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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 272


Mr KEOGH (Burt) (13:42): A few weeks ago Heidi, Will and Woody, the breakfast hosts on Perth's Hit 92.9, spoke about a juvenile appearing in the Armadale Magistrates Court in my electorate who had spat at a police officer. This is behaviour that must be condemned. But this incident was not being discussed as a news story. Instead, the hosts took to bagging out Armadale, calling Armadale the 'deep south' and implying that this was just typical behaviour from young people from Armadale.

This was brought to my attention by the fantastic team at the Youth Partnership Project, a coalition of local services in Perth's south-east, led by Save the Children, which strives to address the problems faced by at-risk youth in our region. This group does fantastic work in an area with some of the state's worst incidents of youth crime, family violence and child neglect. Now the Youth Partnership Project is calling on all Western Australians to 'change the story' about Armadale youth because there is another story that needs to be told. Some young people in my electorate were born into lives that have been tougher than those experienced by most. But they have faced their challenges with resilience and strength, and they do our community proud. Unfortunately, too many still get left behind.

Armadale is, of course, much more than the negative stories. It is a growing, vibrant, beautiful part of the world—home to a talented and diverse people. Participants in the Youth Partnership Project even won the local youth citizen of the year award in Armadale this year. So this is my message to the media in WA, and to all Western Australians: stop the sniggering treatment of Armadale and change the story to one of hope.