youth forum 2010 report

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					Queensland Youth Forum 2010 report
Introduction

The inaugural Queensland Youth Forum was held on 26 to 30 September 2010 in
Brisbane, with 40 young participants from across Queensland. The forum was a key
Queensland Government youth engagement initiative and the theme — ‘Own it,
Change it’ — was adopted by the participants and applied throughout the forum
activities.

The Queensland Youth Forum achieved the aims of the program, as it enabled the
participants to use and develop their leadership and engagement skills to:
   engage in state-level discussion and consultation on youth issues and the
    Queensland Government’s priorities
   bring issues and projects identified through the participant’s organisational and local
    level connections to discuss and develop as proposals for Government
    consideration
   establish links with youth and community non-government organisations and peak
    bodies.


Promotion and participant selection

The majority of the 81 applications received were submitted by email in response to
promotional activities over the period 13 to 25 August 2010, which included:
   letters from the Minister for Community Services and Housing and Minister for
    Women to youth organisations encouraging their support for potential applicants
   The website www.communityservices.qld.gov.au/youth/forum for application forms
    and information
   posters, postcards, direct emails, and youth e-zine articles and emails
   Facebook account of the Queensland Young Member for National Youth Week.

The profile of the 81 applications received is described below.
Applicant profile
                       QYF Applicants by Region                                            QYF Applicant Cultural Background



                                           Far North
                                         Queensland, 5                                                                  CALD
              South East, 11
                                                                                                                        11%



     South West, 10                                                                                                                 Indigenous
                                                                                                                                       17%
                                                                Brisbane, 27

                                                                                                                                    South Sea
                                                                                                                                     Islander
      North Coast, 8                                                                                                                    1%
                                                                                                Other
                                                                                                71%
              Central
           Queensland, 6                  North
                                      Queensland, 14




From the 81 applications received, 40 participants were selected. Appendix one
contains a full list of participants and describes the selection process used.

Participant profile

                          Age of QYF Participants                                                      QYF Participants by Region


                             Age 25
                              5%
                          Age 24                   Age 16                                       South West, 5
                           3%                       19%

                 Age 23
                  19%                                                                                                            Brisbane, 14
                                                                                       South East, 6

                                                            Age 17
                                                             10%

                Age 22                                      Age 18
                 8%                                          5%                      North Queensland,
                                                                                             5                                    Central
                                                      Age 19                                                                   Queensland, 2
                         Age 21                        5%
                          13%             Age 20                                                  North Coast, 4           Far North
                                           13%                                                                           Queensland, 4




             QYF Participant Cultural Background                                                  QYF Participants by Gender




                                                       Indigenous
                                                          25%

                                                                                                                                         Male
                                                                                                                                         40%


                                                               CALD
                                                                                           Female
                                                                8%
                                                                                            60%
                Other
                67%




Many participants were also directly involved with the following organisations which
received ministerial letters requesting their support to promote the forum:
   the Indigenous Youth Leadership Program (IYLP)



                                                                               -2-
   the regional youth forums funded by the Youth Engagement Grants (YEG)
   National Youth Week (NYW) initiatives
   The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
   the Create Foundation
   the Queensland Youth Environment Council
   Youth Without Borders
   The Left Right Think Tank.

Outcomes
Focus issues
An analysis undertaken prior to the forum identified three broad areas as most relevant
to the young participants, and also aligned with departmental priorities:
   youth safety – including healthy relationships, violence, and bullying
   youth community participation – including volunteering, involvement in
    decision-making processes, and homelessness
   youth health – including healthy lifestyles, sport and recreation, mental health, and
    body image.

The forum participants were given the opportunity to identify their interest in the three
topics and were allocated to one of the three focus streams at the forum.

The immediate outcomes of the Queensland Youth Forum were the presentations on
each topic, developed and delivered by the participants during the forum. The
presentations were made to the Minister, Acting Director-General, Department of
Communities and community sector representatives. A summary of the proposals
presented during the forum is provided in greater detail in Appendix Two.

Youth safety stream
Identified issue: youth experiencing unhealthy relationships
Proposal for change
A gap exists in the support of young people in relationships (with themselves, family,
intimate partners, friends and the community).

The group proposed a goal of providing accessible specialist support, guidance and
resources about relationships for young people in secondary schools.

Identified issue: bullying and cyber-bullying
Proposal for change
Peer-to-peer awareness campaign about bullying and cyber-bulling in schools.

A campaign would be completely created by the youth of Australia, for the youth of
Australia, to protect the youth of Australia.

Identified issue: Physical violence amongst young people
Proposal for change



                                          -3-
That Government should formally recognise one calendar week a year for the “Make a
Mate to Help a Mate” initiative.

Youth community participation stream
Identified issue: sustainability of youth engagement initiatives
Proposal for change
That there be more training and support for young people to get involved in their
communities. The group proposed that this could be achieved through:
   peer mentoring to support young people starting to get involved in their communities,
    particularly at-risk/disengaged young people
   local councils facilitating two short term, youth-led projects every year. This has
    been suggested for the following reasons:
    o   young people need opportunities to make small contributions to their community,
        with faster outcomes
    o   short-term projects will give participants a sense of achievement and inspire
        them to continue engaging with their communities and developing their skills.

Identified issue: awareness about youth initiatives and engagement opportunities
Proposal for change
Development of a communication strategy so that all young people in Queensland know
about what is happening in their communities and how to get involved.

