MP hosts launch of UN Youth Rep report

MP hosts launch of UN Youth Rep report

Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie hosted Amos Washington, Australia’s Youth Representative to the United Nations, as he presented his 2018 Youth Representative Consultation Report yesterday.

Photo: Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie, right, hosted Amos Washington, Australia’s Youth Representative to the United Nations, pictured centre, as he presented his 2018 Youth Representative Consultation Report yesterday. The launch was attended by parliamentarians and staff including Michael Cornish, pictured left.

Mr Washington’s report follows his representation to the UN General Assembly in New York last month and summarises the findings of a six-month consultative ‘Listening Tour’ of young people around Australia.

“Amos is a young person from Mount Barker in my electorate of Mayo and this year’s Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations and I was proud to help him launch his report to the Federal Parliament with formal presentation event on December 4,” Rebekha said.

“I was also pleased to table the report to the Parliament and speak about Amos’s findings in the House of Representatives.

“This report is a significant body of work, with Amos conducting more than 150 consultations with thousands of young people across the country, from Tasmania to Far North Queensland, in cities and remote communities, and even in our youth detention centres.

“Amos did this largely using his own resources, a situation that needs review so more support can be provided to participants in the UN Youth Australia program.”

The top three issues raised in the report were mental health and wellbeing, discrimination and inequality, and education.

The report also found that only 44 per cent of young people felt as though their opinions are respected by the community and 19 per cent of young people felt their opinions are represented by politicians.

Amos said that this year’s report clearly showed that young people needed a seat at the policy decision-making table.

“Young Australians are passionate, engaged members of Australian society and the time has come for us to treat young people as valuable members of the community with important contributions to make,” he said.

“Young people have unique experiences and perspectives, and our leaders can enact more meaningful policy if they actively engage with young people.”

The report also lists eight recommendations for Australia’s leaders, including lowering of the voting age to 16, the appointment of a Federal Minister for Youth, the establishment of a Federal Youth Advisory Body, and a renewed focus on mental health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture.

“I have been advocating for a Minister for Young People since first coming to office in 2016 and I support this report’s call for youth voice in the Cabinet,” Rebekha said.

“We have a voice for our older citizens, our regional citizens, even our Territorian citizens in the Ministry.

“Why has the voice of the youth been denied a seat in the Cabinet for the past four years?

“We need to listen to our young people. They are our next leaders, our next generation, and I encourage all Australians to read this report.”

Rebekha’s speech on the 2018 Youth Representative Consultation Report can be accessed here.