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Australian Youth Forum marks a new era in communication between youth and Government.



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The Hon Kate Ellis MP

Minister for Youth

02 October, 2008

Media Release

Australian Youth Forum marks a new era in communication between youth and Government

The Rudd Government’s launch today (Thursday) of the Australian Youth Forum (AYF) represents a new era in the way the Australian Government will engage with young Australians.

"We committed to govern for all Australians - and that means young Australians too," Ms Ellis said. "This $8 million initiative will ensure that young people are empowered to have a strong voice in public discussion, and that Government has a framework to listen to and act on the issues and concerns of young Australians."

The AYF will incorporate local public forums for young Australians to directly engage in debate and offer their perspectives and ideas; an interactive website with ideas discussion boards and information exchanges; and a funded national peak body for the youth sector - the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC).

"We know that young people are grappling with all sorts of issues today which are unlike those faced by previous generations. With the establishment of the AYF, our Government is giving young people a seat at the table and new opportunities to get involved in public discussion about issues that matter to them," Ms Ellis said.

The framework for the AYF has been developed based on the ideas of young people and representatives of the youth sector during a formal consultation process undertaken earlier this year. It also honours an election commitment to fund a national peak body for youth affairs following its de-funding in 1999 under the previous government.

"Today’s announcement is another way that the Rudd Government is working to ensure that young Australians are empowered, that they are included, and that they are well supported by their Government," Ms Ellis said. "I look forward to engaging with young Australians through the AYF, to ensuring their perspectives are carefully considered and that they are well served by our Government."

Ms Ellis was joined at the launch in Adelaide by the 11 members of a Youth Engagement Steering Committee that will guide the work and future activities of the Forum and advise the Government about the best ways of involving young people who face obstacles to participation. All members of the committee are aged between 16 and 24 years.

More information on the AYF is available at: www.youth.gov.au/ayf