This communication strategy needs to address how stakeholders communicate online
with young people and how they support communication and learning within their own
workforce.

Identified Issue: building a culture of youth engagement
Proposal for change
To develop a culture of valuing young people’s views, meeting them where they are at
and understanding their value as community contributors among Government and the
community sector to ensure they are engaged in decision making processes.

The goals are to increase the effectiveness of how Government, the community sector
and businesses engage with young people, and to create a culture among young people
of desire to participate in their communities. This is needed because:
   young people need to feel they have had the opportunity to participate in decisions
    that affect their lives and also in broader community discussions
   it will support the sustainability and succession planning of organisations
   young people want to get involved but often do not know how
   it will prevent the volunteer base from shrinking – research shows that people who
    start early tend to remain engaged with their communities.

Youth health stream
Identified issue: physical health – exercise and nutrition
Proposal for change
Make unhealthy food less attractive to buyers (more expensive)



                                          -4-
Increase knowledge and applicable skills around nutrition and healthy living

Create and increase opportunities for the public to participate in sport.

Identified issue: mental health – the stigma associated with depression
Proposal for change
A campaign is developed to stop the stigma associated with depression and raise
awareness of the prevalence of mental health issues among Australians.

Identified issue: sexual health – barriers to access
Proposal for change
To have more young people see professionals for sexual health issues: counselling,
check-ups, and treatment.

Media and communications outcomes
The forum was promoted through social media via the Facebook profile for the
Queensland Young Member for National Youth Week. The participants created a new
Facebook group to communicate with each other during and after the forum.

Communication Services prepared media releases that resulted in at least four articles
that profiled participants in:
   The Toowoomba Chronicle – Jade Cullen
   The Northern Miner (Charters Towers) – Katie Beveridge
   The Atherton Tablelander – Emma Wilkinson
   The Bowen Independent – Reid Barry and Shannen Gordon.

The 12th edition of the department’s magazine community connect also featured a photo
and caption of several Queensland Youth Forum participants involved in team skills
activities during the forum.

Connections made with the youth sector at the forum
The following organisations were represented at the stakeholder feedback session:
   Ms Kelly Bucknall, for the State Coordinator, Create Foundation
   Mr Greg Hoffman, General Manager - Advocate Stream, Local Government
    Association of Queensland (LGAQ)
   Ms Katie Edmiston, Advisor – Youth, Local Government Association of Queensland
    (LGAQ)
   Ms Nava Moghbelpour, Youth Health Promotion Officer, Ethnic Communities Council
    of Queensland
   Ms Aiah Thomas, Youth and Community Linking, Multicultural Development
    Association
   Mr Richard Proctor, Senior Policy Officer, Commission for Children and Young
    People and Child Guardian
   Mr Daniel Walker, Policy Officer, the Youth Affairs Network of Queensland (YANQ)
   Mr Jelenko Dragisic, Chief Executive Officer, Volunteering Queensland


                                          -5-
   Ms Maria Leebeek, Executive Officer, the Queensland Youth Housing Coalition
    (QYHC)
   Ms Yassmin Abdel-Magied, President, Youth Without Borders (YWB)
   Mr Devett O'Brien, State Coordinator - Queensland, Left Right Think Tank (LRTT)
   Mr Laurie Hodgman, National Policy Coordinator, Queensland Youth Environment
    Council
   Mr Sarah Coles, Queensland Council of Social Services (QCOSS)
   Uncle Steve Mam, Elder, Torres Strait Islander community
   Mr Jeremy Johnstone, Family Worker, Project Circuit Breaker, Mission Australia
   Ms Lelia-Maree Doherty, Young Carer Officer, Carers Queensland
   Mr Ryan Foster, Secretariat, Inner Urban Youth Interagency and Manager, Visible
    Ink, Valley, Youth Team, Brisbane City Council.

Offers of support and collaboration
During the stakeholder feedback session, many representatives of the community sector
offered to work with and support the forum participants, including:
   Mr Greg Hoffman (LGAQ) offered to connect all of the participants with the youth
    development officers based in their communities to support them to develop and
    implement their proposals, and increase their involvement in their communities
   Mr Daniel Walker (YANQ) offered all of the participants a one year free membership
    of YANQ
   Mr Ryan Foster (Brisbane City Council) offered to provide direct support to David
    Yohan for his organisation
   Ms Yassmin Abdel-Magied (YWB) offered YWB as an auspice organisation for any
    applications for funding from the members
   Mr Devett O’Brien (LRTT) invited the participants to provide LRTT with information
    about their issues and offered support to address these issues.

Post forum connections and action
The Office for Youth will work with the participants to continue to develop their
proposals. The Office for Youth will also endeavour to:
   connect the participants with ongoing leadership and development opportunities
   provide participants with opportunities to present feedback to the Queensland
    Government about a range of relevant issues.

