Showing posts with label youth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label youth. Show all posts

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Climate Change: the power of one, the power of many

By 2012 over half the world's population was estimated to be under thirty years of age, with around 16 per cent being under 15 years old.

All around the world those who govern are considerably older on average.

Yet it is thee yound people who willl be forced to endure the worst impacts - the life changing, life threatening impacts - of climate change.

The young have begun to speak up in defence of their future.

This is Greta, she is fifteen years old...........

TRANSCRIPT: Greta Thunberg’s Speech to COP24 UN Climate Summit, Katowice, Poland, December 2018

GRETA THUNBERG: My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 15 years old, and I’m from Sweden. I speak on behalf of Climate Justice Now!

Many people say that Sweden is just a small country, and it doesn’t matter what we do. But I’ve learned that you are never too small to make a difference. And if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to.

But to do that, we have to speak clearly, no matter how uncomfortable that may be.

You only speak of green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake. 

You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children.

But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet. 

Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money. Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the sufferings of the many which pay for the luxuries of the few.

The year 2078, I will celebrate my 75th birthday. If I have children, maybe they will spend that day with me. Maybe they will ask me about you. Maybe they will ask why you didn’t do anything while there still was time to act. 

You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.

Until you start focusing on what needs to be done, rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground, and we need to focus on equity. And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, then maybe we should change the system itself.

We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past, and you will ignore us again. 

We have run out of excuses, and we are running out of time. 

We have come here to let you know that change is coming, whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people. 

Thank you. 

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Are NSW police racially profiling young offenders?

Junkee, 26 October 2017:

A NSW Police intelligence program that uses secret algorithms to identify suspects who may commit a “future crime” is disproportionately targeting young people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, according to a comprehensive new report.

The ‘Policing Young People in NSW’ report was published by the Youth Justice Coalition, a network of youth workers, lawyers, academics and policy experts. It was written by Dr Vicki Sentas, an academic at the University of New South Wales, and Camilla Pandolfni, a solicitor at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

The report is the first comprehensive look at the Suspect Targeting Management Plan (STMP), a NSW Police program that “seeks to prevent future offending by targeting repeat offenders and people police believe are likely to commit future crime”.

The STMP involves the use of “risk assessment tools” and algorithms that take into account a series of “risk factors” to identify potential future criminals. Suspects in the program are categorised on a scale from “low risk” to “extreme risk” and then targeted by police officers through regular house visits and the use of stop and search powers.

The criteria used to identify suspects is not publicly available, and individuals targeted through the STMP are not notified of the reasons behind their risk categorisation. The whole program is managed internally by the police and there are no specific laws or regulations governing its operation.

The preliminary findings based on this research are:

* Disproportionate use against young people and Aboriginal people: Data shows the STMP disproportionately targets young people, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and has been used against children as young as ten.

* Patterns of ‘oppressive policing’ that may be damaging relationships between police and young people: Young people targeted on the STMP experience a pattern of repeated contact with police in confrontational circumstances such as through stop and search, move on directions and regular home visits. The STMP risks damaging relationships between young people and the police. Young people, their families or legal representatives are rarely aware of criteria used to add or remove people from the STMP. As the case studies show, young people experience the STMP as a pattern of oppressive, unjust policing.

* Increasing young people’s costly contact with the criminal justice system and no observable impact on crime prevention: The STMP has the effect of increasing vulnerable young people’s contact with the criminal justice system. Application of the STMP can be seen to undermine key objectives of the NSW youth criminal justice system, including diversion, rehabilitation and therapeutic justice. The research has identified several instances where Aboriginal young people on Youth Koori Court therapeutic programs have had their rehabilitation compromised by remaining on the STMP. There is no publicly available evidence that the STMP reduces youth crime.

* Encouraging poor police practice: In some instances, the exercise of police search powers in relation to a young person on the STMP have been found unlawful by the courts. The STMP may be inadvertently diminishing police understanding of the lawful use of powers (set out in the Law Enforcement Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2002 (NSW) (LEPRA)) and thereby exposing police to reduced efficacy and civil action. * No transparency and an absence of oversight, scrutiny or evaluation: The operation of the STMP is not transparent or accountable. Criteria for placement on the STMP are not publicly available, individuals cannot access their STMP plan and it is unclear what criteria are used by police to remove a person from the STMP…..

