National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group provides unique opportunity

The National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group (NIYLG) is an impressive group of young Aboriginal people comprising Australia's only national consultative forum for Indigenous youth. The group is a unique opportunity for members to talk directly with the Australian Government to discuss issues relevant to them and their communities and advise of possible solutions. They are very active in their communities, portray positive images of Indigenous youth and act as positive role models. The 17 members of NIYLG 2005-06 are aged 18 to 24 years old. They were selected through a national nomination process from all over Australia and members have a diverse range of cultural heritage, life experiences and circumstances.

The Australian Government consults with NIYLG members and discussions have included the Aboriginal Tent Embassy and developing government programmes. They also participate in workshops and leadership training including professional media training.

NIYLG provides abundant networking with Indigenous leaders who are very knowledgeable in their fields. NIYLG members have met with representatives from the National Indigenous Council including the Chair, Dr Sue Gordon, as well as Mr Warren Mundine and Ms Tammy Williams. Other guests have included Mr Aden Ridgeway, Ms Leah Purcell, Ms Kerrie Tim and various government and community representatives.

Members have also met with Members of Parliament including The Hon Sussan Ley, Parliamentary Secretary (Children and Youth Affairs) and The Hon Jim Lloyd, Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads.

NIYLG members gain a background in government processes and obtain influencing skills to progress issues of importance to the Australian Government. They will continue to meet in 2006 to progress projects in the areas of youth leadership, education, employment, cultural identity and family and domestic violence. At the end of their term, members will provide final recommendations to the Australian Government in an official ceremony at Parliament House, Canberra.

NIYLG is supported by the Australian Government Department of Family and Community Services. For more information including the application process for future NIYLG programmes, please visit the website and join the mailing list at www.thesource.gov.au/involve/niylg, email niylg@thesource.gov.au or phone 1800 624 309 (toll free).