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Wannon youth encouraged to speak out loud: ABC's Heywire calling for entries.



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David Hawker MP Federal Member for Wannon Electorate Office: 190 Gray Street, Hamilton, Vic., 3300 Ph: (03) 5572 1100 or Local Call 1300 131 692 Fax: (03) 55 72 1141 Email: David.Hawker.MP@aph.gov.au Web: www.davidhawker.com.au

Media Release The Hon David Hawker MP Speaker of the House of Representatives Federal Member for Wannon

3 August 2006

WANNON YOUTH ENCOURAGED TO SPEAK OUT LOUD - ABC’S HEYWIRE CALLING FOR ENTRIES

Wannon’s youth are being provided with a voice to communicate how their lives - and those of other young people living in rural and regional Australia - via ABC radio’s Heywire initiative.

Federal Member for Wannon, the Hon David Hawker today reminded young writers from across the electorate that the Heywire program - under which youth submit a short non-fictional story on something that is important to them - is now open for entries, until 1 September 2006.

Winning contributors to Heywire have their stories produced for national broadcast on ABC Radio and are available on the Heywire website: abc.net.au/heywire.

Since the Heywire program began nine years ago, thousands of young rural and regional Austrlaians have had their say.

Mr Hawker said the Heywire program helped to engage young people and show them that they had a legitimate voice.

“This short piece can address anything to do with life as young people know it: it could be about an issue they feel needs to be promoted and addressed; it could be in relation to any concerns they face, but also about any hopes, dreams or ideas they have that could make their community a better place,” Mr Hawker said.

Issues covered in previous Heywire programs have included - Keeping youth in the bush - Combating youth suicide and depression - Drug and alcohol abuse and - Engaging young people in global issues.

Mr Hawker said the national exposure gained by Heywire winners was validation of how powerful and inspiring young people’s enthusiasm could be.

Winners also take part in the Heywire Youth Issues Forum held in Canberra - a five-day forum, where delegates discuss topics raised as part of the initiative whilst amongst the nation’s leaders and policy makers.

“It’s a unique opportunity for young people from this electorate to voice their opinion on a national stage. In addition, there’s the chance to meet other young Australians who are also passionate about what goes on in their backyard.”

Young people interested in entering Heywire can phone freecall, 1800 26 26 46 or go to abc.net.au/heywire.

The Heywire program is supported by the Federal Government’s Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation; the Australian Sports Commission; the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; the Department of Family and community Services; the Department of

Health and Ageing and the Department of Transport and Regional Services.

Media information: Karen Moore or Maree Lane, telephone 5572 1100