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Media Release by The Hon Sussan Ley MP

National Youth Roundtable 2005 meet with Howard Government

The 30 members of the National Youth Roundtable 2005 today met with Ministers of the Howard Government to discuss the project plans for their upcoming one-year term as ambassadors for their peers.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Children and Youth Affairs, the Hon Sussan Ley, today welcomed the 2005 Roundtable members at their inaugural meeting in Canberra.

“Each year the National Youth Roundtable, which was established by the Howard Government in 1999, brings together a group of young people from diverse backgrounds and locations across Australia to exchange their views and perspectives with the Government,” Mrs Ley said.

“The Roundtable provides young people with the opportunity to voice their opinions on issues that have an impact upon young people and that are of immediate interest to government.

“Since arriving in Canberra, the members have been working with professional facilitators to develop consultation, project planning and other skills for their National Youth Roundtable year. They are also developing an awareness of the workings of the Australian Government.

“This is the first of two formal meetings the 2005 Roundtable members will have in Canberra during their one-year term. Following today’s meeting at Parliament House, members will take the issues discussed back to their communities to research and develop them further into constructive and positive contributions to policy development.

“The Roundtable not only provides Government with an important forum to hear from Australia’s youth, it also gives these young people the opportunity to develop their confidence and their communication and consultative skills; I feel sure that this sort of experience will lead to some of these young people eventually returning to Parliament as elected leaders of their communities.

“I look forward to seeing the project plans presented at today’s meeting being further developed and presented when these committed, talented and creative young Australians next meet in Canberra early next year,” Mrs Ley said.

For more information about the National Youth Roundtable go to the Australian Government’s youth website, thesource at www.thesource.gov.au/involve/nyr) or (Freecall) 1800 624 309 or email Roundtable (roundtable@thesource.gov.au)

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