Based on the research and findings presented here, the report recommends that:

1. NSW Police discontinue applying the STMP to children under 18. Children suspected of being at medium or high risk of reoffending should be considered for evidence-based prevention programs that address the causes of reoffending (such as through Youth on Track, Police Citizens Youth Clubs NSW (PCYC) or locally based programs developed in accordance with Just Reinvest NSW), rather than placement on an STMP.

2. NSW Police make the STMP policy and operational arrangements publicly available to enable transparency and accountability.

3. NSW Police amend the STMP policy so that any person considered to have a ‘low risk’ of committing offences not be subject to the STMP.

4. NSW Police amend the STMP Policy to mandate formal notification by police to any individual placed on a STMP, including reasons for placement on the STMP and the date of next review. Subsequent notifications to individuals on an STMP should outline the outcome of the review and reasons for the STMP being maintained or discontinued.

5. NSW Police make data on the STMP publicly available through the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR). Available data should include demographic information (age, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status, ethnicity, Local Area Command LAC), as well as data on the length of time enrolled in the STMP and the category of risk determined.

6. NSW Police commission BOCSAR to evaluate whether the STMP is reducing youth crime.

7. NSW Police provide all police officers with formal training on the STMP which:

i. Clarifies its status as an intelligence tool;

ii. Provides guidance on the criteria for inclusion and exclusion from the program and the alternative programs available;

iii. Sets out its operational requirements, and limits; and iv. Provides guidance on the relationship of the STMP to the law. For example, training should clarify that a persons’ inclusion on an STMP cannot provide a basis for grounding a reasonable suspicion (either on its own or together with a number of other factors) under LEPRA.

8. The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) conduct a comprehensive review of the STMP.1 The terms of reference of the recommended LECC review should include consideration of whether the STMP:

i. is effective and appropriate in dealing with the risk of offending in young people under 25 and children;

ii. is effective and appropriate in dealing with the risk of offending in adults;

iii. is effective and appropriate in relation to other vulnerable people (as defined in clause 28 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Regulation 2016), including those with impaired intellectual or physical functioning, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and persons from non-English speaking backgrounds;

iv. is consistent with NSW policy and practice for juvenile justice including principles of diversion from the criminal justice system as well as NSW law, including the Young Offenders Act 1997 (NSW), and the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW); and

v. is consistent with NSW Police policies and practices for policing children and young people, including the NSW Police Force Youth Strategy, as well as the Aboriginal Strategic Direction and Aboriginal Action Plans, the NSW Domestic Violence Strategy, the NSW Police Disability Inclusion Action Plan and all other policies and procedures regarding vulnerable persons.

In the course of the review, the LECC should consult with other professional disciplines such as mental health practitioners, Family and Community Services Managers, the Department of Justice, and community workers about best practice in diversion, crime prevention and the needs of young people.
Finally, this report is the first publicly available study about the STMP. The unjustified secrecy around the STMP has prevented appropriate, transparent, program evaluation and more thorough examination of the impact the STMP is having on young people, crime prevention and police practice. This report’s conclusion that the operation of the STMP is likely to be having damaging effects on young people is compelling grounds for further investigation and external scrutiny.

Monday, 23 October 2017

There is more than one path to academic success and a job you love

Sharna Clemmett on Facebook:

On Friday I gave a speech at my old high school, for the year 12 final assembly. I was asked to publish it, so here it is.

1. I am a former Kadina student. I was in year 12 in 1996.

2. It is 21 years since I last attended this fine school. That makes it 21 years since I dropped my bundle, dropped out of school, and spent about a year on Centrelink benefits, wondering what life was all about, what to do with it, and why.

3. There you have it: the thing that for years I felt was something of which to be ashamed: I never obtained a Higher School Certificate. I am a high school dropout.

4. At your stage, I didn’t have a plan. My plan fell apart in year 12. I moved out of home when I was almost 17. I was sharing a house with a fellow Kadina student and her 6 month old baby. We had very little money. It was tough. Centrelink, in its wisdom, gave me a choice, which was the choice required by the rules: either study full time, or look for work full time. You are not eligible for out-of-home benefits if you study part time.

5. It all got too hard, and I dropped out.

6. At this point, it doesn’t sound like a success story in the making. But really, that was just the start of my journey on a windy road. If I’d known that at the time, I would have been much less despondent about my life.

7. After I dropped out of school, Centrelink gave me another choice: undertake a 6 month, government-funded training, work-for-the-dole program, or you lose your benefits.