To date, the current projects and opportunities that participants have been linked with
include:
   Andrew Zarro and Lucy Deemal have been nominated as representatives for
    Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council. Andrew was also
    nominated successfully by the Office for Youth for a Queensland Youth Alliance
    Award, presented to him by the Governor.
   David Yohan has been linked with the Youth Team of the Brisbane City Council who
    has offered to provide him with support as he requires with applying for the grants. In


                                          -6-
    addition, David was nominated as Queensland Young Australian of the Year for
    2011.
   Alison Dower has been linked with both The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and
    YANQ’s advisory group for young people who live with a disability.
   A number of the participants have provided advice about the funding information
    paper for the next round of the Youth Engagement Grants funding initiative.
   Hannah Taylor has been linked with Vision Generation, the youth advocacy group of
    World Vision Australia.
   Katie Beveridge is a current member of her local Youth Network and, within this role,
    is presently organising an ‘Amazing Race’ around Charters Towers, as well as a
    ‘Battle of the Bands’ for local youth.
   The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services branch of the Department of
    Communities intend to interview Johnny Magro and Josh Shadford for a future
    edition of Namalata Thusi, a quarter magazine produced by Aboriginal and Torres
    Strait Islanders Services.
   The participants intend to develop a letter to the Honourable Peter Garret MP,
    Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth that outlines their thoughts
    about the National Strategy for Young Australians.
   The Healthy Relationships group from the forum has been connected with the
    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Roundtable to discuss their
    proposal about including information about healthy relationships for LGBT young
    people onto the school curriculum.
   The proposals from the Bullying and Cyber-bullying group will be forwarded to the
    National Cyber-crime Working Group.
   The participants have also developed a Facebook group that will assist them to keep
    in contact and work together post forum.
   The organisation Elizabeth Cullen is involved with, Left Right Think Tank, has
    forwarded their paper on youth homelessness to the Assistant Director-General after
    discussions at the forum and also offered to facilitate future youth consultations on
    this issue. Elizabeth has recently been appointed to the position of Director, Left
    Right Think Tank, Queensland division.


Future opportunities

Future opportunities, offered by the Office for Youth, to the participants of the 2010
Queensland Youth Forum include:
   providing input into the 2011 Queensland Youth Forum program
   mentoring and leadership roles in the 2011 Queensland Youth Forum program
   volunteering at the Office for Youth
   supported access to training, professional development and conferences
   links with youth development and leadership initiatives of the department, such as
    The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the Indigenous Youth Leadership Program, the
    YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament, the Youth Engagement Grants regional
    forums, and positions on government boards and advisory councils.




                                           -7-
Our stories
The participants completed evaluation forms at the end of the forum and the following
describes the experiences of three particular participants.
David Yohan, 25, Brisbane region
David was born in Ethiopia and was accepted into Australia under a humanitarian
program. As a result of his upbringing and circumstances, David has witnessed the good
and the bad this world inflicts on our vulnerable and less fortunate. This has given him
the drive and determination to do as much as he can to offer assistance to those who
need it. Because of this, David pursued studies to give him the tools to achieve his goal
of helping others.
Since then, David has founded and run the volunteer multicultural youth organisation
Providing Awareness with Education and Sport (PAWES), which caters for 150 young
people from many cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds. These young people
have many barriers which hinders their progress in mainstream society. David develops
strategies to not only empower the young people, but to minimise and eliminate the
constraints that affect their ability to communicate effectively, while progressing in
society to fulfil their dreams and aspirations. David uses his knowledge and passion for
sport and recreation to help young people from culturally and linguistically diverse
backgrounds to develop a sense of trust, belonging and purpose. David aims to help
them not only in sport, but educationally and emotionally so that they have hope and can
aim for the future.
David was awarded the Pride of Australia “Young Leader” medal in 2009, a Queensland
Young Volunteer Award and a Queensland Multicultural Award in 2010 in the category
of volunteering and was a Queensland Young Australian of the Year 2011 State Finalist
David’s reflection on participating in the forum:
   I wanted to learn on the issues the affect other young people outside of my
   community, how these issues are addressed and to also learn how to give more to
   my community by applying better practices or new ideas on situations and
   circumstances that may arise with the young people I deal with.
   I met great people, learnt more on myself and my role in my community as a young
   person. Meeting and working with great minded and gifted young people opened my
   eyes on skills I need to refine whilst also giving me the opportunity to inputting on
   topics which I felt I had a good understanding of. The staff of Queensland Youth
   Forum also introduced me to great networks.
   The forum has given me the drive, confidence and determination to keep on keeping
   on. Personally the forum has helped me to realise what I'm doing in my community
   needs to be done and not to be afraid to make a positive change to my community
   and Australia as a whole. For that I thank everyone who organised the forum and
   who participated.
During the Queensland Youth Forum, David demonstrated his leadership and
coordination to exceptional standards and also identified several obstacles that he is
currently facing in maintaining his community work. The Office for Youth has since
linked David with a mentor from Brisbane Youth Service who is assisting him to further
develop his skills in completing funding submissions and learning how to better manage
the organisational aspects of his community work.




                                          -8-
Erin Pinkney, 23, North Queensland region
In her role as Indigenous Sports and Recreation Officer, Erin works with people from
various backgrounds to encourage, facilitate and endorse sport and recreational
programs within the community in which both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and
non-Indigenous persons can participate. In her personal life, Erin has been doing Karate
for over 18 years and recently represented Australia in the World Karate Championships
in Spain, where she achieved fifth place in her division. She has won five national titles,
six states titles for both Queensland and New South Wales and one Australasian title
(New Zealand Championships). Erin is currently the head instructor for the Mackay
Kyokushin Karate Club.

