connection to the community and each other, increasing their confidence and knowledge
Crossroads Reconnect is another valuable service, supporting young Muslim people and their families through a number of collaborative projects aimed at strengthening their relationships
This includes parenting education projects, which build connections between Arabic-speaking communities and a local secondary college
A community exchange forum has also been trialled at the Kingkhalid Islamic College in Coburg, exploring ways to engage parents of students at the college on welfare issues, such as reducing fear and stigma within families about accessing counselling and mental health services.
By delivering these initiatives to young people in our communities, we are supporting young people to become active participants in their community
I look forward to hearing the outcomes of today’s Summit which will provide the Australian Government, as well as service providers, with valuable information on issues of interest and concern within the Muslim community.
The Muslim Youth Summit is an acknowledgement of the contributions that young Muslims are making to our communities and an opportunity for young Muslims to continue to have a voice in the community
I congratulate the organisers, the Australian Multicultural Foundation, for holding today’s Summit which is further evidence of the Australian Government’s commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion of young Muslims in the community