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2014 Victoria National Youth Week Message
The Hon Ryan Smith MP, Minister for Youth Affairs
As the Minister for Youth Affairs in Victoria, every day I see how young people are helping us build a vibrant Victoria. Their enthusiasm and desire to make a difference, their energy and passion to get involved and their skills and ideas for change are truly inspiring.
National Youth Week provides a wonderful opportunity for local communities to acknowledge the contributions of young people, listen to their views and support them to organise events that showcase their talent, creativity and energy.
The theme of this year’s National Youth Week celebrations, ‘‘Our Voice. Our Impact’, complements the Victorian Government’s Youth Statement Engage Involve Create. Our vision is that all young people have the same chance to enjoy a healthy, active role in our economy and community, now and into the future.
Each year, over 1,200 young people organise events and activities for other young people in their community. In 2013, more than 25,000 young people took part in National Youth Week activities across Victoria.
In 2014, Zac Slattery, a year 12 student from Kingswood College in Box Hill, will be Victoria’s National Youth Week Young Member. Zac was a member of the Victorian Coalition Government’s Advisory Committee, the Involve Committee and will play an important role in shaping National Youth Week in Victoria.
The Government continues to support a number of programs in Victoria that provide young people with opportunities to get involved in meaningful projects and build important life skills and career pathways. Programs such as FReeZA, Engage, Advance, Youth Parliament and the exciting new Wakakirri Secondary Schools Challenge, are all designed to encourage young people to get involved in their community.
I encourage all young Victorians to join in the National Youth Week celebrations in April 2014. Take a look at our Youth Central website to find out what’s happening in your area.