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Got youth on your side?

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It was great to read the Out of the mouths of babes article on The Australian website earlier this week.

It’s often hard enough to convince decision makers of the benefits of consumer input into their decisions, let alone the value a bunch of 12-18 year olds can bring to the process!

Youth Advisory Committees are popping up everywhere these days and I’m a real fan. I’m often inspired when I come across young people involved in influencing decision makers and how they have a profound ability to articulate the needs of young people in a way that I couldn’t do if I tried!

For information on Youth Advisory Councils within South Australia, including what they are and the funding available to support them, visit the Office for Youth website.

And for those of us no longer in the ‘youth’ category…

“Youth is something very new: twenty years ago no one mentioned it.”
Coco Chanel

Australia’s first Citizens’ Parliament

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Throughout October and November, 150 citizens from all Australian federal electorates have been taking part in a series of unique events – regional meetings that lead up to Australia’s first Citizens’ Parliament at Old Parliament House from February 6 to 9 next year.

The regional meetings, together with online meetings and the February Citizens’ Parliament event are aimed at making democracy more accessible to Australians beyond the election cycle.

Regional meetings are being held around Australia including Canberra, Newcastle, Melbourne, Coffs Harbour, Fremantle, Adelaide, Brisbane and Hobart with the final meeting being held in Sydney on November 8 and 9. The day long meetings are being held to encourage participants to think about the ideas they have about the question: How can Australia’s political system be strengthened to serve us better?

People are considering the strengths of our governing institutions, responding to issues such as the limitations imposed by the election cycle and the overlapping layers of government.

Overall, more than 2500 people registered as prospective participants in the Citizens’ Parliament and associated activities. Following the regional meetings, all registered participants can contribute to an online deliberation about the question in the lead-up to the February event. Their final recommendations will be presented to the Prime Minister and all Members of Parliament.

The Citizens’ Parliament is funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant in conjunction with the newDemocracy Foundation.

For further information, visit http://citizensparliament.org.au/