Last month, Barnardos Sydney Metro Program Manager, Vik Craig and Acting Centre Manager, Anna Hoyles joined 200 representatives, including young people and representatives from the Youth sector for the NSW State Election Forum: What matters for young people.
Participants heard from Felicity Wilson (Liberal Party), Julia Finn (Australian Labor Party) and Dr Amanda Cohn (The Greens), who spoke about their platform and plans to address issues relevant to young people. Following this, there was a diverse panel of young people who spoke about the issues that matter to them in the election.
The primary issue that came up over and over again was the cost of living pressure and how this is impacting the day-to-day life of young people. They also discussed access to health and mental health services, disability services, supports for refugees and migrants, education, youth arts and domestic violence.
One young person received applause for suggesting that parties be required to inform young people of previous election promises and how they have followed-through with these, just to be sure they are held accountable. Most of the young people raised concerns that minimal education is provided for them on how the government and election processes work.
The main message that Vik and Anna walked away with is just how aware, engaged and driven these young people are to ensuring a stable future for their generation.