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Thursday, 24 November 2011
Page: 13854

Ms COLLINS (FranklinParliamentary Secretary for Community Services) (09:41): I would like to talk today about a youth forum that was recently held in Kingborough, in my electorate, and which I had the pleasure of attending. The venue was the Twin Ovals, a new venue that I have talked about in this place, which is funded by the federal government with some contribution from the state government.

I made a commitment at that youth forum that I would talk about some of the issues that they raised there here in this place. Seventy-eight students from six of the seven high schools in the Kingborough region attended on that day. They had a well-known facilitator, Michael O'Meara from MOHOW, who has a long history of supporting young people across this country, including the federal government's peak youth body, the Australian Youth Forum.

The afternoon session was also attended by the Mayor of the Kingborough Council, Graham Bury, as well as various employees and councillors of the Kingborough Council. We were there to hear about the vision and the project plans that these young people had for their local region. They got together and came up with what they wanted their region to be. Some of the visions for their local area, which they needed to work on with the local community, were to treat people equally; to listen to the community's point of view; to make poverty history; to see gender equality; to accept people of all cultures, religions and races; to stop pollution; and to live sustainably.

People had a total of eight visions for their local area. After the forum they went and looked at potential projects relating to that vision and seeing that vision come to fruition in their local region. They came up with some interesting projects that would achieve this. These included free bus rides for all students to and from school, monthly community meetings for young people, and a youth representative on the council.

One suggestion I thought was quite inventive was to have a paintball arena on the old public high school site. They wanted to hold a University of the Third Age weekend skills workshop where elderly citizens of the area would work with young people. They wanted a recycling or container deposit scheme in their local area. The council employees who were there also went off and created their own project, which was to develop a social media strategy to engage the young people in their area.

This all bodes well for the region and the municipality of Kingborough, where the youth of today are engaging actively in their local community, not only talking to their local council about their visions for the area but also coming up with their own projects and their own ways of ensuring that their visions come to fruition and working with the local government to achieve that.

I was really impressed by all the young people who managed to go there on that day, to develop their visions, to articulate them and to come up with those projects. It really does bode well for the youth in that local area.