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Media Release by The Hon Sussan Ley MP

Listening to Young Indigenous Australians

Further support and assistance for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia will be a key issue of discussion at the meeting of the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group (NIYLG) in Canberra today.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Children and Youth Affairs, the Hon Sussan Ley, today welcomed the NIYLG 2004-2005 members who will present the findings of a national survey on issues important to young Indigenous Australians.

This meeting marks the final stage for this year’s group and is expected to be well-attended by Parliamentarians.

“Today’s meeting provides an opportunity to hear first hand about how Indigenous young people think the Government can best support them and their communities,” Mrs Ley said.
“The survey found 77 per cent of young Indigenous Australians would like the opportunity to become more involved and have a greater voice on issues affecting young people in their community.

Mrs Ley said the survey also identified several priority areas for discussion including education, employment, health and wellbeing, cultural identity, poverty and community involvement.

“The Howard Government will use the issues identified by members when considering any future policy direction.

“Each Year NIYLG brings together 1 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women, aged 18-24 years, who are active in their communities and feel strongly about creating positive opportunities for Indigenous youth.

“As part of the initiative, members are given the opportunity to discuss with the Government their experiences and perspectives about issues important to them.

“The initiative is also about empowering young Indigenous people by developing their leadership skills and creating a bridge between Indigenous communities and the Government.

“The Howard Government will continue to work together with members of the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group to further develop and implement strategies which improve the future of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Mrs Ley said.