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About Us

SYC Youth IMPACT Project


The SYC Youth IMPACT Project is about supporting young people to understand that they have opinions that matter and how they can have influence in positively articulating their views to decision makers.

The Youth IMPACT Project came about because of a desire from SYC, a not-for-profit service provider in Australia, to support its own client base as well as young people more broadly in South Australia, to have their voice herd during the 2018 South Australian Parliament election process.

Two Time Horizons:

>> Time Horizon One

The first stage of the project consisted of four, forum based sessions in September and October 2017, where the 40 participants came together to:

  • learn about government structures;
  • discuss and narrow specific issues important to the group to express to decision makers; and
  • build skills in how to develop position papers.

Important to these sessions was teaching and showing participants multiple different tools used to have political influence. Two participants were invited into ABC Adelaide studios and interviewed by David Beavon on 24 October, about the project. Additionally, a number of participants were interviewed on camera about their views in the second and fourth forum by Public Relations organisation McCo Group. Participants were asked about what issues were important to them and what they wanted to achieve through the project.

This footage has been utilised to create three short videos to promote the program and encourage political and public interest during the 2018 formal election process. Watch what the young people had to say:

>> Time Horizon Two

The second stage is a Q&A Session, allowing participants to ask questions of Members of Parliament, representing three party’s at the 2018 South Australian Election, questions about the issues important to them.

Details – Thursday 1 March 2018
Old Chamber of the South Australian Parliament House.

Position Papers:

Four issues where chosen to develop further positions on, through a process of collaboration, discussion and voting by the broader group. Ultimately the young people narrowed this down to two key policy areas that they would like to see discussed and a proactive approach to system change implemented.

>> The 2 primary issues the students have focused their work on are:
  • Support for the mental health and emotional wellbeing for young people
    • primarily through education, focusing on access, equality and professional standards for clinicians
  • Access and availability of services to support those affected by substance use/abuse
    • including rehabilitation and recovery specific for young people without stigma

Dr Samantha Battams and Health Outcomes International (HOI), worked in parallel to The Youth IMPACT Project and on a pro bono basis to develop a White Paper pulling on content proposed in the Position Papers.

A copy of the White Paper and Position Papers are available here.

>> The additional 2 policy areas of keen interest to the group are:
  • A focus of the state on renewable resources to produce energy
    • including career development and a focus on education so that young people can learn about renewable energy and how to develop a sustainable career in the industry that also supports our natural resources
  • Inter-school connection and collaboration at a local, national, international level
    • including investment in curriculum and extra-curricular activities that bring young people together from a variety of schools, backgrounds, experiences, cultures, etc.

These issues remain important to The Youth IMPACT Project participants and questions on these topics will also be asked on the Q&A Session Panels on 1 March 2018.


Working in Partnership:

Working with young people from SYC’s youth services division, HYPA (standing for Helping Young People Achieve), SYC also invited Adelaide school students to participate. We were thrilled to be joined in this journey by:

sca-logo      rmsc-logo      chs-logo      pgs-logo

Additionally, the Youth IMPACT Project was also supported by the South Australian Parliamentary Internship Program with 3 University students giving their time and expertise in Government structures to help project participants understand how they can have influence. Two of these students then provided research papers and recommendations to their sponsoring Members of Parliament about the inclusion of a youth voice in decision making.

Read Dayle Arblaster’s report here: “A best practice guide to including young people’s voice in the political process.”

A number of professionals from academia, the South Australian public service and public relations and lobbyist backgrounds also gave their time as guest speakers during The Youth IMPACT Project forums.


For further information:

If you would like further information about the SYC Youth IMPACT Project, please contact:

Liz O’Connell
SYC Director for Young People
(08) 8405 8500