“The lack of data to show where multicultural young people are at and how to best advocate for them was what spurned this research on,” said Soo-Lin Quek, CMY’s Manager and MC for this historic launch.
Minister for Youth Gabrielle Williams launched the first-ever Multicultural Youth Australia census report at the University of Melbourne last night. The landmark publication is the first and most comprehensive national account of how multicultural young people are faring socially, culturally and economically.
“This research is important because it shines a light on some of the issues that young people face, that some of us may have a sense of intuitively,” said Minister Williams.
“But for others, we might need to reflect on these findings a bit more. Either way, they will definitely help to improve community outcomes for young people and the wider community.”
“For me, one of the important things that this report highlights is the importance of listening to young people to be able to better serve them.”
“The lessons learned from this data and research is something I will take to my colleagues. I’ll use it in my work and make it count.”
“While there’s a lot more work to be done, we should be stepping in to the future with hope because the young people are optimistic too!”
Professor Johanna Wyn and Dr Rimi Khan, from the research team at the University of Melbourne, also spoke at the launch. They introduced the findings of the report and charted a possible course for the future, respectively.
But no conversation about young people is complete without the young people speaking for themselves.
Shout Out speakers Cammy Lu and Asanga Seneviratne presented their perspectives on the report’s findings and the experience of growing up as a multicultural young person in Victoria.
Cammy articulated the importance of youth engaging in cross-cultural activities with statistics from the report and her experience of MCing the Tet festival in Dandenong.
“I’m so happy to see family expectations as one of the barriers or challenges that multicultural young people face reflected in the report,” said Cammy, “Because that was a big thing for me. My mother gave me one hour after school to hang out with friends, watch a movie and be home!”
“This report starts the conversation WITH young people and not just ABOUT us,” she said.
“Despite the current climate, young people are hopeful: 86 per cent saying they feel ‘positive’ or ‘very positive’ about reaching their future goals,” said Asanga.
“This goes to show that multicultural young people are ambitious, committed to contributing to the community and hopeful about their futures.”
“All we need to do is create a safe, welcoming and nurturing society for them to thrive.”
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