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Empowering Young Territory

Northern Territory Youth Week (NTYW) celebrates the contributions of, and provides a platform for, the Northern Territory’s young people.

By Kingsley Gittins

Technically held over 10 days, NTYW gives the Territory's young people the chance to get involved, have some fun and make decisions. 

Of course, recent developments surrounding the coronavirus have changed plans, but even if live events won’t be rolling out across the NT, and online platforms are utilised instead, it’s still an important time to shine a light on the NT’s young people.

City of Darwin Youth Programs Coordinator Lisa Burnett says NTYW gives young people a platform that they mightn’t normally have access to.

“It highlights the contributions of young people in the community, acknowledges the times and the places we live in, and makes the issues young people face more visible,” she says.

“It’s also a good chance to have a little bit of focus and spotlight on youth culture.”

NT Youth Week Coordinator Olivia Paris of the Office of Youth Affairs says the 2020 theme, like previous years, was a result of consulting with young people around the NT.

“This year’s theme is Empower 2020, which inspires a stronger future for young people in the NT, celebrates the diversity of young people and encourages young people’s vision for the NT. It’s to inspire, celebrate and encourage.” 
The Couch Surfing event, run in partnership with Anglicare NT, is a favourite on the NT Youth Week calendar but won't be going ahead this year.  However, young people have still driven the planning process up until now and learned valuable lessons from the experience.

Behind the scenes, preparations have seen the Territory’s young folk  organise events at the Youth Round Table. This year, two ambassadors were selected to lead the line.

17-year-old Sean Xiao represents Central Australia. Based in Alice Springs, Sean volunteers at the Headspace Youth Advisory Group, at school holiday programs, and a number of youth forums and national events to speak on behalf of young people.

Going in to bat for the Top End is 20-year-old Eytahnyia Scott, a proud Larrakia woman who works as Team Leader for the Larrakia Nation Social and Emotional Wellbeing Program. 

Lisa says it’s integral to have young people driving the program.

“NT Youth Week always has lots of young people coordinating including being paid to produce events. Providing young performers and emcees paid work – including the LAUNCH media team – gives them the opportunity to tell their own stories, in a supported environment.”

When it comes to youth involvement, it’s not just about giving young people a voice, but also about giving them the tools to succeed on their own terms.

So get behind the Territory’s young folk and the wonderful contribution they make to the NT community.

NT Youth Week Events
Postponed until July

The Northern Territory is filled with talented young folk. We caught up with some of them for a yarn!

Q&A with local artist Leila Heinrich

Q&A with local filmmaker Max Conaghan

Q&A with local comedian Andre Price-Quintner



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