Australia Day

26 January 2015

187 days to go

Advice for involving young people

Talking and listening: Who talks and who listens?

YoungPeople2 image

1. Proposition

• To capture young people's interest in Australia Day activities and to entice engagement you need make a commitment to engage with them-to talk to them, to listen to them and to respect their ideas.
• You could prepare by brainstorming ways to create opportunities to ask young people what their ideas are, what they would value, what they would enjoy.

2. Use knowledge and experience of local council and local community groups

• Local councils have resources that you can use and people you can consult. 
• You may have more success connecting and making opportunities to talk with young people if you use the knowledge of local youth workers or people who are directly involved with young people (e.g. council, youth groups, church groups, sporting groups, employment agencies, volunteer associations).
• Local council youth workers and some local community groups will also be able to help you identify young leaders in the community.

3. Strategies for eliciting ideas from young people

• In keeping with ideas of effective learning and developing motivation, try to acknowledge the value you place on young people's ideas, use positive comments to generate confidence and reassure them that you will respect what they say. 
• While you will have more success if you listen to young people rather then telling them what they want, you still need to be very clear about what you want to find out. You will need to do some preparation.
• Consider meeting young people on their turf. You might also consider recruiting a few young people to help facilitate meetings and discussions. 
• Try to organise or create opportunities which 'allow' for exchange and dialogue in an informal way.

4. Make the context and your objectives clear

• In your discussions with young people, you will need to explain why you are interested in their ideas and also tell them the objectives and aims of celebrating Australia Day.
Try and hold a specific event for teenagers-most people in this age group don't want to attend events with their parents. Young people like to attend events that held by other people that they can relate to.