8. Off I trotted to work at St Vincents Hospital in Lismore as a Patient Service Assistant. I worked in the surgical ward. I rode my rusty bicycle across the Lismore basin to work every day, starting at 6:45. I learnt some medical terminology. I wiped down and made beds; pushed beds and trolleys; helped wash patients; ordered stock for the ward; organised patient notes. Even though I had no desire to ever be a nurse or a doctor, and there was nothing in particular about a hospital that appealed to me as a place to spend my working life, I always made sure I talked to the people around me, and I worked hard. I had sore feet at the end of most days.

9. At one point I worked out, on average, that if my fortnightly Centrelink payment had been calculated based on the hours I was working, my hourly rate was $3.20 an hour. I was always at work early, I often worked half way through my lunch break, and I often did not finish until after my rostered time.

10. Because I had demonstrated that I worked hard and effectively, the hospital employed me as a casual in administration at the end of the training program. After about 6 months I realised that this – working in hospital administration – was likely to be the pinnacle of my working success if I stayed where I was. I decided to move to Sydney to see what other opportunities there might be.

11. I was in Sydney selling insurance from a call centre (“welcome to NZI, this is Sharna, how can I help you?”), and I got a call suggesting I contact a someone about a job at a new hospital.

12. A senior executive from St Vincents, who had noticed me working hard, had moved to Sydney and was involved in starting up North Shore Private Hospital in St Leonards.

13. So that was how I landed a role in admissions and reception for the Day Surgery and endoscopy unit at North Shore Private. I still hadn’t decided that I wanted to work in a hospital, or be a doctor or a nurse – but I had decided I didn’t like selling insurance in a call centre. So sure, why not?

14. After I had been at North Shore Private for about a year – always at work a bit early, usually leaving late, and making sure the day surgery admission process worked like it should, an anaesthetist asked me whether I would be interested in a change in employment. He said his rooms were looking for someone, and he thought I’d be good. I said I wasn’t looking to move, but I’d call and have a chat anyway. Why not?

15. That’s how I ended up managing the diaries of 42 anaesthetists who worked all over Sydney. I was paid very well in that position, because the responsibility was huge. If I didn’t do my job, there would be a surgeon standing around at a hospital waiting to start an operation with no anaesthetist. That happened once. Only once. A vascular surgeon was standing in theatres with patients waiting and no anaesthetist. There was fury. It still makes me feel slightly ill to think about it. At first, a number of the anaesthetists didn’t think I was up to that job. I was only 20. It required a lot of tact and discretion. They thought I was too young. Damn I worked hard to prove them wrong.

16. Then I got a bit bored. I thought I’d start a tertiary preparation course by distance education, to try to get into university, but didn’t finish it. I sat the STAT test. 6 years after I had dropped out of school I was offered a spot in a communications course at UTS, as a mature age student.

17. That was a course requiring a 98 TER, or tertiary entrance ranking. Absurd. I still can’t help but think the university made a mistake with my application.

18. Because I had forged such good relationships in my work, and worked so hard, my employers sat me down and asked me how many hours I could work whilst I went to uni, and how much they needed to pay me so that I could live. They increased my hourly rate so I could survive. Had I worked on the basis that I would be paid just to turn up to work, as opposed to being paid to get the job done in the best possible way, that would not have happened.

19. Anyway, a year into uni, I picked up a few law subjects as electives. I didn’t think I’d be any good at law. I’d never had any desire to be a lawyer. I just wanted to see whether it might be an option. Turns out it was. They let me into law.

20. In my second year, I applied for summer clerkships. A clerkship is supposed to be an ideal way to start your career in the law: law firms get in keen law students over summer, then offer them jobs after they graduate. I didn’t get one. I was gutted. So I looked for an alternative, and went and worked for a barrister in chambers. Turns out that barrister was then appointed to the AWB Inquiry, or the “Wheat for Weapons scandal”, as Kevin Rudd called it. The barrister took me along with him. At one point, when I was instructing senior counsel at the Bar Table in the inquiry, I wondered what would happen if all those barristers, and Commissioner Cole, knew what a fraud I was - that I was a high school drop out, from Lismore, sitting in the middle of their Royal Commission.

21. The contacts I made in the Royal Commission (and my university results) have helped me at every stage of my career since. After the Royal Commission I got a job working as a tipstaff to a Judge in the Supreme Court. The Judge asked me why I had not finished school, and told me I should not be ashamed of not having finished school. He was much more concerned about why I did not get a distinction in the Law of Evidence.