In her application to participate in the Queensland Youth Forum, Erin identified that her
future goals included expanding existing programs that she has built in Mackay and the
promotion of these programs nationally. Erin expressed her interest in learning skills and
building networks that would assist her to apply for funding to launch sporting based
programs in rural Australia, with a focus on reaching Indigenous communities. She is
working towards beginning her own fitness business which will operate as a gym, martial
arts centre, and drop in centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and
non-Indigenous persons to give more support to the community while also encouraging
healthy lifestyle/healthy living.
Erin’s reflection on her participation in the forum:

       I saw the forum as an outlet for myself and others around the state my age to
       have a voice and stand up for what we believe is right for ourselves, our peers,
       our families and the wider community. I liked the idea of having a non-
       judgemental ear to voice it too as well, as within the general workplace I’ve found
       prejudice due to my age and the stigmas surrounding generation Y.

       Out of the forum I have gained so much. It was really interesting to hear what
       other communities are going through and how others, like me, are trying to
       combat these issues. I found it comforting to know that there are others out there
       passionate like me and pushing for the same as me. I also feel that from the
       forum I have increased my networks in particular within the Office for Youth and
       would like to keep this connection strong as it is a field I would like to pursue as a
       career now that I have had exposure to what they do and what they stand for.

       Since returning home from the forum I have began developing a youth-led
       organisation called Mackay Advocacy Group (MAG), a group run by young
       people for young people. The forum gave me the inspiration and drive to begin
       such a journey. I believe that Mackay is in need of such an organisation as most
       of the 'youth' groups in Mackay at present are run by those exceeding 40+. No
       offence to them, but we need involvement from all age demographics, and also
       need an initiative for young people.

       In closing, I really enjoyed the forum and how it was facilitated. It was fun as well
       as informative and I now have added 40 new amazing people to my friends list,
       which is exciting! I would like to thank the Office for Youth for choosing me as a
       participant and I hope that some day I’ll be in their shoes giving back to the
       generations to come what they have given to me.




                                          -9-
Lana Godfrey, 23, South East region

Lana is interested in positive social change, active participation in communities, justice
and equality. Lana has travelled extensively to approximately 35 countries, during which
time she enjoyed mixing with people from all walks of life and diverse cultures. Lana
currently works as the Senior Coordinator of Community Support Services at the East
Brisbane Community Centre and has previously worked as a youth worker for young
people in care of the former Department of Child Safety, where the children have
extreme behaviours and complex needs. Lana is interested in working in Social Policy.

Lana was awarded a Queensland Young Volunteer award in 2007 for community work
that she undertook as part of her role as a Director on the board of the Queensland
Police Citizens Youth Welfare Association (PCYC). In 2006, she travelled across
Queensland in a voluntary capacity, assisting with the development and delivery of
services for young people. Lana spent 14 days volunteering on Palm Island, funding the
trip herself, working with young people through the PCYC. As well as Lana's significant
board responsibilities, she is also focused on rural communities, helping with a
successful Bluelight disco in Surat, music concerts in rural towns and a Family Fun Expo
in Rockhampton. All of these events raised valuable funds and united the community.

Lana’s reflection on participating in the forum:

       At 23 I feel that I need to embrace my remaining time as a ‘young person’ before
       I reach the age of 25 and no longer ‘fit’ into the ‘youth’ category. I want to do as
       much for and with young people as possible, especially while I still am one! After
       arriving home from backpacking overseas I have made it my focus and decided
       to apply for the Queensland Youth Forum 2010 to re-engage my efforts of active
       participation in the Queensland community.

       The forum was a fantastic opportunity for learning and sharing skills and
       experience in a productive and supportive environment. Some of these skills
       included marketing and media, advocacy, strategies for action and the chance to
       hear from people in the community sector about projects that are currently in
       operation. It was so valuable to be able to interact with Governmental staff and a
       range of networks to discuss the opportunities for development across a range of
       issues affecting young people in the Queensland community. It was so helpful to
       be able to create and foster partnerships and pathway opportunities with like-
       minded people, which is an additional support as a young member of the
       community wanting to create positive change.

       The Queensland Youth Forum 2010 provided me with an opportunity to meet
       amazing young people from around Queensland; we have kept in close contact
       since the forum and plan to collaborate in future projects together. I currently
       work as the Senior Coordinator of Community Support Services at the East
       Brisbane Community Centre and in my role will implement my learning’s from the
       forum. One significant learning I will embrace is transforming community
       education and awareness into meaningful action. The forum also gave me
       increased motivation and reignited my passion for young people, active
       engagement and the Queensland community at large.


Appendix One - Participants


                                          - 10 -
Selection process

The selection panel comprised two staff from the Office for Youth, a representative from
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services and a delegate from the Local
Government Association of Queensland. The panel assessed applications as eligible, in
accordance with the key eligibility criteria:
   applicants must be aged between 16 and 25 at the time of the forum
   applicants must be able to attend the forum and be contactable prior to the forum
   applicants under 18 years of age must have parental/guardian consent
   applicants must be a Queensland resident.

The panel assessed the applicants according to their overall suitability, as demonstrated
by their responses to the application questions, including:
   active involvement in their local community
   interest in participating in the forum
   contributions to be made to the forum
   interest in skills and knowledge development
   commitment to pursuing projects after the forum
   understanding of issues in local and broader community
   awareness of the non-government organisation (NGO) sector
   previous leadership experience and membership in committees
   solution-focused ideas.

The panel also moderated the applications to take account of their suitability and to
ensure equitable representation based on the following factors:
   cultural background
   employment status
   geographical location
   gender
   age
   initiative involvement and topics of interest.

