Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

2003 National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, will today welcome the 2003 National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group to Parliament House, to discuss what they believe is the best way forward on issues that concern them and their communities.

“The 16 members aged between 18 and 24 years represent communities in all States and Territories, from both remote and urban environments.

“This is a remarkable group of young people who are already leaders within their communities. They are out there making a difference to the lives of other Indigenous people and have accepted the additional responsibility of acting as messengers, advising the Government about what the young people in their communities need.

“Members of the group have identified a number of issues they are exploring within their local communities including education and training, health, sexual abuse, domestic violence, youth suicide, juvenile justice, cultural identity, reconciliation and employment.

“I met with the group earlier this year and they have been working for the past six months on community projects. Today they will present their findings to the Government. I am looking forward to seeing how their projects have developed over the last few months and hearing some innovative ideas on how to approach these important youth issues.

“The groups will also have the opportunity to meet with the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone.

“The Australian Government is committed to listening to the opinions of all young Australians and the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group provides a real opportunity for young Indigenous people to have their say,” Mr Anthony said.

For more information about the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group phone 1800 624 309.

A full list of the 2003 National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group follows.

  • Nigel Brown – Wagaman NT
    Nigel, 24, is a Legal Officer employed by the Northern Territory Director of Public Prosecutions. In 2002, he was a member of the Chief Minister’s Roundtable for Young Territorians and was co-author of the Employment and Education Working Group Report. He is a National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week volunteer and a member of his local Aboriginal Student Support and Parent Awareness Program Committee. Nigel wants to discuss education in remote communities; alcohol and drug awareness, including petrol sniffing; juvenile offending; and scholarships and cadetships in communities.
  • Bronwyn Dillon – Kingston Tas
    Bronwyn, 21, is employed in the Hobart Regional office of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. She is active in her community as an Aboriginal Student Support and Parent Awareness Program coordinator and is a regular participant at Indigenous women’s forums. She is also a volunteer for Red Cross and the RSPCA. At NIYLG, Bronwyn wants to discuss alcohol and drug addiction, family violence, health, unemployment and strategies to improve the links young Indigenous people have to their families and the community.
  • Jonathon Collins – Stuart Park NT
    Jonathon, 21, is employed by the Northern Territory Department of Health. He has participated in the Foundation for Young Australians Indigenous Leadership Forum. He is currently very actively involved in his community as a Youth Grant Maker for the Foundation for Young Australians, a member of the National Planning Committee for National Youth Week 2003 and a youth representative on the Darwin National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Observance Committee (NAIDOC). Jonathon wants to discuss education, sexual health and wellbeing and family support for young parents.
  • Fiona Cornforth – Fadden ACT
    22-year-old Fiona is employed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. She is a young mother and is actively involved in her community through the Aboriginal Students Support and Parents Awareness Program, the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation and various cultural events. Fiona is a keen sportswoman and she captained the ACT Under 21 Indigenous touch football team. At NIYLG, she hopes to discuss education, employment and welfare issues and services for remote communities.
  • Lluwannee George – Lyons ACT
    Lluwannee, 18, is currently studying Journalism and Information Technology at the University of Canberra. She is also undertaking a cadetship with the NSW House of Assembly. She contributes to her community through the Seventh Day Adventist Youth program and the Ngunnawal Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. She is an accomplished sportswoman who enjoys basketball, athletics, soccer and football and she has represented the ACT and NSW in tennis. Lluwannee is interested in promoting Torres Strait Island culture and language and hopes to encourage Indigenous representation in Parliament. While participating in NIYLG, she wants to encourage Indigenous Australians to consider tertiary education as an option, and to improve their financial management skills.
  • Michael Hayden – Wilson WA
    Michael, 20, is a trainee field officer with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. He is a member of the South West Aboriginal Land & Sea Council and the National Indigenous Youth Movement. Michael is the leader of Njaki Njaki Dancers, a dance group for Indigenous boys. He also is the didgeridoo player for Njaki Njaki. Michael enjoys playing basketball and is an active participant in Noongar sports carnivals. At NIYLG Michael wants to discuss the implementation of culturally appropriate programs to address issues affecting young Indigenous people including education, employment, substance abuse, domestic violence, housing, sexual abuse, homelessness and teenage pregnancies.
