Social Inclusion Week runs from November 25 to December 3 and encourages communities to reconnect with one another and give people the opportunity to feel valued and connected to society.
Social isolation can often lead young people to engage in negative behaviour.
As a community we need to join together to combat marginalisation and ensure that young people feel included in society.
Social Inclusion Week is a good starting point, providing us with the opportunity to get involved in community events and gatherings for the benefit of young disaffected people. But we must not stop there. Education is the key factor to breaking down the cycle of social isolation.
Youth Off The Streets invests heavily in our education programs and activities, creating opportunities for young people to learn skills and engage with one another. Our dedication to education saw my organisation opening two new school sites in 2017. Reaching communities in need to ensure young people not only get a quality education, but have a place to feel welcome is paramount to enacting social inclusion.
I believe that all young people should be given the chance to achieve their full potential. That is why we continue to work so hard to develop programs within our services to ensure that our young people feel included and valued, providing them with opportunities to engage in their local communities and society.
You too can do your part in the community, so get involved, volunteer, and connect with your local community, friends and family to support our young people during Social Inclusion Week.
Father Chris Riley, CEO at Youth Off The Streets
Observation not reliable
Dr Roland von Marburg should know that abortion rates in Albury have not been reduced by prayer.
Women are presenting to the abortion clinic in Wodonga instead.
There is an exclusion zone of 150m around all abortion services in Victoria so women can present without being harrassed by anti-abortion protesters.
The Wodonga clinic has been running since late 2014 reaching maximum capacity in mid-2015 which is a more plausible explanation for Dr von Marburg’s observations.
Roland should know to consult actual facts and data rather than rely on observation alone.
A fair go, for all
Religious organisations might end up with less than they bargained for following a review of religious prerogatives in the light marriage equality.
An independent reassessment of current religious freedoms should bring to the public attention the cost to Australian values of enshrining faith based prejudice that belongs to another age.
Social progress in relation to the abolition of slavery, votes for women, challenging domestic violence and upholding the dignity of children has been opposed by the operations of the freedoms seeking to be affirmed in the advent of marriage equality. Religious freedom of religious individuals, leaders and congregations to affirm marriage equality should also be guaranteed in any contemporary discussion rather than create safe havens where faith-based hatred can be nurtured and compromise an inclusive Australia where all are get a fair go.