Some of the region’s best young minds have come together to voice their perspectives on the biggest issues facing youth at the University of Southern Queensland’s Community Youth Forum.
Funded and supported by the Queensland Government under the Youth Research Grants Program, the forum provided a platform for people under 25 years of age to discuss future research decisions and projects.
Minister for Science and Youth Affairs Meaghan Scanlon MP addressed the forum, encouraging participants to find their voice and to use it wisely.
“Young Queenslanders are socially and environmentally conscious and are passionate about the future of this state,” Minister Scanlon said.
“By allowing our young people to shape the research priorities in Queensland, we are ensuring that they feel heard and that their views of the future are validated.”
Students from the University of Southern Queensland, schools from across South West Queensland, ambassadors from the Toowoomba Regional Council’s Youth Connect and Regional Youth Advisory Committee, Local Area NDIS Partner Carers Queensland and the True Colours Community Alliance Darling Downs attended the forum.
University of Southern Queensland Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor John Bell said the ability to co-design research projects to make a real difference was both exciting and essential.
“This is a humbling opportunity to better understand how young people consider their future and how implementing research initiatives could help to have a positive impact,” Professor Bell said.
The impact of the collaboration has already inspired great possibilities, Community Youth Forum Coordinator Professor Andrew Hickey said.
“We experienced so much great engagement and genuine interest throughout the day,” he said.
“We gathered such a diverse range of ideas and thought patterns and can now move forward meaningfully with some brilliant research projects to better the future.”
And for local youth advocate Prince Lo, the forum was a perfect opportunity to represent local communities, share and be heard.
“We were given a voice to become agents of change and it is so exciting so help make it happen by being part of the solution,” he said.
The University of Southern Queensland has been granted $100,000 in seed funding for research projects and the issues and priorities decided by the young people at the Community Youth Forum will directly influence upcoming research.
Learn more about the University of Southern Queensland’s world-leading research.