A Mount Clear College student will be helping to steer the state’s policy through her involvement with the first Victorian Youth Congress.
Saskia Gallasch is a member of the first ever congress, which will meet in mid-January to discuss education, housing, mental health and employment.
After helping to design the 2017 Youth Summit, Saskia said it was a natural progression to craft recommendations for the Minister for Youth Affairs, Jenny Mikakos.
“My drive lies very heavily in increasing youth engagement and justice for people,” she said. “I really take it upon myself to help those who need it.”
“I’m passionate about mental health, because we have the services we need, but we have to get better at spreading them out and connecting young people to what they need.
“The role of the congress is to identify the issues young people face, find solutions and ultimately create a generation of stronger youth.”
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The congress is comprised of young people between 12 and 25 years of age from rural and metropolitan areas.
At the first orientation session, 16-year-old Saskia said she was struck by the diversity of the group, which includes Aboriginal young people, people from the LGBTI community and youth living with a disability.
“We came together as such an engaged empowered group of people,” she said.
“Many were speaking from from lived experience and tackling issues relevant to them, such as homelessness, which makes their contributions all the more valuable.
“It was refreshing that everyone was ready to take on anything.”