This resulted in a total of 40 applicants selected to participate in the Queensland Youth
Forum from the original pool of applicants as described below:




                                             - 11 -
First Name    Last Name            Age   Region

Arthur        Cheung               20    Brisbane

Elizabeth     Cullen               21    Brisbane

Lucy          Deemal               23    Brisbane

Alison        Dower                23    Brisbane

Ashley        Duggan               20    Brisbane

Christopher   Franklin             21    Brisbane

Jack          Greig                20    Brisbane

Whitney       Hunt                 21    Brisbane

Jessica       Ryan                 19    Brisbane

Josh          Shadford             17    Brisbane

Hannah        Taylor               23    Brisbane

Amber         Withers              16    Brisbane

David         Yohan                25    Brisbane

Andrew        Zaro                 22    Brisbane

Kurtis        Lawson               16    Central Qld

Johnny        Magro                16    Central Qld

Samuel        Hoare                16    Far North Qld

Laura         Leighton             16    Far North Qld

Bonnitta      Nawakie              18    Far North Qld

Emma          Wilkinson            16    Far North Qld

Fiona         Finnegan             20    North Coast

Saira         Manns                18    North Coast

Elliot        Peters               23    North Coast

Cassieopia    Robertson            21    North Coast

Katie         Beveridge            21    North Qld

Reid          Barry                17    North Qld



                          - 12 -
First Name               Last Name                    Age        Region

Peta                     Comelli                      17         North Qld

Erin                     Pinkney                      23         North Qld

Shannen                  Gordon                       16         North Qld

Lana                     Godfrey                      23         South East

Jasmine                  Huxley                       22         South East

Chris                    Ireland                      23         South East

Tamara                   Sheppard                     23         South East

Emma                     Treherne                     25         South East

Callum                   Weeks                        19         South East

Isabelle                 Chassain                     22         South West

Jade                     Cullen                       20         South West

Ashleigh                 McArthur                     16         South West

Gordon                   McBain                       17         South West

Noral                    Piers-Blundell               24         South West


Appendix two - detailed proposals
Youth issues
From the prescribed focus streams developed through research prior to the forum, the
participants were guided through a process in which they identified their individual
priority issues. The following summarises the issues that the participants felt were a
priority in their local communities, which have been categorised under the emergent
theme headings.
Violence
   violence between cultures
   bullying/cyber-bullying leading to depression
   loss of culture contributing to violence
   gender based violence in relationships
   education and self-awareness of actions, results, individuals, and responsibilities.

Substance abuse
 drug and alcohol abuse



                                          - 13 -
   drink driving
   need for support and rehabilitation services for people under 18
   youth violence caused by substance abuse
   chroming
   lack of employment and homelessness, boredom leading to drinking alcohol
   overrepresentation of Indigenous young people in criminal justice system.

Engagement
   no opportunities for participation in community activities
   too much competition for positions
   physically disconnected, transport is a barrier
   youth need to participate more
   lack of activities for entertainment.

Education/Employment
 unemployment
   completion of schooling, opportunity to reach potential, lack of direction from
    education and too little money to continue education
   lack of understanding and awareness of cultural diversity
   over-representation of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander young people in care
    impacts on educational and employment opportunities.

Justice
 vandalism
   law and justice
   inequity
   resilience – what is it? How is it formed?

Well-being
 relationships and identity
   self-esteem (or lack thereof), also stems from negative body image
   self-identity, sense of belonging and identifying your purpose
   acceptance of others and being judged by others
   helplessness – not knowing how to change things/situations
   trying to gain independence, youth identity and acceptance
   malnutrition and physical appearance
   lack of appropriate services for youth with disabilities and mental health
   depression
   prejudice – lack of understanding and awareness
   no safe places to party
   homelessness.



                                            - 14 -
Other
 media portrayal
   environment
   transition from care
   loss of culture.
Participants then considered the above information within the focus streams that they
were allocated to and developed collective priorities within each area. The agreed
priority issues for discussion were:

Youth safety
 youth experiencing unhealthy relationships
   bullying and cyber-bullying
   physical violence amongst young people.

Youth community participation
 sustainability of youth engagement initiatives
   awareness about youth initiatives and engagement opportunities
   building a culture of youth engagement.

Youth Health
   physical health – exercise and nutrition
   mental health – the stigma associated with depression
   sexual health – barriers to access.
It should be noted that the issues of interest to the participants closely aligned with the
broad topics that came from the research, with only a few slight differences. The key
difference of note is that the participants did not raise youth homelessness as an issue
of importance.

A detailed description of the issues raised and the proposals made is included below.

Youth safety stream
Identified issue: youth experiencing unhealthy relationships

Proposal for change
This group identified a gap that exists in the support of young people in relationships
(with themselves, family, intimate partners, friends and the community).
The identified response was to provide accessible specialist support, guidance and
resources for young people in secondary schools about relationships.

How will this work?

A lot of what young people understand about relationships is cemented in their high
school years, with many relationships, including sexual relationships, being formed
during these years. Despite this, no specialised support and service linking is offered
when they are confused, worried or in trouble. This program would fill that gap.




