Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello launched Youth Week 2013 today with a health forum at Parliament House attended by 70 young people from around the state.
Mr Dominello said Youth Week – 5 to 14 April – is the biggest event for young people in Australia, with more than 800 activities held across NSW.
“The aim of Youth Week is to celebrate young people’s achievements, aspirations and actions that contribute to the community and to encourage others to play a greater role in their communities,” he said.
“Youth Week, with this year’s theme ‘Be Active. Be Happy. Be You.’ also gives young people a chance to speak up on issues that matter to them and act to have those concerns addressed.”
The NSW Government has provided each of NSW’s 152 local councils with a share of $244,000 in funding to stage events ranging from leadership workshops, talent contests, debates, art exhibitions, sporting activities, writing competitions, dance classes and concerts.
Today’s forum, hosted by NSW Health in conjunction with the NSW Government’s Youth Advisory Council, will address the dramatic increase in notifications of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among young people.
Minister for Health Jillian Skinner said: “Today is all about harnessing the creativity and talent of the forum participants to look at more innovative ways of addressing the increase in STIs amongst their peers.
“We know that young people absorb information and communicate differently from previous generations thanks to social media, so what better way to reach young people than to ask them directly what works and what doesn’t.”
Mr Dominello said other key Youth Week initiatives include Transport for NSW investing more than $70,000 to promote safe driving behaviours to young people and beyondblue providing $50,000 to support youth-initiated projects addressing mental health issues.
For more information on Youth Week in NSW, visit the website at www.youthweek.nsw.gov.au.