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Tuesday, 11 February 2020
Inspired young person speaks out about youth mental health

The 2019 Y NSW Youth Parliament Premier Hamani Tanginoa appeared on The Drum ABC’s national current affairs program last night to discuss youth mental health.

The panel was hosted by Julia Baird, who posed the question "is it time that Australia had a cabinet minister dedicated to children's issues and a national plan for their wellbeing", following a report released by Megan Mitchell, Australia's Children's Commissioner, "the 2019 Children's Rights Report" yesterday.

Her final report, following a seven year tenure, paints a stark overall picture of how many children's lives have been worsening over the period including an increase of substantiated reports of child abuse and neglect, a rise in children in out of home care, also 1 in 7 children are being diagnosed with mental health disorders, while rates of suicide and self-harm increase.

"We have the evidence that we are failing our children particularly, and we should be able to do more for them. We've made promises to children (including signing the Convention on the Rights of the Child (ratified 30 years ago), now we need to keep those promises," said Megan.

See the full panel discussion here.

Tune in the panel discussion to see Hamani discuss whether it's time Australia had a cabinet minister dedicated to children's issues and national wellbeing, and the rest of the panel addresses how children from minority groups' rights aren't adequately protected, including those with disabilities, from culturally & linguistically diverse backgrounds, LGBTQI+ children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Julia Baird concluded that “we really need to be listening the voices of more people like you (Hamani) – that are actually in the demographic we’re talking about”.