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Governor General's study group "Youth in the Community"



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Department of Tourism and Recreation

Caga Centre, Akuna Street, Canberra City /φ ^ RO. Box 264, CIVIC SQUARE, CANBERRA, A.C.T. 2608 Telephone 47 6222

^creation o Sports oTourism oYouth Affairs Advisory Service

GOVERNOR GENERAL'S STUDY GROUP

"YOUTH IN THE COMMUNITY1 1

The Governor General, Sir John Kerr, today

joined with thirty young people from all over Australia ·..

in a study of the issues of importance to young people.

The Governor General made available the facilities

of Government House in Canberra for the discussions,

and chaired the conference.

The major conclusions were:

. the need for more trained youth leaders,

both voluntary and full-time, to make

more effective use of available resources

. the establishment of a central registry

of people in the community, physical resources and

information on activities which will enable

young people to widen their range of

leisure time interests

o the need for young pebple to have a place

of their own "to do their own thing"

, Government assistance,to support self help

and stimulate initiative among young people

. . o / 2.

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„ the opening up of schools, other closed

facilities, and open spaces generally not

available for use by the comnrunity as a whole

o the improvement of channels of communication,

including the establishment of local youth

information centres, the publication of

newsletters on youth organisations and

activities in particular areas, and meetings

of youth at local, state and federal levels

, price cuts for young people using recreational

facilities

, social clubs for the whole family

The group observed that historically

society's structure had changed. Traditional institutions

like the church, the home, political parties and union

meetings no longer provided the focus for community

activities. The family had split up, there was no longer

the same pleasure in the home and the church did not

have the same call. Young people had to rely more on

their own resources. These changes had brought a sense

of frustration, confusion and apathy among young people.

The group emphasised the need for young people

to help themselves and not to regard Government assistance

as a panacea for such youth problems as boredom and

loneliness o

Some young people argued that Government assistance

carried the implication of "buying them off". Others

saw Government assistance as providing alternatives and

a base from which to generate new enthusiasm and new interests.

Money, however, must be provided on the basis

of recognised and expressed needs to encourage self-help

among young people.

•/3

While young people did not like older people

doing things for them, they recognised the importance of

adult experience, especially in the provision of services

and guidance by paid youth workers attached to local

authorities.

There was a need for permanent youth centres

not associated with established facilities, even though

there was inherent in this an element of youth separateness.

At the same time, such facilities as "drop-in" centres

were an answer to only part of the whole youth question.

Without some form of assistance, young people often were

not able to help themselves.

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Canberra

Tuesday 17 December, 197^