  • Stacey Kelly-Greenup – West Kempsey NSW
    Eighteen year old Stacey was named as the Kempsey’s Young Citizen of the year in 2003. She is a volunteer mediator for the Reconnect program through Regional Extended Family Services Inc and she is Chairperson of her local Youth Advisory Committee. Stacey is a volunteer with the West Kempsey Neighbourhood Improvement project and she has contributed to a website for Indigenous youth. At NIYLG, Stacey wants to discuss youth homelessness, crime prevention and education alternatives.
  • Nelson Leon – Logan Central Qld
    22-year-old Nelson, is currently studying for a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Queensland, in addition to being employed as an Employment Consultant by Sarina Russo Job Access. He is an active volunteer with sporting organisations within his community, including the Murriland Boxing Program and as a scout for an Indigenous scholarship/development program linked to the Australian Rugby League. Nelson is a regular participant at Indigenous and youth forums and he has been acting as a mentor to young Indigenous men in his community. At NIYLG, Leon wants to discuss education, employment, training, cultural development and sport and recreation.
  • Shannean Mawn – Roma QLD
    Shannean, 19, is employed by the Queensland Department of Health. She is actively involved with the young people in her community through activities organised by the Roma Town Council, Queensland Health and the Roma Police. She plays basketball and netball and she was a member of the steering committee for the development of her local skate park. Shannean wants to increase the opportunities and alternatives available to young Indigenous people from rural and remote areas.
  • Jessica Munn – Sippy Downs QLD
    Jessica is a nineteen-year-old university student, studying Sport and Exercise Science. She has been an Ambassador for the National Indigenous Literacy and Numeracy Program and a member of the selection panel for the Queensland Youth Advisory Committee. Jessica was a member of the National Youth Roundtable in 2000 where she highlighted the lack of access to sporting facilities for young people living in rural and remote areas. She is a talented sportswoman who enjoys swimming, netball and water polo. The issues Jessica wants to discus at NIYLG include strategies to ensure Indigenous young people understand their culture, increasing the participation in sport, and increasing school retention rates.
  • Luke Penrith – Wagga Wagga NSW
    Luke, 20, is employed as a Field Officer with the Central Southern Aboriginal Legal Service in Wagga Wagga. He is also studying for a diploma in National Indigenous Legal Studies at Tranby College, Sydney. He is the chairperson of the Riverina Medical and Dental Aboriginal Youth Group and the Binaal Billa regional representative on the Aboriginal Youth Justice Advisory Network. He is an active sportsman and he enjoys basketball, Australian Rules, touch football and golf. At NIYLG, Luke hopes to discuss law and justice, drug and alcohol issues and Indigenous unemployment.
  • Jade Wilson – Port Augusta SA
    Eighteen year old Jade is employed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. She is active in her community as a member of her local ASSPA committee and the Port Augusta Youth Centre Committee. Jade was concerned about the amount of vandalism in her town and the lack of positive activities for young people and, as a result, she began organising youth discos, which are now averaging 150 participants each night. She also coaches junior softball for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people. Jade has been awarded the South Australian Regional Youth of the Year and the Port Augusta National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Youth of the Year. Jade wants to use NIYLG to encourage young people in the Port Augusta area to become involved in community events.
  • Warrick Wright – Cardiff NSW
    Warrick, 22, is currently employed as a Project Officer for Youloe-Ta Indigenous Association. He has been active in his community as a director of a Community Development Employment Project and as a regional representative for his Aboriginal Land Council. He is currently a member of the ATSIC Regional Youth Advisory Committee and the youngest director of his local Aboriginal Medical Centre. He is passionate about using NIYLG to continue to be an advocate for the Indigenous Youth in his community.
  • Des’ree Shepherd – Charters Towers QLD
    Des’ree, 23, is the youngest member of the ATSIC Regional Council in Townsville. She is a young mother who is actively involved in her community through her roles as Chairman of the Charters Towers Community Development Employment ProJects Committee (CDEP) and as a member of the Charters Towers Sports and Recreation Board National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Observance Committee (NAIDOC). In 2001 Des’ree helped establish CDEP in Charters Towers after she became concerned at the low employment rate within her community. As a result of her efforts, the Charters Towers CDEP now provides employment for 50 participants. Des’ree wants to use NIYLG to encourage youth empowerment and to address service delivery by Government departments to Indigenous Youth.
  • John Rawnsley – Malak NT
    22-year-old John, is currently studying for a combined degree in Law and Indigenous Studies at the Northern Territory University. In 2001 he was a member of the NT Chief Ministers Round Table for Young Territorians and was convenor of the Bullying and Harassment working group. In 2002, he established the Yurwang Indigenous Law Student Society at the Australian National University and he is now working towards establishing a national organisation to represent Indigenous law students across the country. At NIYLG, John wants to discuss ways of empowering Indigenous youth, and health and education issues.