Young people unite to advance reconciliation

MEDIA RELEASE: A new survey has found the majority of young Australians (81%) have a strong desire to advance reconciliation—but less than half know how to go about it.

The Yarn about Youth survey gathered data from 730 young people aged 15-26 on their attitudes towards reconciliation. Results indicate that the majority of young people believe trust between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is low (75%), but 81% of young people want to take action.

“We know that young people are major players in reconciliation, especially given that over a quarter of the Aboriginal population are between the ages of 12-24,” Reconciliation Australia youth spokesperson Kiyah Missen said.

“If young people can build better relationships we will be making major strides towards reconciliation nationally.”

The release of the findings, on International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, coincides with the first day of the inaugural Yarn about Youth Roundtable.

The results of the survey will provide a basis for discussion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous representatives, from several key youth organisations, at the two-day event at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence in Redfern.

“We know that the voices of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be essential if we are to build real progress towards reconciliation across all generations,” Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, Executive Director, Andrew Cummings said.

“The Yarn about Youth Roundtable will be the first gathering where young Indigenous voices will share experiences with key organisations working with young people to develop fresh ideas and tangible actions to create real change.”

Yarn about Youth will culminate on Friday afternoon with a cultural cruise across Sydney harbour, hosted by Tribal Warrior.

The cruise will be a chance to celebrate new relationships and renewed commitment for change.

The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) is the national voice for young people and the youth affairs sector. AYAC’s vision is for an Australia in which young people are informed, empowered, encouraged and supported to participate in their communities.

Reconciliation Australia is the national body promoting reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.   www.reconciliation.org.au

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