ACOSS MEDIA RELEASE 1 MAY 2013
More than forty prominent Australians and leading heads of charities, unions, and national community welfare organisations, have united to sign an Open Letter to the Federal Government, calling for an increase in income support allowance payments in the May Budget.
The open letter, organised by the Australian Council of Social Service, calls on the Australian Government to increase the single rate of Newstart and other allowances and index these payments to wages, to address growing poverty in Australia.
Investment in community-driven services to prevent young offending is urgently needed to reduce the rising incarceration and remand rates of young people, according to a new report released by the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) ahead of their testimony to the Senate Committee hearing into the value of justice reinvestment held in Sydney today.
The AYAC report: Insights from the Coalface: The value of justice reinvestment for young Australians found that there is an overuse of detention for young offenders, despite it being well-established that detention is an overly expensive and ineffective way of addressing youth offending.
Australia’s youth affairs peak bodies sent letters today to all State and Territory Premiers and Chief Ministers, urging them to support the Gonski education reforms at Friday's COAG meeting. Together, these peak bodies represent organisations across Australia that have contact with over 2.7 million young Australians (aged 12 - 25).
Andrew Cummings, Executive Director of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) - the national youth peak - said Australia’s prosperity depends on the success of young Australians, and investing in their education was critical to success.
The National Welfare Rights Network (NWRN) today released a disturbing analysis of income support payments over the past decade which reveals that welfare payments for young people have risen by less than $100 a fortnight.
A new analysis released today on rates and payment increases for single students and unemployed people over the last decade strengthens the case for increasing the Allowances by $50 per week in the May Budget.
Peak community welfare groups and charities today restated their call for a $50 increase in Allowance payments such as Newstart in this year’s Federal Budget as a fundamental requirement to help lift hundreds and thousands of people out of worsening poverty in Australia.
The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition is excited by the announcement of Megan Mitchell as Australia’s first National Commissioner for Children and Young People.
“Having a National Commissioner for Children and Young People is an important step in highlighting issues of neglect, abuse and discrimination. Megan will play a vital role in making sure that young people’s voices and opinions are heard at the national level,” AYAC's Executive Director Andrew Cummings said.
Young people with criminal records in Alice Springs should not be subjected to the strategy suggested today by Northern Territory minister Adam Giles – to detain them without charge – as it is discriminatory against Aboriginal young people and illegal, says the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC).
Minister Giles’ suggestion today that recidivist offenders should be taken off the streets as soon as possible and placed in custody or other forms of detention until alternative measures can be found has been roundly rejected by AYAC.
Young people in Alice Springs should not be subjected to curfews, as there is no evidence that they actually work to reduce crime and unfairly discriminate against Aboriginal young people, says the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC).
The Northern Territory government’s push to impose a "smart curfew" on young people in Alice Springs to prevent them walking around the town between midnight and 6am, has been roundly rejected by AYAC and other leading youth affairs organisations.
As the Australian Government delivers its report on the Senate Inquiry into the adequacy of Newstart and other allowance payments today, the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) continues to urge the government to provide appropriate support to young unemployed people and students, by raising the Newstart and Youth Allowances by $50 per week.
The Federal Government’s program to reduce early school leaving and high youth unemployment is failing many young people, according to a report released today by the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC).
Under the government’s ‘Learn or Earn’ program, young people who have not finished Year 12 must be in education or training to qualify for welfare payments. However, the AYAC study shows that the young people who struggle the most to engage in learning or earning are facing the most serious and significant barriers to engagement.
Young up-and-coming Australian activists and leaders can now build momentum for youth led social and political movements via a new purpose-built online space.
Leading youth affairs organisations around Australia* have today expressed their strong opposition to plans to silence the principal voice for young Queenslanders and the youth sector that supports them.
AYAC's Executive Director, Andrew Cummings, and young Board member, Polly Henry, took a trip to the nation's capital to participate in a Senate Committee hearing regarding youth allowance and other payment systems.
The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC), is today warning that teen parents and their children will be locked into further poverty unless the federal government reverses their plan to cut their welfare payments.