                                          - 15 -
It was identified that it would be run in a way that is similar to the concepts of the Ally
Program at QUT (www.equity.qut.edu.au/everyone/allynetwork/) and broadened to
include all high school students, irrespective of sexual orientation. It would be a
specialised role with identified training and knowledge to support young people
specifically around relationships. It would focus on two primary areas by supporting
young people in the school setting in a private, open, and safe environment and linking
students with services that already exist in the community to assist them to build the
networks and connections that will support them past high school. It is not about
expecting schools to implement new programs and services, but rather providing a
specialised role in schools that will link students with support services already in their
community while also having an in-school ally.

Identified issue: Bullying and Cyber-bullying

Proposal for change
   peer-to-peer awareness campaign about bullying and cyber-bulling in schools.

How will this work?

Education programs in school that talk about cyber-bullying/bullying to bring the issue to
the surface and educate students on what bullying actually is.
This could be done using a program called 'Motivational Media' who already do
presentations at schools using state of the art technology to bring issues to the surface.
The group also requested that an online bully box to be available to all adolescents,
which allows students to "anonymously" (however they are required to put their name)
report bullying incidents to their school. This is to encourage reporting, as bullying/cyber-
bullying is widely underreported.
Social media sites, such as Facebook, would also be utilised to reach the younger
community.
These ad campaigns will bring the issue of bullying to the surface, in conjunction with
the introduction of the Australian Governments E-Smart School strategy that is being
implemented into Australian schools in the near future.
This would be a campaign completely created by the youth of Australia, for the youth of
Australia, to protect the youth of Australia.

Identified issue: Physical violence amongst young people
Proposal for change

   That Government formally recognise one calendar week a year for the “Make a Mate
    to Help a Mate” initiative.

How will this work?

   Government recognises and promotes the initiative.
   “Mentors” become mates with at-risk young people.
   At-risk young people are empowered to lead and be involved in their communities
    and to facilitate and manage their relationships and environment.
   Local events are organised to allow young people to get to know peers and support
    each other.
   Queensland Youth Forum participants to organise events themselves.


                                          - 16 -
   Authority figures (principals, government officers, police) included as mates.


Youth Community Participation Stream
Identified issue: Sustainability of youth engagement initiatives
Proposal for change
The group proposed there be more training and support for young people to get involved
in their communities. This could be achieved through:
   Peer mentoring to support young people starting to get involved in their
    communities, particularly at-risk/disengaged young people.
   Local councils facilitating two short term, youth-led projects every year. This has
    been suggested for the following reasons:
       young people need opportunities to make small contributions to their community,
        with faster outcomes
       short-term projects give participants a sense of achievement and inspire them to
        continue engaging with their communities and developing their skills.

How will this work?

Peer-to-peer mentoring – “Peers with a Passion”
 The youth development officer in each council region develop and maintain a peer-
   to-peer mentoring program to support disengaged and at-risk young people get
   involved in their communities.
   Mentors would need to be from the same background as the mentees, as they
    understand the issues the mentees are going through, will relate to them and speak
    on their level, and can show them that change is possible.
   The youth development officer would choose the first group of mentors. These
    mentors would be peers with passion, peers who have stood out in the community
    already or have potential.
Short-term projects run by local councils
   The group proposes that local governments across Queensland facilitate two
    short-term projects to offer this opportunity to young people.
   Projects should be youth facilitated and led with a simple application process and go
    for one to three months.
   The group identified that funding should be a one-off grant rather than a funding
    commitment based on conditionality and that there is to be no requirement for
    auspices from an Approved Service Provider. State government funding processes
    were identified as too daunting.

Identified issue: Awareness about youth initiatives and engagement opportunities
Proposal for change
Development of a communication strategy so that all young people in Queensland know
about what is happening in their communities and how to get involved.

How will this work?
Government and the community sector to ensure that:



                                         - 17 -
   online content is appropriate, utilised well and designed to reach target groups
   young people and other stakeholders are consulted in the development and design
    of online content
   communication strategies are relevant to target groups – online, through networking,
    through funding arrangement, through schools or universities, through peers etc
   there is a dedicated space created within workloads for networking, communication,
    development, learning etc.

Identified Issue: Building a culture of Youth Engagement
Proposal for change
To develop a culture of valuing young people’s views, meeting them where they are at,
and understanding their value as community contributors among Government and the
community sector to ensure they are engaged in decision making processes.
To create a culture among young people of desire to participate in their communities.
This is needed because:
   young people need to have the opportunity to participate in decisions that affect their
    lives, and also in community discussion on wider issues
   it will support the sustainability and succession planning of organisations
   young people want to get involved, but often do not know how
   it will prevent volunteer base from shrinking – research shows people who start early
    tend to remain engaged with community for the rest of their lives.

How will this work?
A team of young people is created, that will be facilitated and supported by Government
to develop and deliver holistic projects to determine young people’s thoughts, opinions
and experiences through research.
This will include street teams that can find the youth demographic in each area and
engage them interpersonally.
This team will assist Government and the community sector to also engage with young
people. They will:
   develop research and reports on youth issues and youth engagement techniques
   act as consultants in youth engagement projects, including how to engage and
    promote opportunities with young people where they are already 'hanging out' e.g.
    social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter
   develop and disseminate research about youth engagement and youth
    trends/interests
   create and expand connections with youth services and organisations.
This team will be well promoted and branded to ensure ease of recognition.
Youth-friendly language should be used, with a minimum of governmental jargon,
however, do not try too hard to sound ‘cool’.
Any research or engagement strategies are regularly reviewed and updated to keep up
with changes in how youth engage and their interests.




