Baulkham Hills State Liberal MP David Elliott has urged community leaders to take on youth mentoring roles to help develop the next generation of community leaders.
Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Mr Elliott said there was a demand in the community for youth mentors and that community leaders had told him they were willing to take on that responsibility.
“I hosted a (youth) roundtable on 29 August at Parliament House,” Mr Elliott said.
“We had over 20 representatives from the youth sector, representing a broad cross-section of service providers, including church groups, Muslim youth leaders, chaplaincy providers, youth advocacy agencies, the Western Sydney Wanderers and many others.
“I was expecting to hear how the Government had failed our young people or how laws needed to be changed.
“To my surprise and delight, the overwhelming majority of feedback and input across the board from the representatives present at the youth roundtable was that young people have a desire and need for mentors.
“In the very robust, frank and energetic discussion—which, I must point out, was always extremely positive in nature, presentation and outlook—it became clear that young people are desperately looking for mentors and that the programs that are most effectively delivering positive, life-changing outcomes are mentoring programs.”
Mr Elliott said mentoring would ensure the next generation of community leaders are provided with the necessary skills to immediately take up senior roles within the community, rather than needing time to adapt.
“With positive encouragement and direction, the youth of New South Wales are very keen to excel,” Mr Elliott said.
“They are a generation that, when guided in the right direction, understand reward for effort and achievement through sacrifice.
Mr Elliott congratulated Minister for Citizenship and Communities, The Hon Victor Dominello MP, for his decision to open tenders for a state-wide Youth Mentoring Program, which will see Year 8 and 9 students across all 93 state electorates given the opportunity to participate in individual mentoring.
Mr Elliott serves as Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier with responsibility for youth.
You can read Mr Elliott’s speech here.