22. I went on to practice as a lawyer for 3 years. Then I sat the Bar Exams. Once again, I did not believe I was up to it. I did not think I would pass. But I worked hard and I passed.

23. So here I am. High school drop out; barrister in the Supreme Court of New South Wales. [**put on robes]

24. It’s funny, I used to hate my school uniform. Now, in the course of my work, I often get dressed up in this, to run trials in the Supreme Court of New South Wales. A horse hair wig. It’s funny how our preferences change over time.

25. This year, it is 21 years since I left Kadina without a Higher School Certificate.

26. It is 10 years since I was admitted to practice as a lawyer of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

27. It is 5 years since I qualified as a barrister at the NSW Bar.

28. Soon you will be sitting your final HSC exams, then you’ll get your results. You’ll be given a university admission ranking, if that’s what you’re going to do. This might also be looked at by future employers.

29. This is a pretty scary time. There’s a bit of pressure on you. Even if your parents and teachers are not putting pressure on you, it’s likely you feel the weight of their expectations, or at least their hopes for you. Even if you don’t feel that from other people, it’s quite likely you’re putting that pressure on yourself anyway. Then there’s the question of “what am I going to do afterwards?”; “what does the world have in store for me?”

30. Had I tried to pick up all the pieces at once - done my HSC, and gone straight to uni - after I dropped my bundle in 1996, there is no prospect I would be where I am today. I wouldn’t have thought to study law. I just worked with what I felt I could at the time. And I worked my arse off, consistently. I worked my way through from shit kicker jobs, to well paying jobs, to excelling at university. I found a career I love.

31. If you drop your bundle, just pick up the pieces you can carry and work with them. Do something, and do it to the best of your ability. Make meaningful connections and use them. People will respect you if they see you work hard.

32. I have been told that my life has been like a series of lily pads, in which I just jump from one to the next. But I made those lily pads, dammit. And you can make yours. The secret to your success is: you.

33. So here are a few loose rules to live by:
1. First: No matter what result you get in the HSC, the secret to your success in life is you. It’s not numbers on a page. They may help. But it comes down to you: what you put in dictates what you get out. You are the secret to your success.
2. Second: Take opportunities when they arise, even if you don’t think you want them. (It’s amazing what doors a seemingly shitty job can open.) If you miss an opportunity you think you want, take the next one.
3. Third: If you drop your bundle, just pick up the bits you can carry and work with them.
4. Fourth: Talk to people and make meaningful connections. The connections you make will help you through, give you a leg up, and lead to opportunities that may surprise you. And I’m not just talking about work or career opportunities. I mean life opportunities.
5. Fifth: You might have a plan, but you can get to where you want to be, one way or another, and you can succeed, by a different, perhaps more windy, path than the path you have mapped out in your mind.


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

What were they thinking?

The  Sydney Morning Herald, 15 February 2017:

What were they thinking? On Monday three members of cabinet called a press conference to pressure the Senate to cut the dole. That's right, to cut the dole. At just $13,750 per year plus an $8.80 per fortnight energy allowance, it's already so low the Business Council believes it "presents a barrier to employment and risks entrenching poverty." The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the research arm of the world's richest economies, says Australia's unemployment benefit has reached the point where it may no longer be effective in "enabling someone to look for a suitable job".

Even a Coalition-dominated inquiry found a "compelling case" for boosting it.

But the three ministers wanted to deny the energy supplement to new entrants on the spurious ground that this would merely remove "carbon tax compensation for a carbon tax that no longer exists". It wouldn't. The Newstart cost of living increase was cut 0.7 per cent when the energy supplement came in to avoid double counting. If the energy supplement went but the cut remained, new entrants to Newstart would be worse off than if the whole thing had never happened.

And they wanted to withhold Newstart from newly-unemployed Australians aged 22 to 25, paying them instead the lower $11,375 Youth Allowance. The under 25s would have to wait longer too – five weeks instead of the present one.

Rather than spend time arguing the merits of cutting a benefit already so low it can barely be lived on, Treasurer Scott Morrison, Social Services Minister Christian Porter and Education Minister Simon Birmingham delivered instead what amounted to a threat: if the Senate didn't cut the unemployment benefit, they might not fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

But not at first. In a burlesque twist, they opened the press conference spruiking the case for an unfunded massive company tax cut.

