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Youth Forum highlights True Blue Dreaming funding.

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Media Release

Youth Forum Highlights True Blue Dreaming Funding

K249 4 October 2001

The Commonwealth Youth Forum now being held on the Gold Coast has highlighted the value of an inspirational project for rural and regional Australia being undertaken by a team led by the Young Australian of the Year, the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Dr David Kemp, said today.

Dr Kemp said the Government decided to contribute $20,000 towards the cost of the project after receiving a submission from the team outlining its aims.

The ‘True Blue Dreaming’ project, which will visit most States and Territories, is being led by the Young Australian of Year, James Fitzpatrick, who initiated the project as a way of contributing to community building and youth development in outback Australia.

Along with 130 other young people from 54 Commonwealth countries around the world, James Fitzpatrick, a medical student, is a guest speaker and delegate at the week long Youth Forum which concludes on Sunday.

'With a team of just two other volunteers who have all taken time out of their work and studies, James Fitzpatrick has a vision and commitment to young Australians that is inspiring and visionary,' Dr Kemp said. The Minister was speaking at the official reception for the Youth Forum, held at Bond University.

'Their decision to embark on this project is an outstanding example of the difference young people can make when they put their creativity, enthusiasm and ideas into action. They should be encouraged to go out and put into practice their ideals and passions.

'I am confident the ‘True Blue Dreaming’ team will make a real contribution to the lives of young people in many communities around Australia.'

‘True Blue Dreaming’ began touring in July and will continue until December, visiting more than 40 towns with populations between 2,000 and 10,000 in mainland Australia.

True Blue Dreaming activities take the form of a series of motivational presentations, youth and community forums and creative expression workshops conducted by James Fitzpatrick and other members of the team. Core themes being addressed include national pride, personal, community and national identity, an optimistic approach to life, reconciliation and a commitment to seeing young people take part in future community building activities.

'The main idea of ‘True Blue Dreaming’ is to inspire and build the capacity for young Australians to participate in and contribute to community building,' according to James Fitzpatrick.

He said the team was grateful for the Federal Government’s financial assistance.

Dr Kemp said the tour embodied the skills, passion and enthusiasm of young people which have been displayed throughout all sessions of the Youth Forum.

The Forum, which was originally to be held alongside the now postponed CHOGM, has been considering a range of topics and has heard from a number of guest speakers, including Commonwealth Secretary General Mr Don McKinnon.

'All of those at the forum have been energised and inspired by the passion and commitment that has been shown by the young men and women present,' Dr Kemp said.

Mr Fitzpatrick was a guest speaker at the opening of the Youth Forum last Sunday (30 September). Dr Kemp also spoke at the opening of the Forum. The results of the young people’s discussions will be presented at the Commonwealth People’s Centre in Brisbane on Sunday.

Media contact: Jane Smith 0412 973 411


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