SYC recently launched an innovative new project that aims to engage and embrace the voice and opinions of young South Australians in the lead up to the 2018 South Australian Election.

The Youth Leadership IMPACT Project will bring together a diverse range of around 75 young people, aged between 15 and 17 years old from across South Australia, to discuss issues facing young people. Their views and ideas will form the basis of a range of recommendations to present to major party representatives in a bid to have an impact on youth related public policy.

SYC Director for Young People and Practice, Liz O’Connell says the organisation is passionate about ensuring young people have a recognised voice and meaningful impact on youth related public policy.

“We have worked with young people for nearly 60 years and we thought it was the right time for a renewed focus on what today’s young people really think, feel and want when it comes to issues such as education, housing and employment.

“We have a relentless belief in the power of young people and their potential and we believe now is the time to harness that in a proactive and positive way against the backdrop of the upcoming State election.”

Representatives from Student Representative Councils from five schools (two independent and three Government), four University students, several of SYC’s HYPA (Helping Young People Achieve) clients and supported by SYC’s Youth Leadership Team will learn about:

  • Policy and service delivery in the public sector
  • Enhanced interpersonal and communication skills
  • Specialist knowledge of key policy areas that impact young South Australians and;
  • Increased understanding of how not-for-profits, Government and policy interact

The schools who will be represented in the working group are Craigmore High School, Norwood Morialta High School, Pulteney Grammar School, Roma Mitchell Secondary College and Scotch College SA.

They will meet on a regular basis to complete a total of four sessions. After learning the basics about Government and public policy, they will examine current issues and challenges facing young South Australians.

By November, the group will have agreed upon campaign goals and key messages with an opportunity to be involved in a public forum presenting to major party representatives in February 2018.

Leilani Adams, a HYPA Bolt participant is excited to be involved in the project where he/she hopes to gain a deeper understanding of key policy areas that impact South Australians, “The IMPACT Project really appeals to me because, as a young person I have both opinions and beliefs about my own and my generations’ future and strongly feel it is important that they are heard and taken seriously by decision makers. It is vitally important that I try and make a difference, for my voice to be heard.”