* Images found at Google Images

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Saffin promises Labor will establish a headspace centre in the Clarence Valley

Shadow Minister For Families And Payments, Shadow Minister For Disability Reform & Member for Jagajaga Jenny Macklin and Labor Candidate For Page Janelle Saffin (pictured above), joint media release, 14 June 2016:


Shadow Minister for Families and Payments, Jenny Macklin and Labor candidate for Page, Janelle Saffin today announced that a Shorten Labor Government will provide funding for the development of a Headspace Centre in the Clarence Valley which will provide assistance to young people experiencing mental health issues.

“There is a clear gap in mental health services in the Clarence Valley, and this $1.8 million in funding will address that gap by ensuring local young people can access the help they need,” Ms Saffin said.

“Establishing a Headspace Centre will give young people in Grafton and the Clarence Valley the same support as people in Coffs Harbour and Lismore.”

Ms Saffin said the Clarence Valley community had been rocked by the death of 11 young people from suicide in just 12 months.

“There are a number of factors behind the high levels of youth suicide and mental health problems on the North Coast. These include high levels of unemployment, cuts to other youth services, and substance abuse.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to this reality and pretend it’s not happening. Ignoring the mental health needs of young people is effectively casting them adrift.

“That’s why I am so passionate about this issue, and so determined to make sure all young people in the Northern Rivers and North Coast have access to services such as Headspace.

“I have fought for the Headspace service for our region, and secured the Lismore Headspace. I have since argued that the Clarence Valley needs one as well, and if I am elected I will deliver it.”

Shadow Minister for Families and Payments, Jenny Macklin, said regionally delivered and funded services were vital to preventing mental illness and building stronger, more resilient communities.


And Nationals MP for Page for the last three years, Kevin Hogan scrambles to catch up……

The Daily Examiner, 15 June 2016, page 6:

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said an array of extra mental health services were about to be provided in the Clarence Valley due to extra resourcing.
"Mental health is a very serious issue, every suicide in our community a tragedy," he said.
"Following a community meeting in December last year I organised a Consultation Workshop on May 23. This brought together local agencies to decide how the extra resources should be allocated in the Valley.
"There will be an outreach of Headspace from Coffs operating in the Clarence before the end of the year. There will also be more resources allocated at the acute care level.
"Many good mental health services exist in the Clarence Valley. It was identified that many people were not aware of the current services."

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Australian Federal Election 2016: record number of young people enrolled to vote on 2 July 2016 and they are passionate about the issues

Asylum seekers, marriage equality, and climate change outrank education, health, unemployment, housing affordability, and tax reform in importance according to young Australians, a detailed snapshot of voting intentions ahead of the 2016 Federal election has found.

The national survey of 3369 Australians aged between 12 and 25, conducted during April and May, found that while more than half of young voters had not yet decided who to vote for on July 2, they were very clear about the issues they want addressed.

A surge in electoral enrolments last month, which including more than 90,000 young Australians, lifted the number of voters under the age of 25 to a record 1.66 million.

With polling showing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten neck-and-neck at the halfway point of the election campaign, young voters will have an unprecedented role in determining the outcome in dozens of electorates across the country.

Agenda for Action: What young Australians want from the 2016 Election, jointly conducted by the Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth (ARACY) and Youth Action, the peak body representing young people and youth services in NSW, provides an unprecedented insight into the minds of young voters.

Survey participants were asked to identify the three topics they most wanted addressed during the election campaign. In total, answers fell into 360 categories, with the top responses being: support for asylum seekers (21 per cent); support for marriage equality (19 per cent); addressing climate change (16 per cent); policies supporting education (16 per cent); addressing unemployment (10 per cent); improved environmental policies (8 per cent); reform to the tax system (8 per cent); better health policies (7 per cent); more affordable housing (6 per cent); and increased education funding (5 per cent).
Respondents were also asked to rank ten key federal issues by importance level. Education topped the list, with 61.7 per cent saying it was “extremely important”, while 52.7 per cent gave the same ranking to health, 51.4 per cent to the environment, and 51 per cent to social justice. Last of the ten issues, with just 24.4 per cent describing it as very important, was foreign affairs, while 33.8 per cent gave the economy that ranking.

Asked who they intended to vote for, just a third had made their decision. Of those, 38 per cent said they would support the Greens, 34 per cent the Australian Labor Party, and 22 per cent nominated the Coalition.

