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Wednesday, 21 September 1983
Page: 1131


Mr STAPLES(7.58) —Very few members of this House would be so unaware as to suggest that Australia's youth do not have a difficult future in front of them. So many young people today feel powerless in this society-the capitalistic, materialistic system that encourages unrealistic expectations of career and success in today's economy, status derived from material wealth, position and power and rigid adherence to the paid employment ethic as a criterion of social worthiness. Any person who has had any involvement with young people will know that young people will respond enthusiastically to the opportunity to speak out about their lives, to be involved in the community, and to participate in decision making. 'Participation' is a very important word and a very important process. It comes before consensus. One cannot have consensus unless people have been allowed to participate in the discussions, allowed to participate in the ordering of their lives and allowed to feel part of the decision making process itself.

The Youth Affairs Council of Australia has just produced a report entitled ' Creating Tomorrow Today'. Five thousand young people throughout Australia have expressed their views-young people in cities, in rural areas and in disadvantaged communities. It has not been a simple questionnaire analysis. It has been a consultative process with discussion of issues and with the real involvement of young people. 'Creating Tomorrow Today' is an expose of the attitudes and aspirations of Australia's youth. The report proposes directions to us in the key areas of concern to young people. The report is in four main parts. Part I gives us an overview of the situation-an overview of action by and action for young people. Part II details the activities within each State and Territory of the consultations process. This is a very important area of the report. It details for us the attitudes of our youth. It details for us in their language their feelings about what they believe is happening in their society- our society. It lays out for us what young people really feel about us and the society we have produced and which we manage. It covers a diverse range of subjects-


Mr SPEAKER —Order! It being 8 p.m., the debate is interrupted. The House stands adjourned until 10 a.m. tomorrow.

House adjourned at 8 p.m.