Western Australian young people’s stories shared across the State
A booklet featuring stories from young everyday leaders from across Western Australia was released today to mark the 15th anniversary of establishing a Commissioner for Children and Young People.
The WA Commissioner for Children and Young People, Jacqueline McGowan-Jones said, “Here I Am was created to celebrate the voices of children and young people”.
“Fifteen students were invited to talk about their lives in WA, what they enjoy doing, what's important to them and what words of advice they had to others,” Ms McGowan-Jones said.
“These personal stories come from students living in every region of WA – from as far north as Derby, as south as Albany, and east as Kalgoorlie.”
“In my discussions across WA, I hear many inspiring stories of children and young people who are helping shape their schools, towns and wider communities.” Ms McGowan-Jones said.
“In marking my office’s 15th anniversary, I wanted to showcase some of these incredible stories to highlight the importance of listening to young people’s voices.”
“The stories come from children as young as 12 years old, and by providing the booklet to schools in WA, I hope other students will be inspired to take action towards their goals or make a change.”
“I thank the students for sharing their stories and encourage all West Australians to read Here I Am to get an insight into how young people contribute to our state.”
All schools in WA will receive a hardcopy for their libraries. A resource to help teachers to incorporate the stories within primary and secondary school lessons is also available.
The Here I Am booklet and teacher resource are available for download.
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Background: All Australian states and territories have a similar Commissioner or Guardian who advocates for the rights of children and young people. The WA Parliament passed the Commissioner for Children and Young People Act in 2006 and created the role of an independent commissioner.
Since the role’s inception, there have been four Commissioners for Children and Young People, with Commissioner Jacqueline McGowan-Jones beginning her appointment in January last year.
In the past 15 years the Commissioner’s office has consulted with more than 45,000 children and young people on issues such as health and mental health, youth justice, raising concerns in out-of-home care and education. These consultations are used to inform both government and non-government service providers to address the wellbeing needs of children and young people.