Only 10 per cent of young people indicated they weren’t interested in voting, a figure which dropped off with age. Just four per cent of 20 to 25 year-olds said they were not interested in voting.

“While most young people are still unsure who they will vote for, they are much more certain about the issues that are important to them and that they want addressed,” Youth Action CEO Katie Acheson said.

“Our research has revealed that far from being solely concerned with issues that directly impact them, such as education, unemployment and housing affordability, young people are focused on broader social issues such as marriage equality, our treatment of asylum seekers, and climate change.

“The recent surge in the number of young people enrolling to vote, which will result in a record number of young Australians voting on July 2, highlights just how important it is for politicians of all persuasions to genuinely engage with young people on the issues they care about.

“While young people are often sidelined from the political debate and accused of being apathetic, this research reveals that they are extremely passionate about being part of important national discussions and having a say on policies that directly impact their lives and the economic future of Australia.”

Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth CEO Dr Dianne Jackson said the research also challenged the idea that young people voted as a block, showing the issues they considered most important were influenced by factors such as gender, age, political preference, cultural heritage, student or employment status, as well as whether they lived in regional or metropolitan areas, and marginal or safe electorates.

“The majority of many young people don’t see themselves as aligned to a particular political party or personality, rather it is individual issues that they prioritise,” Dr Jackson said.

“It is clear that young people have an opinion on a wide range of issues and are articulate about both what concerns them and what commitments they want from candidates.

“The issues young voters identified as being of primary concern to them also depended greatly on their own personal life experiences. Rather than falling into a homogenous group, the concerns, priorities and demands of young voters are as diverse and distinctive as for the rest of the electorate.”

Background information:
- 3369 young Australians, aged between 12 and 25, were surveyed between 4 April and 2 May, 2016.
- 35 per cent of respondents were aged between 12 and 16, 31 per cent were aged between 17 and 19, and 34 per cent were aged 20 to 25.
- 60 per cent of respondents identified as female, 35 per cent as male, and 4 per cent as an other gender. One per cent did not wish to say their gender.
- 89 per cent were currently undertaking education, either at high school, university, TAFE, or as an apprentice or trainee.
- 49 per cent were currently in employment, either full time, part time or as a casual.
- 44 per cent of respondents live in marginal electorates.
- 29.6 per cent are from non-metropolitan areas.
- 57 per cent said they were undecided or didn’t yet know who they would vote.

What the Agenda For Action: What young Australians want from the 2016 Election report reveals:

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Clarence Valley youth rock!

Letter to the editor in The Daily Examiner 25 January 2014:

Positive youth models
In the light of all the recent media comments regarding young people's behaviour and 'coward's punches', let's remind ourselves of the positive behaviours of most young people.
In Grafton, on December 21, an estimated 1200 young people gathered together from lunchtime onwards throughout Grafton; all ending up at the Grafton Racecourse for the ninth annual Santa Crawl.
These young people were all enjoying themselves, having fun with their friends, listening to music, dancing and, yes, drinking.
There were no violent incidences - no fights, no aggression, nobody hurt.
Following this event there was $12,000 quietly donated to Vinnies - the total proceeds of that one event - what a fabulous result.
So in this current climate, it's important to reflect and acknowledge that the majority of young people do behave as this group did at the Santa Crawl - having fun, drinking responsibly and respecting others, while at the same time being generous and thoughtful to those less fortunate than themselves.
Well done the young people of Clarence Valley and beyond, who attended and contributed to this event.
Hats off and congratulations to the young people who continue to organise this event each year and who are as proud of their record of holding a peaceful event as they are of the significant donation they make to a local charity.
Sue McKimm

Monday, 29 November 2010

Congratulations to all 2010 Heywire winners

HEYWIRE is a space and a competition where young people create and share their stories, ideas and opinions…..
Anyone can upload stories to this website, but you have to be aged between 16 and 22, and live outside Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide or Perth, to be eligible to win the Heywire Competition. Each year in September/October the best stories that have been uploaded throughout the year are chosen to be broadcast across the ABC. The roughly 40 winning entrants get the chance to go to Heywire Youth Issues Forum in Canberra in February.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and a special mention to Alexandra and Elizabeth from the NSW North Coast!
Their winning entries were The Ag plot and But it is Normal.

