Saturday, June 24, 2017

What is the Youth Coalition?

The Youth Coalition is the peak youth affairs body in the ACT. Comprised of 100 members, programs, and individuals the Youth Coalition is responsible for representing and promoting the interests and wellbeing of young people aged 12 to 25 years and those who work with them.

The Youth Coalition is represented on many ACT Government advisory structures and provides advice to the ACT Government on youth issues, along with providing information to youth services about policy and program matters.

A key role of the Youth Coalition is the development and analysis of ACT social policy and program decisions for young people and youth services. The Youth Coalition facilitates the development of strong linkages and promotes collaboration between the community, government and private sectors to achieve better outcomes for young people in the ACT.

We actively promote the well being and aspirations of young people in the ACT with particular respect to their social, political, cultural, spiritual, economic and educational development.

What is a Peak Body?

Peak bodies are representative organisations that exist in order to coordinate, support and advocate for their membership and constituents.

ACT Government has outlined its commitment to supporting and acknowledging the role of peak bodies through the Social Compact, which states that the ACT Government will undertake to:

‘Understand and recognise the role that peak bodies and representative groups play in advocating issues on behalf of their constituencies.’

While community sector-based peak bodies work within varied models of practice, the role of peak bodies is broadly defined as representing the needs of a particular target group, which may include a client group or service provider group.

Membership of the ACT Peaks Forum, facilitated by the ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS), includes peak bodies that devote the majority of their resources towards Policy Development and Advocacy, Sector Development, and Membership.

Each of these activities are further outlined by the ACT Peaks Forum:

  • Policy Development and Advocacy: The organisations have a substantial role in systemic analysis of ACT Government policy in their areas based on sound research and credible evidence, and seek to communicate those ideas to government, the sector and the broader community.
  • Sector Development: The organisations seek to empower community organisations to improve and develop their services and ensure that they provide appropriate services to their users.
  • Membership: The organisations are democratic and have strong links with members who they represent.

There are a range of youth peak bodies in Australia. Without the youth peak bodies, young people would be left with no formal voice on important issues and youth services would be left without any funded body to organise networking, professional development and disseminate information across all youth services.

Click here for more information about national and local peak bodies, and their relationship to the Youth Coalition.