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Expanded Youth Advisory Group amplifies vibrant youth voices

By June 23, 2022No Comments

Sir David Martin Foundation today announced an expansion of its Youth Advisory Group (YAG), bringing together youth advocates from across Australia to contribute to discussions around youth health and wellbeing.

From June 2022, founding member Lucy Stronach, (pictured) the 2020/21 Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations, University Lecturer and Youth Programs Officer from Perth, WA (Whadjuk Noongar land) will chair the group.

Sir David Martin Foundation General Manager, Helen Connealy  said the group plays an important role in deepening and broadening the Foundation’s understanding of the current challenges facing young people.

“We are first and foremost a youth foundation, and the health and wellbeing of young people is at the heart of everything we do.”

“Through our partnership with Mission Australia, we have been helping young people in crisis for over 30 years, raising over $70 million to enable best practice youth drug and alcohol treatment programs. Our newly expanded Youth Advisory Group ensures a youth focus is front and centre in our Foundation’s work.

“We are so excited to learn from their experiences and viewpoints on a wide range of issues affecting young people. Their contribution will help inform our direction and activities in a very meaningful way.”

The Youth Advisory Group launched in April 2021 with four founding members, Lucy Stronach, Corey Tutt OAM, Jasper Garay and Youth Ambassador and Triple Care Farm graduate, Elli Reinhard. To date they have contributed to the inaugural ‘Don’t Judge Me’ destigmatisation campaign and participated in Foundation and sector events, bringing valuable expertise and fresh perspectives to the Foundation’s work.

The addition of seven new members ensures a greater diversity across age, geographic location, culture, gender, sexuality and lived experience with mental illness and disability. Meet our new YAG members here

“Through our long association with Triple Care Farm and other youth drug and alcohol services, we know that youth addiction never occurs in isolation.”

“Mental illness, trauma, disadvantage, stigma, discrimination, homelessness, school pressures and family breakdown are just some of the factors young people are struggling with, alongside problematic substance use. The enormous strain of COVID-19 and rising cost of living have only exacerbated these struggles.

“In expanding the group, we wanted to bring together a diverse group of young people who through their own experiences, relationships and areas of interest felt they had something to contribute on these issues.”

“I am absolutely thrilled to be working alongside these incredible young people, and grateful they will join our Foundation in bringing safety, hope and opportunity to more young Australians in crisis.”

Representatives of the YAG will attend youth conferences and forums and report back to the Foundation.  One of the first priorities of the group will be working on the next stage of the Foundation’s destigmatisation awareness campaign, due to launch this September as part of Youth Recovery Month.

Download the Media Release as a PDF here