Young Queenslanders appointed to drive change
02 August 2022
Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon
Twenty young Queenslanders have been selected to lead the charge in modernising the way government listens, engages and delivers for the state’s youngest cohort.
Youth Affairs Minister Meaghan Scanlon announced membership of the new Youth Strategy Engagement Group today, and said with more platforms and ways to communicate than ever before, it was critical for government to make sure that young people continued to be heard.
“Young people have a lot to contribute, but if government isn’t keeping up with how they want to be engaged and the platforms they’re on, then how can we make sure their voices are heard,” Minister Scanlon said.
“The Palaszczuk Government has invested in free TAFE for under-25s, another $320 million for the popular Skilling Queenslanders for Work program, action on climate change and school upgrades across Queensland.
“We want to build on this. And importantly, we want young people to have a direct say in how their government does that.
The 20 Queenslanders include representatives from regional and remote communities, young people who identify as First Nations Peoples, members of LGBTIQA+ communities, and people living with disability.
“Whether it’s jobs, cost of living, climate change, education, health, sport, consent or anything else that matters to you – they’ll be working together with the government to help shape how Queensland responds.
“Some members identify as having caring responsibilities, some have lived experience of homelessness and experience with the youth justice system.
Minister Scanlon said the group members were selected following a public nomination process which ran between 16 June and 1 July 2022.
“More than 120 nominations were submitted, and I want to thank every applicant for showing an interest in shaping this state’s future.
The Youth Strategy Engagement Group will inform the themes and priorities of the draft strategy, as well as the consultation plan for young people by seeking feedback from their networks and peers.
The group will also review the final draft of the youth strategy following public consultation.
Engagement group member 24-year-old Myiesha Yoelu is a Gudang Yadhaykenu and Saibai Island woman who is passionate about changing the lives of the Youth in a positive way for their own betterment.
“I wanted to be a part of the engagement group so that I would be amongst other aspiring youth leaders and to engage with the government in a way that they are able to hear about grass roots issues addressed by grass roots youth,” Myiesha said.
“It is important for the government to engage with, and listen to, young people because we are the ones that live day-to-day with the impacts from the decisions made by our government.
“Moving forward, I believe this will be a positive step in closing the gaps between young people and the decision-makers, our Government will have the opportunity to listen to the very people who are the future of this country. The power of today's youth is the wealth of this country tomorrow.”
Group member 18-year-old Nicholas Enraght-Moony is a current minister in Queensland Youth Parliament, Federal eSafety commission youth advisor, and a first year UQ engineering student.
“I am a fervent believer of the power, importance and role that youth play in shaping the future not only for ourselves but for future generations as well,” Nicholas said.
“I am also a strong believer that unless youth take action and have a voice, we can feel unheard and disenfranchised. Through this role I wish to bring an amplifier to the voice of my peers.
“I think it is vital that the government engages with and listens to young people, as we often have new and creative solutions to novel problems.
“Youth often feel passionately and fight for historical issues facing our society such as climate change, but we can’t always transition our voice into real action. So, by the government showing an engagement with and listening to youth, we can ensure that the voice of youth doesn’t become an echoless chamber.”
The group is expected to hold its first meeting in August.
All young people, other members of the community and organisations will have the opportunity to provide feedback through the public consultation process scheduled for later in the year.
Media contact: Francis Dela Cruz - 0420 592 078