Kikkert invites Canberrans to connect with disengaged youth
There are many creative ways that the everyday citizen can help reverse youth disengagement in Canberra. Using your birthday as an opportunity to give back to the community is one of them, Shadow Minister for Families, Youth and Community Services Elizabeth Kikkert said.
Mrs Kikkert celebrated her 30th birthday a little differently than tradition would dictate. She set out to do thirty acts of kindness – one for each year - for people in the community. She has celebrated her birthday in the same manner ever since.
“For my traditional reverse birthday celebration this year, I have invited young people enrolled in the federally funded Project Booyah to join me for a day of learning and service on 4 July. We will bake scones and deliver them to a home for elderly veterans,” Mrs Kikkert said.
“We have also obtained commemorative crosses from the Australian War Memorial that the youth can write messages of hope and thanks on.
“Young people need to feel that they belong, and they need opportunities to receive positive recognition and make positive contributions.
“Sadly, a recent COAG Reform Council report on education found that 17 per cent of youth in the ACT were not fully engaged in either study or work. Disengaged youth hurt the community, but young people who feel connected have better physical and mental health as adults and are far less likely to find themselves in trouble. They also contribute to the social and economic wellbeing of our community.
“Simple activities like baking scones and honouring veterans can help young people learn skills and hopefully find a sense of belonging and pride. I strongly encourage others who want to get involved to contact one of the many organisations that support the ACT’s youth,” Mrs Kikkert concluded.