Complete list of winners:

New South Wales

Alexandra Neill: Grafton

Bubli Rawat: Shell Harbour

Elizabeth Kennedy: Murwillumbah

Benjamin Vella: Tamworth

Janet Brown: Wagga Wagga

Brendon Reynolds: Pambula

Jack Stanley: Broken Hill

Northern Territory

Skye MacFarlane: Mataranka

Kylie Sambo: Tennant Creek


Jack Piggott: Rolleston

Nicolette Worth: Cairns

Clair Ryder: Townsville

Lucy Hanson: Crow's Nest

Emily Lohse: Brooweena

Luke Chaplain: Boomarra Station

Ria Garside: Clermont

South Australia

Annie Rudiger: Karoonda

Talisha Queama: Fregon

Tameika Schultz: Streaky Bay


Sophie Chandler: Crabtree, Tasmania

Jeremy Stingel: Burnie, Tasmania


Taylor Smith: Geelong

Jakob Quilligan: Bendigo

Robert Colgrave: Moe

Razia Gharibi: Shepparton

Alanna Pasut: Red Cliffs

Amber Brimley: Edenhope, Victoria

Bethany Evans: Timboon

Western Australia

Joel Weston Jackson: Karratha

Sean Painter: Pithara

Jarrod Offer: Cunderdin

Dana Harrold: Eaton

Samantha Fielder: Kalgoorlie Boulder

Saturday, 28 August 2010

What NSW Northern Rivers social priorities are in 2010 for local community services

From Northern Rivers Social Priorities 2010 Report:

In early 2010 Northern Rivers Social Development Council (NRSDC) conducted a survey amongst the regions’ community service providers to gauge their views on social priorities. The results from the survey will be used to inform NRSDC in its advocacy role. It will also stand as a resource for other community services to gain an insight into the key social issues faced by the Northern Rivers community and community service system.

Since 2001, initially the Northern Rivers Interagency and now NRSDC have conducted research, consultations and surveys with service providers. The aim has been to identify common social priorities across the region, flag new issues as they arise and monitor the state of those priorities.

Responses from community services of the Northern Rivers to the 2010 Social Priorities survey has revealed that the region’s social priorities, as identified in 2002 and revisited in 2006 remain hot issues in the community.

Data from the survey may be considered in different ways. An indication of what responding services had the strongest feelings about can be found by looking at which issues had the most respondents rating them as 9 out of 9 ie the highest level of concern.

Ranking of the social priorities is as follows on a scale of 1 to 9:

  1. Youth 7.72
  2. Complex needs 7.64
  3. Transport 7.58
  4. Housing 7.08
  5. Ageing 6.92
  6. Community based management 6.52

Friday, 30 July 2010

Yamba cousins selected for Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October

Cousins Cameron Pilley and Donna Urquhart have been selected in the Australian squash team that will compete at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Pilley, aged 27, and Urquhart, aged 23, are local products who started their squash experiences at the Yamba Squash Centre.

According to Squash Info Pilley's current ranking in world men's squash is 16th whilst Urquhart's ranking in women's squash is 18th.

Other members of the 2010 Australian Commonwealth Games squash team are:

Stewart Boswell 31 ACT
Ryan Cuskelly 22 NSW
Aaron Frankcomb 25 Tas
David Palmer 34 NSW
Kasey Brown 24 NSW
Lisa Camilleri 27 Qld
Melody Francis 21 Vic
Amelia Pittock 27 Vic

To further emphasise the success of squash on the NSW north coast it should be noted that Ryan Cuskelly is from Evans Head and Kasey Brown is from Taree.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Is the Australian Youth Forum website a total failure?

On 2 October 2008 with much fanfare the Rudd Government and the Federal Minister for Youth, Kate Ellis, launched the Australian Youth Forum and associated website.

The website is an online forum for, well, for youth and the young have responded dramatically according to government:

There has been such a great response to the initial topics and some really good suggestions have been made.

Here is how this "great response" played out.
It's first discussion topic Bullying the forum attracted 40 comments over 59 days, as of the morning of 12 December and not all of these were from young people.
The second discussion topic Body Image is doing a little better with 45 comments in 59 days.
There is no third, fourth or fifth topic listed on the website.

Of course there are slightly more people reading this site, with Bullying posts receiving 181 votes and Body Image 142 votes.

However there is no way of knowing if it was the young actually reading and voting.
As a Baby Boomer my anonymous vote was happily registered by the online forum.
As would be the vote of any ministerial staffer.

