YOUTH PARLIAMENT

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. T.A. Franks:

That this council notes—

1. The youth bills and acts written, debated and passed by the 2014 Youth Parliament of South Australia during this year’s YMCA Youth Parliament program;

2. The outstanding work of the participants and task force of the Youth Parliament program in producing and debating these pieces of legislation;

3. The active engagement of our state’s youth in their communities and in the state’s decision-making process; and

4. The importance and value of youth voice and advocacy, particularly on issues that directly affect youth.

(Continued from 29 October 2014.)

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS(20:28:54): Firstly, I congratulate the Hon. Tammy Franks on bringing this motion to the chamber and highlighting the importance of the development of young leaders in our community across all facets of South Australia and, obviously, the benefits that go with it within our community but also beyond our state borders as well. There is a particular paragraph in the Hon. Ms Franks' speech in moving the motion that I would like to quote and to make a couple of quick comments on. It states:

The bill that got the most support , with a total of 90 yes votes across both houses , was the Youth Mental Health Accessibility Act. Following on from the words of the Hon. John Dawkins, who often brings up mental health issues and raises that very vital issue of mental health in this place , c learly young people think that mental health is also a priority and something that we should be acting upon.

That is just such a very important statement. In the work I do in suicide prevention and, more broadly, mental health areas, there is no doubt that the role of young people in breaking down the stigma of talking about these matters is so important. The Hon. Kelly Vincent is at least of an age where probably the stigma is not as great, but many of us have grown when our parents and grandparents and even our own generation have just had this roadblock in front of us about discussing these matters.

I am refreshed by the fact that many young people do not have that stigma. They do not understand why we will not talk about these matters. While some are influenced by older people to stay quiet, there is, I think, a growing move amongst the younger people today to bring these things out into the open. I think in that paragraph in particular, the Hon. Tammy Franks has highlighted that very well. It is an example of the way in which the Youth Parliament can help young people not only develop policies but also the way in which they wish to conduct their lives and the way in which they would like to influence people around them. Once again, I give great credit to the Hon. Tammy Franks for bringing this motion to the chamber.