An additional 2,000 young Western Australians will be able to participate in the very successful Cadets WA Program under a $1 million expansion announced by the Coalition Government in Geraldton today.
The expansion is one of a new series of Coalition initiatives designed to give young people greater input into Government decision-making processes and increased opportunities to take part in life skills training programs.
Premier Richard Court and Youth Minister Mike Board said a State Youth Round Table would also be created and a register established of young people keen to be considered for selection to Government boards or committees.
The Premier said the expansion of Cadets WA would incorporate a new program aimed at indigenous youth, while steps would be taken to develop Scouts and Guides in primary schools.
“Since its inception in 1996, Cadets WA has grown to comprise nine different cadet types, 157 units and more than 7,000 students in Emergency Services, Police Rangers, St John Ambulance, Red Cross, CALM Bush Rangers, and Lifesaving, as well as the Air Training Corps, Army and Naval Reserves,” he said.
“These programs are about teaching young people life and career skills, self-confidence, team building and a strong sense of community in an environment that is as much fun as it is educational - and their success is evident in their popularity.
“We are committed to expanding and continually improving Cadets WA and these new initiatives will give a greater number of young Western Australians the opportunity to take part and enjoy the benefits.”
Mr Board said the State Government was keen to see Scouts Australia and Guides Western Australia established in primary schools to give young people increased options for life-skills training.
“The indigenous youth development program, established under the Cadets WA umbrella, will be focused on traditional cultural activities and skills, such as fishing and boating - training for young indigenous people that will be particularly relevant and transportable into careers, especially in regional and remote areas,” he said.
Mr Court said the creation of a State Youth Round Table was designed to complement the network of Youth Advisory Councils and give young Western Australians a greater say in the decision-making processes.
“This formal consultation mechanism will act as the peak body through which young people can advise the Government and formally meet with the Premier,” he said.
“The Round Table members, who will be chosen from nominations in response to a public advertisement, will serve as a link between the State’s 96 Youth Advisory Councils and the National Youth Round Table.
“Young people represent more than 22 per cent of WA’s population and make a valuable contribution to society.
“Their thoughts and opinions are important and vital to Government if we are to make decisions and create policies that are relevant and useful.”
Mr Board said giving young people greater input into Government was also the reason behind creating a register of those interested in being considered for selection on to Government boards or committees.
“Most decisions taken by boards and committees impact in some way on young people,” he said.
“It is important they are given the opportunity to provide advice on the effect of decisions from their perspective.
“Young people are active participants in society and deserve to have an active voice - and the Coalition Government will continue to give them one.”
Casey Cahill (Premier’s Office) 9222 9475
Tamatha Smith (Minister Board’s Office) 9222 9211