Now I know that in its $8 million funding announcement government also included funding for the non-government Australian Youth Affairs Coalition and some future local conferences, but this still represents as lot of money for 85 short opinion posts on a specially created website.

Each post keystroke probably represented hundreds of dollars.

With so many of Australia's two million-odd young people able to access the Internet, this poor showing over two months gives pause for thought.
Wasn't the Youth Forum website a product of that Rudd brain fever, the 2020 Summit?

Poznan: Tipping my hat to the Australian youth delegation and their international counterparts

With around one hundred and eighty-seven countries represented at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Poland this week predictably at loggerheads about the details on how to proceed to combat the worst effects of climate change through an enduring treaty, I take some comfort from the voice of youth.
It might not be a globally inclusive voice and I suspect that in many respects it is a somewhat elitist voice (and I can't help nostalgically thinking they aren't a patch on the 60s mob), but this a young voice speaking loudly and clearly to the rest of the world - p#ss or get off the pot!
I just hope that Rudders and Co are really listening and Penny Wong formally embraces this perspective rather than just paying lipservice to it at the Ministerial Roundtable yesterday.

Crikey reports:

20 young Australians have come to Poznan, Poland for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change as part of the Australian Youth Delegation. Mostly self funded, we have travelled here to make sure the youth voice is heard on climate change and to ensure that world leaders step up and stop dangerous climate change. This delegation has been hosted by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), a coalition of over 20 youth organisations working on climate change issues around Australia....

The Australian Youth Delegates at the United Nations conference are calling on the government to set emission reduction targets of over 40% by 2020 to safeguard their future and the future of Pacific Islands...

A group of young people from over 50 countries attending the UN Climate Negotiations in Poland have achieved an extraordinary feat today: negotiating an international statement based on the "survival principle" and getting senior negotiators to sign their countries up to it.

Over 80 countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, Costa Rica, Tuvalu and Bangladesh, as well as leading experts on climate change including Australia's Tim Flannery, Sir Nicolas Stern and Nobel prize winner Dr. Rajendra Pachauri have signed on to the statement that a global climate change agreement must "safeguard the survival of all countries and peoples".

For a conference that has otherwise been a bland non-event, this statement has resonated widely with delegates. Many nations have placed a "survival" placard handed out by the youth delegates over their country's name placards.

These young delegates had joined adult national representatives at the Poznań conference on Thursday to hear the UN Secretary-General outline its objectives:

First is a workplan for next year's negotiations. I am glad that an agreement has already been achieved. Second, you need to sketch out the critical elements of a long-term vision. We need a basic framework for cooperative action starting today, not in 2012. Within this framework, industrialized countries must set ambitious long-term goals, coupled with midterm emission reduction targets.

Developing countries need to limit the growth of their emissions as well. To do so they will need robust financial and technological support -- not just promises, but tangible results. Adaptation will be key, including risk reduction and management. Change must be integrated with strategies for development and poverty alleviation. One without the other means failure for both. The world's poorest should not suffer first and worst from a problem they did least to create.

Third, we must recommit ourselves to the urgency of our cause. This requires leadership -- your leadership. Yes, the economic crisis is serious. Yet when it comes to climate change, the stakes are even far higher. The climate crisis affects our potential prosperity and our peoples' lives, both now and far into the future.

Message to Political Leaders: Consider Our Future
It's Getting Hot In Here, DC - 8 Dec 2008
In every possible way we, as an International Youth Delegation representing over 50 nations, are trying to make the case that the time is running out to ...
Alta. oilsands criticized at UN summit, Canada - 23 hours ago
A Canadian youth delegation attending the UN climate-change conference in Poznan, Poland, set up a photo display, scrutinizing Alberta's environmental ...
Poznań: The Maturing of the Youth Contingent
Worldwatch Institute, DC - 10 hours ago
Answer: they are both the voice of the international youth delegation, an increasingly vocal, organized, and perhaps bureaucratized presence at the ongoing ...
The Climate Crisis Waits for No One
Solomon Times Online, Solomon Islands - 10 Dec 2008
Leah Wickham, a Greenpeace volunteer from Fiji, who is part of a youth delegation to Poznan, said countries like Australia had not demonstrated political ...
The thrills and spills of carbon-reduced travel
The Age, Australia - 5 Dec 2008
Australian Youth Delegation overland team Nic Seton, 22, of the Gold Coast, Anna Keenan, 23 of Brisbane, Jack Fuller, 23 of Melbourne, Oliver Cashman, ...