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The greater the participation of young people in social decision-making, the healthier the community and society.
YANQ believes that the Traditional Custodians and primary Culture of Australia is Aboriginal. We support the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to self determination, and recognise their capacity to generate their own solutions to the problems imposed on them by continuing colonisation and ongoing pressures to assimilate. We recognise the proven credentials of Aboriginal Traditional Owners and Custodians in connecting with and managing this Land. We value the wisdom and leadership Aboriginal cultures can bring to addressing the problems faced by Australian society.
We aspire to a world which recognises the interdependence of all species on this planet. We envisage a future where Australia is in a position to benefit from Aboriginal Culture; where Australians collectively acknowledge the strengths of one of the world's oldest surviving cultures and embrace highly evolved Aboriginal tradition, Lore and practices. This would play a critical role in achieving a sustainable future for humankind.
YANQ supports the human rights of all Australians. These include the necessities of survival; everyone's right to achieve their full potential; and their right to make choices about their lifestyle, and express their culture, without fear of penalty. Everyone has the right to meaningfully participate in their community and decisions that affect their lives.
We recognise that systemic issues contribute to a failure to meet young people's rights, and the social exclusion of groups of young people. Most young people are disadvantaged – culturally, socially and/or economically. Major social systems continue to fail the majority of young people. Further, socially excluded young people face ongoing pressure to conform to dominant Anglo-Celtic values. This generates disharmony within and across communities, making them vulnerable to prejudice and discrimination. It is only when we recognise the cultures of our First Peoples as the basis for genuine multi-culturalism, and value the identities, contributions and rights of all Australians, that we can achieve social harmony.
Young people have the capacity to play an important part in their communities and the wider society. Young people's social role and contribution, both now and in the future, largely depends upon how they are treated. The greater the participation of young people in social decision-making, the healthier the community and society.
Community organisations provide a unique pathway to optimising young people's social participation. They can facilitate genuine participatory democracy and respond to young people's needs in an alternate, holistic way. Young people are entitled to access services which respond to their rights and needs, and freely choose whether or not to use these services. Competent Youth Workers have the values, attitudes, knowledge and skills required to work effectively with young people and their communities, using a rights-driven approach.
Australian governments are obliged to meet young people's internationally-agreed human rights. Governments should take full responsibility for meeting these obligations toward young people. Governments should value the expertise of community organisations in providing complementary services, and resource them to take the lead in addressing the rights and needs of young people within their particular community.
. Ultimately, YANQ envisages a future where young people are seen as equal, active participants in Queensland society. As a result, Queensland would be a fair, equitable diverse state; a bastion of human rights. It would be a healthy society in which individuals, families and communities are inter-connected; where a culture of mutual respect generates resilience and genuine social inclusion. Its thriving youth sector would enthusiastically stand alongside Aboriginal people and young people, to continue to improve the world. The powerful voice of YANQ would be seen as an invaluable social asset.
Download YANQ's Constitution, including Full Vision and Values