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Young people speak out during Youth Week

The need for more rehabilitation support (rather than detention) for young people impacted by drugs and alcohol, peer-to-peer support services for young victims of domestic violence, education on respectful relationships, better promotion of mental health services for young people by schools, more opportunities and support to get jobs, and a more culturally diverse education curriculum were just some of the ideas expressed by young people yesterday at the 2015 Speak Out for Change: Youth Voice on Youth Issues Summit.

This event was a youth-to-youth consultation, where young leaders from the Youth Leadership Roundtable worked with more than 100 of their peers to debate complex issues that are affecting young people today, and put forward innovative solutions.

Other insights included concerns that bullying behaviour was often ignored and that there needed to be better recognition of all forms of bullying, including emotional bullying, along with greater awareness by young people of how their own behaviour may become bullying. On a positive note, it was good to hear that there appeared to be greater awareness and support for young people with disabilities by their peers.

I was impressed to see so many young people in one place getting involved and talking about how they can make WA a better place to live.

I attended the conclusion of the day’s proceedings, along with the National Commissioner for Children and senior representatives and heads of government and non-government agencies to hear the findings and recommendations developed by young people.

I congratulate the remarkable young leaders who hosted the event and thank everyone who took part in or supported the day’s activities.

The Youth Leadership Roundtable from Save the Children’s South East Corridor Youth Partnership Project comprises a group of 13 inspiring young people who have faced their own struggles and hardship, and who are now working together to improve the wellbeing of children and young people.

For more information about the project, watch the Youth Partnership Project video.

Jenni Perkins
Acting Commissioner for Children and Young People