Media Release by The Hon Sussan Ley MP

Fresh new look at young Indigenous issues

Seventeen young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders met for the first time in Canberra to explore new ways to shape the future direction of Indigenous people.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Children and Youth Affairs, the Hon Sussan Ley, today welcomed the new members of the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group (NIYLG) 2005-06, who will assist with addressing Indigenous youth issues.

“Today’s meeting is the first step in giving these young Indigenous Australians the opportunity to raise issues relevant to them and their communities, directly with the Howard Government,” Mrs Ley said.

“Over the course of the three day meeting members gained a solid understanding of government processes, allowing them to discuss important Indigenous youth issues with the Government.

“They also enjoyed interacting with a number of Indigenous guest speakers who are highly respected and knowledgeable in their fields, including Tammy Williams, member of the National Indigenous Council, Helen Board, Manager of the Queanbeyan Indigenous Coordination Centre and Mr Warren Mundine, incoming Vice-President of the ALP.

“The group will meet again later this year to develop a formal work plan, which they will progress until they meet for the third time in June 2006.

“These young people are already leaders within their communities and making a significant difference to the lives of other Indigenous young people.

“The Howard Government will continue to listen to issues relevant to young Indigenous Australians and work together to develop and deliver effective ways to empower young Indigenous people in their communities,” Mrs Ley said.

NIYLG brings together 17 Indigenous people, aged 18 to 24 years, from diverse backgrounds, employment, location and interests, to meet with the Government to discuss their unique experiences and their expectations of the group.