Youth com­bat neg­a­tiv­ity

Sur­vey en­cour­ages young peo­ple to have their say and ‘chal­lenge stereo­types’

Penrith Press - - NEWS - El­iz­a­beth Col­man Visit sur­vey­mon­ /r/youthWS

YOUTH ad­vo­cates want to com­bat neg­a­tive stereo­types about Western Syd­ney’s young peo­ple with a land­mark sur­vey that could reach 400,000 peo­ple.

Youth Ac­tion has set out to trans­form the “huge mis­con­cep­tion” that the re­gion’s youth are “lazy” and “dis­en­gaged” – la­bels it says could dam­age their self­im­age and be­come a bar­rier to em­ploy­ment.

“Some stereo­types say that young peo­ple (in western Syd­ney) lack di­rec­tion, are un­will­ing to work, or aren’t en­gaged in their com­mu­ni­ties,” said Natasha Lay, YA’s western Syd­ney project co-or­di­na­tor.

The Youth Ac­tion re­gional sur­vey is an op­por­tu­nity for young peo­ple to “have their say and chal­lenge these stereo­types”.

She added the re­gion’s grow­ing youth pop­u­la­tion is “pas­sion­ate, ac­tively en­gaged, and ready to drive so­lu­tions to fu­ture-proof Western Syd­ney”.

The sur­vey, tar­get­ing 400,000 young peo­ple aged be­tween 12 and 25, seeks to un­earth “pos­i­tive sto­ries” from across the re­gion.

The re­sults could in­flu­ence lo­cal, state and fed­eral pol­icy af­ter they are pub­lished as a re­port for the com­mu­nity, and pre­sented to may­ors and politi­cians by Youth Ac­tion, which is the peak lobby group for young peo­ple in NSW and the team be­hind the “What’s Up West” youth con­fer­ence.

“Young peo­ple like liv­ing in the West, and we want to un­lock the rea­sons why,” said Ms Lay. “We want as many young peo­ple as pos­si­ble to have their say. Their opin­ions mat­ter and they should know they are val­ued mem­bers of the Western Syd­ney com­mu­nity.”

What makes you smile about liv­ing in Western Syd­ney? Youth Ac­tion Sur­vey

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