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Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Youth participation vital to Australia’s future

Minister for Children and Youth, Larry Anthony, today challenged young people to make the positive changes they want in their communities.

Speaking at the Children as Partners Conference in Melbourne, a forum on youth participation organised by Plan Australia, Mr Anthony said that it was up to young Australians to get involved and help build the country they want.

“Governments simply don’t have all the answers to every social problem, and nor should they. All of us have the opportunity – and some would argue that we have an obligation – to determine what values and priorities our communities promote to take Australia forward.

“Today’s young Australians are a generation to be proud of. For the most part they are healthier and better educated, and studying or working hard to build a positive future. There are fewer young people unemployed today than in the past several years.

“Many young people regularly contribute to the community as volunteers and are active in sport and cultural activities. Although young people are making a substantial contribution, there is still a lot of work to be done.

“The Australian Government’s commitment to encouraging youth participation, both social and economic, is threefold – involving young people in decision making, celebrating the achievements of youth, and assisting young people make smooth transitions to adulthood.”

Mr Anthony said the Children as Partners Conference was a good example of how young people are contributing.

“What really stands out here is the strong involvement of young people to make the conference happen. So many young volunteers have been involved in organising the conference and there are a high number of young presenters.

“I call on all young people to participate in their communities and in the life of the nation, because through participation, you can make a real and lasting difference to the health and well-being of all young Australians,” Mr Anthony said.