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Hunter youth have their voices heard

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The voices of the region’s youth were heard loud and clear during the week on subjects that matter most to them.

Young representatives, aged 16 to 25, from throughout the Hunter took the opportunity to engage directly with Minister for Youth Dr Anne Aly, Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon and Paterson MP Meryl Swanson on several issues, which they are facing at a local and national level.

The Newcastle Youth Forum, an important initiative moving forward, builds on the work the Anthony Albanese government is already doing to restore trust with youngsters in the country’s political institutions.

Paterson MP Meryl Swanson discusses a number of issues with attendees at the Newcastle Youth Forum.

“There are so many young Novacastrians who want to see things improve for their generation, our community and the future of our planet,” Ms Claydon said.

“So, we’re ensuring they’re being listened to at the highest level.

“We know young people are best place to help shape real solutions on the issues that matter to them.

“That’s why these discussions in Newcastle are so vital.”

Topics raised included re-establishing the Office for Youth, a dedicated unit within government to enhance and harmonise policies impacting young Australians; and appointing the Youth Steering Committee made up of 15 diverse people from across the nation to help shape the government’s Youth Engagement Model.

“We’re empowering young Australians, making sure we are engaging them in two-way conversations,” Ms Swanson said.

“I know youngsters in Paterson want to be a part of shaping the solutions that work for them.”

Additionally, the Australian Government has appointed 40 young Australians to five Youth Advisory Groups providing advice across matters in a range of portfolios, including Climate Change and Energy, Indigenous Australians, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Industry and Science and Social Services.

“We’re ensuring young people have a genuine seat at the table, to be really listened to and to effect the change that is important to them,” Dr Ally said.

“We know that a government that not only works for young people, but also with them, will be far more effective – delivering a better future for all of us.”

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