All children should have their needs supported through easily accessed and affordable services. We know that children and young people have shown incredible resilience in the face of significant life events such as the pandemic, bushfires, floods and what they’ve seen of international conflicts through social media.
Faced with uncertainty and rapid change, young Canberrans can take control of how we respond as a community. When governments and communities work together to build connections, including across generations, we create a healthier future for all young people.
In my role as the ACT Minister for Mental Health, Youth Justice, Carers, and Disability, I commit myself to better support the complex needs of young people most at-risk in our community. Importantly I want to make these changes for the better with young people – to deeply listen to them and deliver the type of support that they know works for them, their peers, friends and siblings. For example, as the ACT Government looks to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility and establish a new mental health trauma service for young people at risk, we will deliver more and better integrated services that promote the mental, physical, and social wellbeing of all young Canberrans.
As Minister for Seniors, I’d also like to acknowledge the value of intergenerational connections between some of the youngest and oldest in our community. The sharing of knowledge, skills and experience makes Canberra a kinder, caring and more connected place.
A big thank you to ACT Children’s Week Committee for organising this important week and your innovative approach to support and recognise the contributions of young people across the ACT. I’m particularly excited about both the Intergenerational Contribution and Exceptional Senior Awards, as well as the intergenerational activities and events.