Burt Youth Leadership Forum

House of Representatives, 23 May 2018

Watch Matt's Speech 
Transcript

Earlier this year I convened the inaugural Burt Youth Leadership Forum, bringing together student leaders from high schools across Perth's south-east.

The students presented on what they saw as the most important challenges affecting young people in our community and across Australia.

The students raised the NBN, which seems a long way away from many people in Burt, and the effects of this government's growing debt.

However, the priority issues that they identified were drug use, mental health, youth crime and violence and the need to better value education.

I think today's leaders would be very curious to hear the suggestions put forward by these leaders of tomorrow.

Western Australia continues to suffer the scourge of illicit drug use. We heard recommendations for improved and more-confrontational education campaigns that show realistic effects of drugs.

The students talked about mental health and asked for a greater focus on mental health education for both teachers and students.

Following recent incidents of local youth violence, students suggested creating safe spaces where young people can seek help and guidance, programs aimed at young people and where family violence can be properly addressed.

Finally, the students recommended we place an increased value on education through increasing funding to facilitate smaller teaching loads, better funding for education degrees and encouraging high-achieving students to get into teaching.

I've taken their suggestions to the top, including to the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the WA Premier.