AnglicareSA’s Lauren Jew will represent South Australia at the national 2011 Australian Youth Forum (AYF) in April.

The Australian Youth Forum is an online portal that has been set up to give young people an opportunity to have a say on issues and policies that directly impact them.

Lauren, 23, will join 11 other Australians to form the Youth Engagement Steering Group, a 12 month program funded by the Office for Youth within the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Currently completing a Bachelor of Arts in Aboriginal Studies, Lauren believes all young people should have the opportunity to discuss with Government issues that directly or indirectly affect them.

“I wanted to get involved so I could listen to other people’s ideas and come up with solutions on what Government could do more effectively to benefit young people,” Lauren said. “Even the smallest voice can have a huge influence and may potentially encourage positive change for the future.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting other young people from diverse backgrounds, hearing their stories and giving them an opportunity to feel a part of shaping Australia’s future.”

Lauren, a Reunification Program Officer at AnglicareSA, is eager to raise with other passionate young people a range of issues including:

  • Closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous
  • Benefits of having a National Child Protection Policy
  • Youth mental health
  • How to better engage young people who are ‘at risk’
  • Service delivery in remote communities, and
  • Cyber bullying

AnglicareSA CEO Dr Lynn Arnold says the AYF is a wonderful base for young Australian’s to be recognised while valuing the diversity of youth within the community.

“Engaging young Australians in ongoing public discussions and using their input for the development of public policy is very encouraging,” Lynn said.

“It’s about respect and a sense of empowerment for youths, something which Anglicare values highly.

“I think Lauren’s success in being selected into the AYF is testament to the quality and professionalism of our staff and the workplace that we can provide.”

For more information about the Australian Youth Forum click here

For interview and photo opportunities please contact Courtney Alderson on (08)8305 9296 or [email protected]