A 100 youth-strong summit was held in Perth on the 15th April to tackle pertinent issues affecting young people like racism, discrimination and bullying in the city's south-eastern corridor.
At the end of the full-day event, held during National Youth Week, 13 young leaders who are facilitating the summit provided a series of recommendations directly to government, not-for-profit agencies and community leaders.
"The summit was observed by dozens of high profile people including government ministers and leaders from the not-for-profit sector like Save the Children CEO Paul Ronalds, meaning the views of young people will not only be heard but listened to," said Juan Larranaga, WA State Manager for Save the Children, the agency leading the project.
The summit had great representation from the Drug Aware Ignite program, with 8 young leaders attending including our two young women Javeena Miller and Danikka Calyon who have graduated from participants to fully fledged members of staff.
The Summit follows Save the Children's powerful 2013 report "Identity on the Line", which identified a growing phenomenon of young people "hanging out" on the streets and the Perth-Armadale train line late at night because it felt safer than being at home.
The report also found that young people in the area felt they were unfairly treated by the community, were targeted by authorities and were often unfairly linked to criminal behaviour because of their cultural background, age or the way they looked.
"We know there is a wide range of issues affecting children and young people in Perth's south east, which is why this youth-led summit is so important," Mr Larranaga said.
"It's providing those who have faced disadvantage with a direct line to decision makers. The summit will bring together inspiring young people from all walks of life, many of whom have overcome their own personal challenges and are now university students, passionate activists, community leaders, positive role models for their peers and young parents."
Mother-of-one Jenna Woods, 23, who played a key role in the report's development, is helping lead the summit.
"The report provided great insight into what's happening in some of Perth's most disadvantaged areas and I've experienced that first hand, but now we need to act on these findings by listening to young people and incorporating their ideas into policy," Ms Woods said.
"Young people have so much to contribute when it comes to the issues affecting them and their communities."
The summit was held as part of a unique and innovative two-year initiative called the South East Corridor Youth Partnership Project which is led by Save the Children. The project will focus on creating innovative and collaborative change for vulnerable young people in the south east corridor.