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Youth Ambassadors invited to participate in Caucus

Community 22 Feb, 2022 Follow News

Governor Martyn Roper (left) and Premier Wayne Panton (right) at the Mental Health Symposium

By Lindsey Turnbull


Having heard the Alex Panton Foundation’s Youth Ambassadors speak eloquently and passionately about youth mental health at last Saturday’s Mental Health Symposium, Premier Wayne Panton announced at the event that they would be invited into government’s decision-making process.

Premier Panton, who had begun the Alex Panton Foundation with his wife Jane (who is the Chair of the Foundation) following the suicide of their son Alex, said that in previous years he had held back in obvious involvement with the Foundation for fear of it being seen as political. But now that he was Premier, he was able to allow the voices of the people in the country to count and, in particular, allow the voices of young people in the country to count, he said.

“I know we have had some incredible speakers here today you have been amazing… Among all the incredible voices that I’ve heard, the ones that I find very compelling and most instructive to myself and my colleagues are the young people, because, as a government, we are here to represent the interests of everybody,” he stated.

The Premier said that the government was also looking forward, because nobody wanted to be in politics except to leave a very positive legacy and to leave a positive impact on the future of the country and the future of the young people of this country.

“That’s what motivates me with politics,” he confirmed.

As a result, he said he was inviting the members of the youth ambassadors programme to government’s Caucus meeting, a meeting at which government - both front and back bench members - discussed the policies that they would be taking forward. This was a move that the Premier said he had never seen before in government.

“We are going to have the young people represented by the Youth Ambassador programme come in and talk to the policy makers of this country about the issues that affect them today. They can talk about how they feel about what’s happening in their country and what their priorities are from their perspective, that we should be taking forward to make their lives better today, and to make a future for them and their children tomorrow,” the Premier advised.

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