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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.
MEDIA RELEASE: Today 15 young Aboriginal and Torres Islander leaders from around Australia will meet in Sydney to establish a national plan for self-representation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people - the first-of-its-kind.
Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS and the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition have called on the Federal Government to formally include sexual health guidelines in the national curriculum, following the release of a national youth survey today showing overwhelming support for standardised teaching.
The Let’s Talk About Sex survey of over 1200 young people - commissioned by AYAC and YEAH - found that 80 per cent of respondents agreed that lessons about sex and sexual health should be the same in every Australian school.
We call on the Federal Government today to make urgent arrangements to protect programs that support student wellbeing in 3,500 schools across the country. Today the High Court of Australia declared that funding under the National School Chaplaincy & Student Welfare Program could not be administered by the federal government, without enabling legislation passed by the parliament.
Australia’s leading youth affairs and youth sector organisation will today tell the federal parliamentary inquiry into “fly-in, fly out” (FIFO) workforce practices across regional Australia that the FIFO model of service provision to some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people fails to adequately address their needs and may actually be doing harm.
A youth survey launched today during National Reconciliation Week will ask whether young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians have a better relationship than their older counterparts.
Yarn About Youth is a national survey of young people’s attitudes towards reconciliation by Reconciliation Australia and the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition.
Advocates for young and vulnerable Australians are optimistic after the federal government announced an increase of $4 a week to people on Newstart and Youth Allowance.
Executive Director of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, Andrew Cummings is campaigning for an increase for people on the lowest benefit schemes.
He said he was pleased that this year’s federal budget recognised that Newstart and Youth Allowance provide too little to live on.
The Australian Youth Affairs Executive Director, Andrew Cummings, has become an Ambassador for National Families Week 2012, Australia’s main celebration of the importance of families.
Each year, National Families Week celebrates and highlights the critical role of families in Australian society and coincides with the UN International Day of Families on 15 May. Hundreds of community groups, businesses and government departments will be holding local events around the country.
AYAC welcomed last night’s budget measures that support a fair go for young Australians, but continues to call on the Gillard government to ensure that financial assistance is raised to levels that ensure young Australians are not living below the poverty line.
“Young people are already disadvantaged in the labour market and financial hardship further alienates young people from completing education or finding work,” Andrew Cummings, Executive Director of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition.
A group of Australia’s leading children’s organisations has expressed disappointment that the Australian Government’s announcement two weeks ago of the establishment of a National Children’s Commissioner has not been backed up with adequate resources.
With sexually transmitted infections amongst young people at epidemic rates, the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) in partnership with Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS (YEAH) - have launched an online survey to uncover how young people access sexual health information and the kind of information they find – whether it comes from schools and community organisations, or mainly from friends, pornography or the Internet.
Sydney, 29 April 2011. A coalition of Australia’s leading children and youth focused organisations welcomes the Australian Government’s announcement of the establishment of a National Children’s Commissioner.
The Government has announced that the Commissioner will sit within the Australian Human Rights Commission and is a key action under the Government’s National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020.
The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition is urging the federal government to provide appropriate support to young unemployed people and students, by raising the Newstart and Youth Allowances by $50 per week.
Australia’s leading children and youth focused organisations cautiously welcome the Government’s plan to establish a National Commissioner for Children and Young People announced in yesterday’s media.
This year’s National Youth Week theme of “Imagine, Create, Inspire” is being brought to life by Australia’s youth-led movement. For the first time, youth-led organisations are being supported to recruit and train Indigenous young people and young people from rural and regional areas to become passionate activists for social change.
AYAC is calling on the Australian Government to sign an important international child rights treaty - the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child - which provides an avenue for children and young people to complain about the violation of their rights by national governments.
AYAC called on governments yesterday to listen to young people as the country heads into National Youth Week.
“The 2012 National Youth Week is a golden opportunity for governments to show that that are willing to listen to young people and take decisive action on the issues that are important to them.” AYAC’s Executive Director, Andrew Cummings said yesterday.
