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Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Page: 12584

Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (09:52): I was pleased recently to host a student as part of the Learn Earn Legend! Work Experience in Government program, which brings together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander senior high school students from a range of schools across Australia to provide them with hands-on experience about public sector career options and to expand their horizons about job opportunities and pathways. This program is extremely worthwhile and I was pleased to have participated in it. This year, Trischaye Newchurch from Salisbury High School in South Australia spent some time in my office, and I was extremely impressed by her passion and enthusiasm. As part of her time in my office, I asked her to write some words about what she would do if she was Prime Minister for a day. I would like to read the speech so that her words are presented to this place. She said:

I'm Trischaye Newchurch and I'm a student as part of the Learn Earn Legend program.

If I had the chance to be Prime Minister for the day one thing that I would focus on and change would be aboriginal youth health in remote areas. I'm very passionate about this topic ... In the future this is the area of interest I want to be working in. I would really love to change the whole perspective on youth health for indigenous teenagers between the ages of 12 - 17 and their parents so they get the help that they need and are asking for.

There are aboriginal teenagers between that age group in these small communities and in remote areas that find it hard to get to local doctors or clinic services some are even ashamed to go there. Now for me being a young aboriginal girl I sometimes find it hard to communicate to non indigenous people such as doctors, nurses, the netball coach, some times even teachers. From my own observations from when I have been on camps, excursions, and even the way my cousins are when talking or approaching non-indigenous people, they find it hard to communicate. My grandfather works over in the APY Lands in South Australia with remote indigenous people and he come back and tells me what they are like. They need help from aboriginal health workers and programs that can be offered to them by the government.

It's really important that they have just as much support as the people in cities and small country towns. The key to youth health is the aboriginal workers that come with it. The workers will encourage the teenager to become more aware of what facilities and help they have around them. Physical health is also a big deal as these teenagers need to be healthy and a part of being healthy is doing the physical activity, and there should be sports programs to encourage these young boys and girls to be a part of a team and doing something they like and might really enjoy.

Trischaye went on to say a number of other things, but my time is limited. I hope that these words show that Trischaye has a lot of passion for this issue. She should be really proud of what she is doing and I wish her the very best of luck. Maybe we will see her in parliament one day.