                                         - 18 -
Youth Health Stream
Identified issue: Physical Health – Exercise and Nutrition
Proposal for change
   Make unhealthy food less attractive to buyers (more expensive).
   Increase knowledge and applicable skills around nutrition and healthy living.
   Create and increase opportunities for the public to participate in sport.

How will this work?
   Campaigns (“shock factor”) about what bad food does to your body.
   Taxing bad food and reducing cost of good food.
   Encouraging businesses/workplaces to adopt healthy choices menus similar to the
    ‘Smart Choices Strategy’ in Queensland schools and ‘A Better Choice Strategy’ in
    Queensland Health Facilities.
   Shops not able to display unhealthy food (e.g. service station hot box).
   Incentives for healthy food outlets to increase advertising e.g. Government grants.
   Cooking classes in schools (primary and high school), universities (during O-week)
    and community (included in gym memberships).
   Family sports scholarships.
   Increase funding to subsidise costs associated with sport and physical activity.

Identified issue: Mental Health – the stigma associated with depression
Proposal for change
A campaign is developed to stop the stigma associated with depression and raise
awareness of the prevalence of mental health issues among Australians.

How will this work?
An awareness campaign about depression is run by the State government, similar to the
multitudes of road safety campaigns. Support could be gained from mental health
organisations such as beyondblue.
More mental health-based material is implemented into the school curriculum, perhaps
in tandem with the introduction of the national curriculum. This should start early in
primary school, focusing on simple concepts such as resilience and mental strength,
and continue through the grades into high school, with content becoming more relevant
as years pass. Teachers must be involved as early as possible in this education process
in order to build trusting relationships with students.

Identified issue: Sexual Health – barriers to access
Proposal for change
To have more young people see professionals for sexual health issues: counselling,
check-ups and treatment.

How will this work?
Currently young people require a passport, drivers licence, or birth certificate to have
their Medicare card transferred to own name. It can be difficult to access these forms of
ID for disadvantaged youth and youth in rural or remote areas. It should be more



                                          - 19 -
accessible for young people to get a Medicare card so health services can be accessed
independently.
Consider expansion of services that do not require Medicare cards or systems that allow
identification (for billing purposes) by other means for subsequent consultations once
Medicare number recorded on first visit (with or without parent).
Financially and otherwise support and promote awareness of models of good sexual
health services and ensure equity of access (geographic etc). For example
   multi-purpose, ’integrated’ youth centres such as Brisbane Youth Service which
    allows access to health and sexual health services and counselling in a discreet
    environment due to availability of other services such as sports and recreation
   information sources online (e.g. www.istaysafe.com) that are currently targeted to
    teens, should be re-branded to cover ‘youth’ without much content modification
   discreet access to expert advice via SMS, phone calls, online chat: e.g. services run
    by Marie Stopes International (more information at http://www.sextxt.org.au/)
   train existing community leaders to provide confidential ‘triage’/referral service to
    direct youth to the appropriate service.


Appendix Three – Forum Program

The following information describes the process used to facilitate and mange the forum
and is followed by the approved forum program.

Skills development
The approved program outlined the process for each stream to work towards the
achievement of outcomes and the initiation of future projects. The full program is
included below.

Guest presenters with expertise in one of the streams were invited to host workshops.
The format of the workshops was the provision of information to the participants and
then facilitation to apply the knowledge to the key issues. The workshops are described
below.

Workshop: developing an advocacy strategy and action plan
This workshop focused on how to develop an idea for a project that seeks to address an
issue of importance and how to advocate for change.

Workshop: developing skills in communication and marketing
This workshop examined communication and marketing strategies to engage the media
and encourage positive peer influence, with a particular focus on using these tools
online.

Workshop: engaging with Government, the youth sector and other key stakeholders
This workshop focused on practical skills about engaging with Government and other
stakeholders, and working with them to consult with young people.

Planned outcomes
The participants were briefed that their work at the Forum may lead to the development
of:


                                          - 20 -
          social media and communication strategies around key issues in each stream to
           promote positive peer involvement, including the development of a framework which
           others can use to develop similar campaigns
          submissions that will feed into key youth policies and programs for Government
          presentations to the Minister and the community sector about projects that seek to
           address one or more of the issues in each stream. Such proposals could be
           implemented by participants after the forum
          a presentation to the Ministerial Advisory Council on Youth Violence outlining young
           people’s positive community interaction and how this can help address community
           perceptions of youth violence
          a media engagement plan that young people can use when planning to use media
           and also for Government to use as providing support to young people in initiatives
          a community consultation framework that can be used by Youth Engagement Grant
           funded organisations to guide regional forums
          a National Youth Week funding submission to be presented to networks in the
           community sector as an expression of interest for an auspicing agency.
     These ideas were presented to the group to assist them to think about the possibilities
     they could achieve during the forum.


     Forum Program

Sunday 26 September 2010
Evans room booked for 4.00 – 8.00pm.
Outcomes for Sunday: group is prepared for what is going to happen during the forum and group
members have connected with each other.