THE HON PETER GARRETT MP Media Release March 7
Talented young Australians are being urged to take part in this year’s National Talent and Win Free Stuff competitions as part of the annual youth week celebrations.
Minister for School Education Peter Garrett said entries are now open for all young Australians aged between 12 and 25 years to take part in the two competitions.
Leading NGOs Join Forces in Calling for a National Children’s Commissioner
Nearly 40 of Australia’s leading national children and youth support organisations are today celebrating the release of an NGO Positions Paper on the role and functions of a National Children’s Commissioner.
Media Release - 30 November
The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) - Australia’s national voice for young people and the youth support sector – today called on ALP members to listen to young people as they head into this year’s national conference. “Young people want to see a socially progressive government that is willing to take action on the important issues of our time” says AYAC’s Executive Director, Andrew Cummings.
Media Release - 27 October 2011
AYAC today joined with the Central Australian Youth Link-Up Service (CAYLUS) to call for fair and equitable resourcing of youth services in rural and remote communities
MEDIA RELEASE - 19th October 2011: AYAC Urges Government to Re-Think Indigenous Truancy Policy
The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) - the peak body representing Australia’s young people and the youth support sector – today raised serious concern regarding the announcement of the implementation of compulsory income management or welfare cuts to parents in Indigenous communities whose children don’t attend school. AYAC’s concerns add weight to similar fears raised by various organisations and community groups in recent weeks.
AYAC congratulates the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, the Hon Peter Garrett on recent announcements for a new advisory group on school students with disability and a commitment of $30 million dollars in funding to help more schools close the gap.
AYAC today congratulated the Federal Government for making significant changes to the National School Chaplaincy Program based on responses from the community.
“AYAC is heartened by Minister Garrett’s statement today that the Program will be extended to include secular youth and welfare workers. We are also very pleased that minimum qualifications will be introduced, requiring all new chaplains to complete a Certificate IV in Youth Work or an equivalent qualification. We are particularly pleased that the Minister has placed a strong emphasis on the quality and value of qualified youth workers in schools”, said Andrew Cummings, Executive Director of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition.
The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) today urged the Federal Government to continue with its reform agenda in tackling difficult issues such as global warming. AYAC urged the Prime Minister not to cave in to a small but vocal proportion of the population, who are putting pressure on the government to back down on important social and environmental changes.
Young people with disabilities are struggling to access and participate in education free from bullying and discrimination, according to a survey undertaken by the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC).
The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) - the peak body representing Australia’s young people and the youth support sector – today called for changes to the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP), adding weight to concerns raised by various organisations and community groups in recent weeks.
The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) - the peak body representing Australia’s young people and the youth support sector – today renewed its call to the Federal Government to establish a National Children’s Commissioner for Children and Young People. AYAC’s call follows the release of the report by the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Standing Committee, recommending that the Bill introduced by Green’s Senator Sarah Hanson-Young not be passed.
The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition’s Executive Director, Andrew Cummings, has become an Ambassador for National Families Week 2011 - Australia’s main celebration of the importance of families.
Last nights budget has both good and bad elements for young people in Australia, according to the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC). “Whilst the budget includes some positive developments for young people and their families, there were also areas of strong concern and missed opportunities” says AYAC’s Executive Director, Andrew Cummings...
AYAC calls on the Federal Government to reverse plans to cut payments as soon as welfare recipients miss a Centrelink or JSA interview. This call follows 5 labour MPs who condemned the legislation as 'unfair and draconian.'
Young people in receipt of benefits are one of the groups most likely to adversely affected by the legislation. AYAC is part of a Centrelink Working Group that is looking into the reasons and barriers for non-attendance.
Back in April, AYAC's Natalie Lammas was asked to be featured in a video by a startup online magazine called 'Flying the Coop'. The video interview is centred around youth government assistance programmes and the fact that some of Australia’s youth are living below the poverty line due to our outdated welfare system.
Check out the full video here: http://flyingthecoop.net/2013/05/30/australias-neglected-youth/