7 December, 2020
Young leaders are the voice of the next generation who will bring forward change and growth. I welcome schools back to parliament for their visits. I recently had the pleasure of meeting with the school captains of every high school in the Warringah electorate, who are the second cohort of the Warringah youth ambassadors. I started the Warringah Youth Ambassadors program last year to hear firsthand how I can best advocate for and represent the young people of Warringah. I was so impressed by their honesty and passion. They want us to know what issues matter to them, their schools and their families. Issues that resonated across the groups included the environment; creating a better sense of community and connection; sexuality and gender diversity; and access to mental health resources.
Mental health is an issue that is not going away. ABS data shows that in 2019 more than one-third of the deaths of people aged 15 to 24 in New South Wales were due to suicide. Of those 133 who died, 101 were males and 32 were females. The warnings are there for mental health advocates that the numbers could increase. Communicating with the younger generation of my electorate is a key aspect of ensuring everyone in the community feel supported and encouraged. Thank you to those young leaders who attended. I will continue to work with you as my youth ambassadors to listen to your issues and bring your concerns to parliament. I urge the youth around Australia to continue reaching out and working with each other.