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Generation Y heads to Canberra for 2020 Youth -

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VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Well, in anticipation of that summit, this weekend 100 year people will gather in
Canberra for the Federal Government's youth version of its 2020 Summit. These people are aged 15
and 24 but by 2020, they could well be Australia's business leaders and policy makers. There's been
some criticism that the summit is a bit like being at the kids' table at Christmas, but the
Government is adamant that it will listen to the voice of Generation Y.

Youth affairs reporter Michael Turtle met some of those on their way to Canberra.

MICHAEL TURTLE, REPORTER: Statistically, Tim Quadrio is an average young Australian. He's living at
home with his parents, he's not married and has no kids. He's Australian born and Christian and at
the age of 22, he's still studying.

TIM QUADRIO, STUDENT: Being Australian has nothing to do with our backgrounds or the language we
speak or the food we eat at home, it's about what we believe and who we are and where we're from.
So I'm not sure that typicalness or averageness really comes into it.

MICHAEL TURTLE: Tim Quadrio is going to Canberra this weekend as one of 100 young Australians
who'll tell the Federal Government what they want their country to be like in 2020.

TIM QUADRIO: There are a whole range of issues that Australia needs to confront between now and the
year 2020 and I think the Republic is one of those. As the Prime Minister said earlier in the week,
it's probably not at the forefront of every one's mind at the moment, but it's one of those issues
that can just burn off in the background.

MICHAEL TURTLE: Generation Y has grown up in a world very different to that of the average
participate at the main 2020 summit in a week's time. Many of them would have been alive when
television was first broadcast in Australia, while the younger generation can't even remember a
time before the internet. Decades ago, Leave it to Beaver attempted to define an ideal family. Now,
teenagers grow up with The Simpsons. And many of the main summit participants would remember the
first Indigenous person voting, while tomorrow, it will be this moment that defines Indigenous
affairs.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: We apologise for the laws and policies of successive parliaments.

MICHAEL TURTLE: Young Indigenous advocate Tim Goodwin will be in Canberra this weekend and he's
keen to push the debate beyond the Prime Minister's apology.

TIM GOODWIN, INDIGENOUS ADVOCATE: Let's look at the evidence, look at Canada and New Zealand. Those
places talked about nation-building, they talked about treaties, they talked about constitutional
change, they talked about the inherent relationship between their Indigenous peoples, the state and
their citizens.

MICHAEL TURTLE: For Indigenous Australians, the youth summit is particularly important. 57 per cent
of Indigenous people are under the age of 24, compared to 33 per cent of the rest of the
population.

TIM GOODWIN: So we're an extremely young population. So when you hear about statistics about
Indigenous disadvantage, what you're really hearing is the state of what young people are
experiencing.

MICHAEL TURTLE: The make-up of Australia is forever changing, shifting from Europe to the point now
where 42 per cent of young people born overseas are from Asia and it's not uncommon for classrooms
to have a majority from multicultural backgrounds.

MIMI ZOU, STUDENT: For me, I guess I'm Australian. I identify myself as Australian, so, and you
wouldn't be able to, sort of, from my generation, sort of distinguish me from another a Greek
Australian or a Lebanese Australian, whereas I think at our parents' generation that difference is
probably a bit more marked.

MICHAEL TURTLE: 22-year-old Mimi Zou is a student at Sydney University. She wants to use the summit
this weekend to look at the role of education and how important it is for the future of the
country.

MIMI ZOU, STUDENT: I guess for us, the rising cost of education is a concern but because we put so
much value on education, because we perceive that it is critical to our success, it is critical for
us to actually go and find a job.

MICHAEL TURTLE: When it comes to choosing a job though, it's increasingly unlikely that it will be
in the rural sector. That makes Tasmanian beef farmer Felicity Harris unusual. Over a generation,
the number of primary producers in their 20s has fallen by 60 per cent. Young people are
increasingly moving to the cities to find education and jobs.

FELICITY HARRIS, FARMER: Often people think that living in a rural area is really boring, that
there's nothing to do, there's no activities, there's no fun and that's really not true. And, so I
think there needs to be a perception change about what actually does happen in rural communities
and how great it can be.

MICHAEL TURTLE: Felicity Harris is concerned about the sustainability of rural communities and the
industries that support them. She's hoping for some brave ideas out of the youth summit.

FELICITY HARRIS, FARMER: We need to make some really serious decisions about water, especially on
the mainland, and about salinity and we need to change the way we think about farming and move way
from commodity crops towards more niche markets.

MICHAEL TURTLE: When they arrive in Parliament House tomorrow morning, the young participants will
divide into 10 separate topic areas, mirroring the structure of the summit next week. At the end of
the youth summit, 10 of them will be chosen to act as the voice of their generation at the main
2020 forum.

Michael Turtle, Lateline.