Date/Time                        Session                                       Venue

3.00 –          Check in at the Point Brisbane             Foyer, The Point Brisbane
4.00pm
4.00 –          Participant arrival, registration and      Foyer, Central Dockside Conference Venue
5.00pm          refreshments
5.00 –          Greeting from OfY by Michael Tansky.       Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference
5.30pm                                                     Venue
                Overview of program and expectations,
                introduction of staff, facilitators, and
                supporters
5.30 –          Group introductions, expectations and      Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference
7.30pm          establishment of ground rules              Venue
7.30pm –        Dinner                                     Central Dockside Hotel
8.30pm


Monday 27 September 2010
All three rooms and foyer available from 8.00am–5.00pm.
Outcomes for Monday: group have split into three focus streams, the streams have unpacked
their topic and related issues, the streams have identified their priorities for the issue.


Date/Time           Session title                                    Venue


                                                  - 21 -
8.00am        Participants meet in      Foyer, The Point Brisbane
              foyer of the Point
              Brisbane
8.30am        Arrival at Dockside       Foyer, Central Dockside Conference Venue
              Conference Centre
8.45am –      Welcome to and            Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
9.10am        acknowledgement of
              Country
9.10 –        Official opening of the   Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
9.25am        forum by the Assistant
              Director, Office for
              Youth
9.25 –        Guest Speaker: Yassmin    Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
9.45am        Abdel-Magied
9.45 –        Workshop: setting the     Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
10.45am       scene. Participants
              share stories and
              discuss their
              backgrounds
10.45 –       Morning tea               Foyer, Central Dockside Conference Venue
11.15am
11.15am –     Workshop: overview of     Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
12.15pm       solutions development
              framework
12.15 –       Workshop: unpacking       Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
1.00pm        an issue.
1.00 –        Lunch.                    Foyer, Central Dockside Conference Venue
2.00pm
2.00 –        Workshop: unpacking       Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
3:30pm        the issues in each
              stream. Participants
              divide into focus
              streams
3:30 –        Afternoon Tea             Foyer, Central Dockside Conference Venue
3:45pm
3:45 –        Workshop: unpacking       Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
5:00pm        the issues in each
              stream. Participants
              divide into focus
              streams – session
              continues
5.00 –        Daily evaluation          Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
5.30pm
7.00 –        Dinner                    Pimento Italian Restaurant
8.30pm


Tuesday 28 September 2010
All three rooms and foyer available from 8am – 5pm.
Outcomes for Tuesday: participants have learnt new skills in how to address the issues, they have
applied it to their stream issue, and they have skills they can use for their own projects.

Date/Time          Session title                                     Venue

8.00am        Participants meet in      Foyer, The Point Brisbane



                                               - 22 -
              foyer of The Point
              Brisbane
8.30 –        Skills development         Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
10.15am       workshop: advocacy
              strategy/action planning

10.15 –       Morning tea                Foyer, Central Dockside Conference Venue
10.45am
10.45am –     Skills development         Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
12.45pm       workshop:
              communication and
              marketing.

12.45 –       Lunch                      Foyer, Central Dockside Conference Venue
1.30pm
1.30 –        Skills development         Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
3.30pm        workshop: engaging
              with government, the
              youth sector, and other
              key stakeholders

3.30 –        Afternoon tea              Foyer, Central Dockside Conference Venue
4.00pm
4.00 –        Consultation on the        Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
5.00pm        National Strategy for
              Young Australians
5.00 –        Daily evaluation           Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
5.15pm
6.30 –        Dinner                     Asian Spice Restaurant
8.00pm


Wednesday 29 September 2010
All three rooms and foyer available from 8am – 5pm.
Outcomes for Wednesday: participants have the opportunity to meet and talk with the Minister
for Community Services and Housing about issues relating to young people across Queensland,
and prepare for the presentation on key issues within their stream.

Date/Time          Session title                                     Venue

8.00am        Participants meet in       Foyer, The Point Brisbane
              foyer of The Point
              Brisbane
8.30 –        Working on prescribed      Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
10.30am       projects
10.30am       Morning tea                Foyer, Central Dockside Conference Venue
10.45am –     Preparation of             Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
12.00pm       presentation to panel
12.00 –       Queensland Young           The Landing Restaurant
1.00pm        Volunteer Awards.

1.00 –        Lunch.                     The Landing Restaurant
2.00pm

2.00 –        Meet and greet with the    Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
3.00pm        Minister for Community



                                                - 23 -
              Services and Housing.

3.00 –        Afternoon tea              Foyer, Central Dockside Conference Venue
3.15pm
3.15 –        Preparation of             Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
4.45pm        presentation to panel
4.45 –        Daily evaluation           Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
5.00pm
6.45 –        Presentation dinner.       The Landing Restaurant
10.00pm




Thursday 30 September 2010
Participants checking out of accommodation, all three rooms and foyer booked 8am – 1pm.
Outcomes for Thursday: Participants have presented their issues to a panel of government and
youth sector representatives, participants have developed future actions, participants have
debriefed about the forum.

Date/Time          Session title                                     Venue

8.00am        Participants check out     Foyer, The Point Brisbane
              of rooms and meet in
              foyer
9.00 –        Stakeholder feedback       Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
10.30am       session.

              Includes welcome and
              address by the Acting
              Director-General,
              Department of
              Communities.
10.30 –       Morning tea (with          Foyer, Central Dockside Conference Venue
11.00am       stakeholders)
11.00am –     Future actions and final   Evans Room, Central Dockside Conference Venue
12.00pm       wrap up
12.00 –       Lunch                      Foyer, Central Dockside Conference Venue
1.00pm
1.00pm and    Supporting participants    Foyer, Central Dockside Conference Venue
on            to leave the venue




                                                - 24 -

				
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