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Western Sydney youth kick off Youth Week with celebrations, live events

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Youth Week

Members of the NSW Settlement Partnership (NSP) Youth Workers Network will mark the culmination of Youth Week 2021 at an event featuring a variety of activities, including a youth-led panel discussion and the premiere of the video Youth Speak.

This year’s Youth Week theme is “Together More Than Ever” and will gather culturally and linguistically diverse young people from Western Sydney and across NSW for a fun-filled day of performances, sports and games at the Guildford County Soccer and Recreation Club.

Organised by young people for young people in communities across Australia, National Youth Week, April 16-24, is an opportunity for young people to share ideas, attend live events, have their voices heard on issues of concern to them, showcase their talents, celebrate their contribution to the community, take part in competitions and have fun.

Youth Speak profiles 10 young people from various cultural backgrounds: Afghanistan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal, Iraq, South Sudan and Syria. They explain how they have been looking after their mental and physical wellbeing during periods of isolation and lockdown in the past year.

The Youth Workers Network was a key success of Settlement Services International’s (SSI) Youth Collective, which operated from 2014 to 2018. SSI is the lead agency in the 21-member NSP, which delivers settlement services in NSW under the Department of Home Affairs’ Settlement Engagement and Transition Support (SETS) program.

The network harnessed the practice, wisdom and strategic vision of NSP youth workers, and provided a forum for them to share ideas, discuss relevant topics, learn from each other, and contribute ideas to support multicultural youth across NSW.

“The past year has been tough on everybody and especially on young people who have had to adapt to challenges in a number of areas, including family life, education, employment and isolation from their peers,” said Yamamah Agha, SSI’s General Manager Service Delivery – Settlement.

“However, we know that our clients are resilient and have internal coping strategies to overcome the most difficult of circumstances. We reached out to young people in our network to find out how they have been coping and prioritising their mental and physical health,” she said.

Agha said some of the youth they work with spent their time in isolation by reading books and writing poetry, while others focused on their physical health by having long walks, and spending more time with family.

Agha said, “As youth service providers, we want to support young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds on their settlement journeys and help them to gain more confidence, nurture their talents and continue to build their resilience.

“This event is an opportunity for us to bring the youth together to socialise and build connections in a safe environment while learning about the services and programs we have to offer,” she said.

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