Moncrieff Electorate – Youth

3 Jun | '2024

One of the great privileges of serving in this place is meeting with and visiting so many incredible organisations that support Australians across the country. I’m sure members from both sides would agree. As the Shadow Minister for Youth, there are some amazing organisations that I’ve had the great pleasure of spending time with who deliver safe spaces, support and opportunities for young people. Most recently, I travelled to the Sunshine Coast to see my very good friend and colleague Andrew Wallace, the fabulous LNP member for Fisher, and meet with some of the youth organisations in his patch. Andrew, like me, is very passionate about ensuring young people not only have the support networks that they need but also can access opportunities no matter what their postcode. I had the pleasure of starting the morning with a trip to Caloundra State High School. I want to give a shout-out to those very smart and very switched-on high school students, some of whom came into school on a student day off especially to meet with us. I thank them for coming. We had a great discussion about their concerns and thoughts about the future, their hopes and ideas and what government can do to support them. We talked about the pros and cons of social media—very topical at the moment. We talked about supporting young people and protecting young people through age verification and the need for the teaching of financial literacy for young people in high schools. They really wanted to know about spending and budgeting and how to grow a nest egg so that they could own their own property one day. They were the two biggest topics that we covered.

After that, we went to spend time with Carmel at the STEPS Pathway College, which provides independent living skills for young people with a disability. The passion and love that Carmel and her team have for those very beautiful young people they were helping to succeed and were teaching valuable life skills to was amazing to witness firsthand. What an incredible campus they have in Caloundra, with three hectares, a cafe, on-site accommodation and a garden nursery—all of which help young people at the college to develop skills so they
can live a more independent life.

The last stop on the Fisher youth tour was to see Leon at Lookout 07. Leon is so passionate about providing a safe place for young people in the area. You can see that passion in his eyes when he’s talking about it and the gym where he supports young people, and sometimes even their parents, who come along to work out, hang out, chill out and talk to someone as well. I look forward to seeing Lookout 07 grow, as I know Leon has some really big plans to support more young people in the future.

On the way back to the Gold Coast is the Logan Youth Foyer, which I had the privilege of visiting. I would like to give a big shout-out to Malia and Percy, two young people who currently live at the foyer and were generous enough to share their very special stories and struggles with me. They were very personal, indeed, so I thank them. Youth foyers around the country provide accommodation and support for young people who are at risk of homelessness or are homeless. They do an amazing job to help the youth of our nation. So, thank you, Youth Foyer. I’m lucky enough to have one in my own electorate. To finish tonight, I would like to talk about my own patch. This Friday and Saturday is the second IMPACT Gold Coast Youth Summit I’ve delivered. It’s aiming to give new opportunities and networks to young people from all cultures, all identities and all abilities to connect, learn and leave inspired. We have around 200 15- to 24-year-olds living on the Gold Coast coming to attend. It’s a TEDx-style event, with 20 guest speakers. I would like to thank our major partners Sea World Resort and particularly Sea World Foundation for the great work they do for conservation of marine life on the Gold Coast and Village Roadshow theme parks for their sponsorship of the event. Without them we couldn’t do it. I thank Griffith University, Bond University and SCU—all Gold Coast universities—TAFE, 20 corporations, including Gold Coast Airport, Gold Coast Eisteddfod, Everybody Now, Kokoda Youth Foundation, Gold Coast rec and sport, Rotary International and all of our partners. I thank our guest speakers, including entrepreneurs, teachers, youth advocates and sportspeople. I’ll give a big shout-out to Tino from the Gold Coast Titans, who is coming along to inspire the young ones. As the patron and shadow Minister for Youth, along with the founder and executive program director Karen Phillips, I look forward to delivering a very successful second IMPACT youth summit to support Gold Coast youth and to build a better future for all. The future is in your hands, young Gold Coasters. I’ll see you on Friday and Saturday.

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