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Youth Participation and Inclusion

The NSW Government is committed to ensuring all young people are supported to overcome challenges and have ample opportunities to realise their full potential.

The NSW Government is committed to ensuring all young people are supported to overcome challenges and have ample opportunities to realise their full potential.

Young people – who are they and why involve them?

‘Youth’ refers to a period of time between the ages of 12-24. These transformative years are when young people transition from childhood to adulthood and from dependence to independence.

There is no ‘typical’ young person, but here’s what we know: young people are innovative, creative, energetic, capable agents of change – no matter what their background, or where they live.

So, why involve young people?

The NSW Government recognises that young people are experts in their own lives, with their own unique experiences and perspectives. The diversity of their views, and the breadth of their experiences make them uniquely qualified to contribute to the decisions which affect their lives.

Working in partnership with young people to shape the services and programs offered to them will ensure their needs are being met and ultimately lead to better outcomes.

Young people have told us that they not only want to be involved, they want to make a difference. Simply making opportunities available for young people to participate is not enough. They want to be involved in a meaningful way.

This means that young people are empowered to be involved in a genuine and purposeful way. It means that each interaction counts and that their ideas and opinions are respected, considered and acted upon.

For more information on effective ways to engage young people in your organisation, view the ACYP participation guide. This resource includes young people’s top tips for meaningful participation and checklists for CEO's, boards, NGO front line workers and contract managers.

All young people have the right to be heard. For more information on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, View the ACYP child rights education resource.

Initiatives that support young people to participate

The NSW Government offers a range of initiatives that support young people to participate in a meaningful way:

We encourage all levels of government and community organisations to work in partnership with young people to co-design solutions that are responsive to their needs.

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Last updated: 25 May 2020